Jan Springthorpe asked:
Do you use the carrot and stick method of motivation? Do your employees feel like donkeys?
If we asked your staff how motivated they feel would they say:
ï‚§ not bad actually
ï‚§ Iâ€™m only here for the money
ï‚§ you must be joking!
Do the managers in your organisation inspire, energise and motivate their staff?
How do you think poor motivation affects performance? We believe that happy smiley people perform better than miserable, bored people. In order to perform well people generally need to be content with their working life and willing to go the extra mile.
Ask yourself some questions. What motivates people? What motivates you? Where does motivation come from? What can you do to light the spark of enthusiasm, commitment and â€œwanna doâ€ attitude in your people?
Itâ€™s very hard to motivate people as motivation comes from within. However, you can influence what people feel motivated to do. By investing time in the growth and development of your managers and employees, you can change their attitudes and give them a real buzz about coming to work. You can shape the right environment in which they will blossom and shine and add value to your business.
The good old carrot and stick method rarely works for very long. People expect bigger, juicier carrots and become immune to the stick. Just telling people to â€œlighten upâ€, â€œfind some enthusiasmâ€ and â€œget their act togetherâ€ creates resentment and is guaranteed to de-motivate them even further!
People in full time employment spend around 8 hours a day, 250 days a year in the workplace, doing their job. Managers seriously underestimate the power and influence they have over the lives of their employees by virtue of the large chunk of time that they are in contact with their staff, controlling and steering their working lives.
Good managers will train, teach, coach mentor, guide, support, develop and reward their staff.
Bad managers will leave them to get on with it, keep their distance, offer no sense of direction and watch them grow stale and listless in the job.
As a good or a bad manager, you can make or break their working day. Which are you?
Managers should constantly be looking for ways to motivate people to perform well, gain satisfaction from their work and do it with enthusiasm.
There are many motivation theories that have been around for many years (two of the most famous are Maslow and Herzberg).
We believe, quite simply, that it boils down to employees wanting to know â€œWhatâ€™s in it for me?â€ When people derive satisfaction or any kind of incentive from their work their willingness to do more or put in a better performance increases.
So, what motivates you? Make a list of the top 10 things that motivate you to perform well:
Canâ€™t think of 10 things? Go on, try again!
And remember, the things that motivate you are more than likely going to be the same things that motivate your employees.
Weâ€™d like to offer our Top 10 Tips for how you can influence employee motivation.
Check out how many of these are in place in your organisation:
Top tip number 1
Show your staff that you value them. Itâ€™s easy to show appreciation for a job well done, a project completed ahead of schedule, a rave review from a customer.
Praise people in public, share their achievements with others and wear your pride in their efforts on your sleeve.
Top tip number 2
Reward and recognise what they do and the contribution they make. Itâ€™s so simple (and smart!) to say â€œthank youâ€, â€œthat was greatâ€, â€œwell doneâ€ in recognition of something they have achieved. Acknowledge contributions made by your people in progress reports, in the minutes of team meetings, in updates to your superiors.
Celebrate success on a regular basis, highlight what is going well in the team, get everyone joining in the celebration. Find something to celebrate with â€“ we donâ€™t mean champagne – but an ice cream on a hot day or a delicious cake has the same uplifting effect!
Top tip number 3
Give them regular, constructive feedback about their performance. Donâ€™t we all want to know â€œhow am I doing?â€
People need to know if they have done a good job, if you are pleased with the outcomes, if they are doing something wrong, if there is a different or better way to do it.
Donâ€™t wait until the annual appraisal meeting or the half yearly review. Give them feedback every month, every week if possible. Show that you are maintaining a genuine interest in their performance.
Top tip number 4
Involve them in decision making. Give individuals and the team problems to solve, ask for their input, their ideas and opinions.
Make time and space for group think, for challenging old ways of doing things and encouraging risk taking and creativity. Light up their working lives with time off the job to innovate!
Top tip number 5
Spend time daily with each member of your team, if only for a few minutes. Show an interest in them, get to know them. Ask them what motivates them.
Find out what their goals in life are, their ambitions, their dreams for the future. Get closer to your employees, have fun, laugh and make work a pleasure!
Top tip number 6
Train and develop them. Most people want to grow, learn and develop new skills.
Find opportunities to provide instruction, training, guidance, self learning, coaching and explore the scope for equipping them with qualifications.
Continuous learning is what keeps organisations sharp and ready to do business. Building knowledge, honing skills and developing capability will give you a leading edge amongst your competitors and keep your workforce motivated as well.
The more confident and comfortable people are about doing their job, the better they perform.
Top tip number 7
Set them clear goals and objectives and make sure that they know exactly what is expected of them. Every employee and every team should know what their purpose is, what they are working towards and what standards you want them to achieve.
Involve people in setting their own goals and objectives and give them responsibility for taking action to achieve them. Create vision and a sense of direction in each and every employee.
Top tip number 8
Communicate regularly. Tell people whatâ€™s happening in the business, what the competition is doing, how the organisation is doing.
Share information with them constantly and make them feel part of the business rather than just a name on the payroll. Hold regular, active meetings and give people a chance to have their say, ask questions, voice opinions and contribute to problem solving.
Top tip number 9
Attend to job design. Seize every opportunity to expand jobs, to add interest, to include stretches and challenges and to avoid repetition and boredom.
Job characteristics have a big impact on employee behaviour and attitudes. Tasks can be grouped and organised so that people have a job with variety and feel productive.
Even routine work, with creativity, care and attention to job design, can be psychologically rewarding.
Top tip number 10
Create a pleasant working environment. Have fun with your employees, ensure that there is a place for humour and encourage a friendly, open atmosphere. Work is serious but it doesnâ€
™t have to be morose and miserable!
Involve staff in having a say about the physical work environment. As far as possible, take them up on their ideas about dÃ©cor, use of space, pictures, plants and anything else that makes work an enjoyable and comfortable place to be.
Maybe itâ€™s time to review how things are in your organisation. Do your managers manage performance in a way that motivates people? Do they adopt a developmental approach to people management? Are they mastering motivation?