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How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace

Updated on Jan 07, 2020 6727 views
How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace

The only way to get people to work hard is to motivate them.

Today, people must understand why they are working hard.

An employee who has the ability, skill and knowledge would not do much without motivation.

However, an employee with skills, knowledge and ability with added motivation is a sure way to success.

The performance of a worker does not depend largely on the skill, ability, intelligence and knowledge but on the motivation which he has.

Without motivation an organisation would not last long. As a business owner, you need to maximise and increase productivity which means you need a well oiled activated and revitalised human resource to achieve your organisational goals.

Making small changes to habits will drastically improve the levels of productivity and office efficiency in your workplace.

To get you off to a good start follow these top ways to motivate your employees at work:

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7 Simple Things You Can Do To Motivate Employees in The Workplace

Provide Financial and Monetary Incentives

Most employees are motivated by money. Money, being a symbol of power, status and respect plays a big role in satisfying the social–security and physiological needs of a person. Monetary incentive includes the following leave allowance, compensation, financial benefit, profit sharing and any other type of remuneration that increases an employee's compensation. Financial and monetary incentives are usually provided on individual or group basis.

Implement Non-financial or Non-monetary Incentives

As the name implies, non-financial incentive is a kind of reward which gives inner joy to the individual but cannot be measured and quantified in monetary terms.  Typically, they cost the company little or no money, yet carry significant weight. Incentives of this nature are particularly effective for workers who are comfortable with their salaries or have been in the position for a long time. Without further ado, here are five simple ways to motivate your employees using non-financial or non-monetary incentives.

Provide a High Level of Job Security to Your Employees

Every employee wants to know their jobs are safe and they are valued.  If an individual is constantly worried and stressed about the future of their job, it is going to be very hard for them to do their best. A recent survey conducted by KPMG (2010) on job security found that more than 75% of participants considered job security their top priority when searching for a job as a result of the uncertain economic environment. While the result also showed that 67% of the participants were likely to work in a public or non-profit organization than a corporate business due to the recession.

The question then is, how do you make your workers know their jobs are safe while making it clear that each staff member needs to continue to excel to get raises, promotions and bonuses and even keep a job? Following these tips can help you keep your employees motivated without making them feel threatened.

  • Let them know they are ultimately responsible for their success, career advancement and job security.
  • Give Ongoing Feedback: Don’t wait until an annual review to drop a bombshell on an employee that he/she didn’t perform to your expectations.
  • Manage poor performers: Telling a worker he/she’s not doing a good job is likely to decrease her morale. Giving specific instructions for improving sagging performance shows you’re interested in keeping her on board.
  • Give regular written and verbal praise if it’s warranted
  • Have a succession plan for your employees

Apply Job Enrichment Tool

Job enrichment is a fundamental part of attracting, motivating, and retaining talented people, particularly where work is repetitive or boring. Job enrichment is used to motivate employees by adding to their responsibilities with a greater need for skill varieties in their jobs. Applying job enrichment tool would give a lot of freedom to the employee but at the same time increases the responsibility.

It is essential to strike a balance between increasing job responsibilities and job enrichment opportunities. This is the key to keep employees satisfied, motivated and focused on success - both for themselves and their company. Enriched jobs lead to more satisfied and motivated workers.

Recognise Their Achievements

Showing employees how much the organisation appreciates, respects and values them on a personal level is gratifying – and often overlooked. Recognizing employees at their best can cost little or even nothing, but they can mean a great deal to the person being recognized.  When deserved, recognition should be used since they are easy to give and reinforce desired behaviours.

Here are some low- or no-cost ways to recognize an employee:

  • Recognize the employee during a staff meeting.
  • Send a card to the employee you wish to recognize.
  • Give your employee a small token of recognition, like a movie ticket.
  • Send an email of appreciation to employee (with a copy to the supervisor).
  • Have a lunch with the employee.
  • If your organisation has its own website, include a section for posting recognition notices.

Improve workplace conditions

Working environment creates working conditions and favourable working conditions serve as basis for satisfactory performance of employees and also to some extent as a motivator. Unfavourable working conditions cause dissatisfaction with the job, which leads to reduced performance, and consequently to turnover of employees. Take for example, an environment that’s too hot or too cold distracts from concentration, as employees will spend more time walking around to get their coats or an electric fan.

It becomes necessary to monitor the changes on the labour market and adapt your work environment to suit the different generations that now form the workforce, though it is extremely hard  to statistically compare both measurable variables concerning working conditions, such as number of working hours, time or distance for commuting, wages plus financial benefits etc., and hardly measurable variables such as job content, overall atmosphere and communication in the company, opportunities given to talents etc.

Provide Better Quality Life outside the Job (Work-life Balance)

Work-life balance involves juggling workplace stress with the daily pressures of family, friends, and self. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with management and are able to leave work issues at work and home issues at home. Balanced employees tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which thereby increases company productivity and reduces the number of conflicts among employees and management.

Here are some things you can offer to promote work life balance:

  • Organize a company-paid lunch either to be catered into the office or at a group-friendly restaurant nearby.
  • Encourage stretching and Short Breaks during office hour.
  • Provide good health coverage for all employees
  • Provide child-care facility for employees
  • Offer flexible hours to your employees
  • Encourage employee training, workshops, and education
  • Celebrate them on their birthday

For the above motivational tools to succeed, it must be dynamic because a satisfied need is no longer motivator behaviour. A man who had a bowl of pounded yam may not necessarily need the same bowl of pounded yam with the same soup. Same is applicable to workers. A worker who needs money dearly wants something else as soon as he gets his money. Hence there is need to be flexible, dynamic and not rigid applying these motivational tools.

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MyJobMag HR Team

This article was written and has been reviewed by our HR team.

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