Motivating staff is a very timely topic for managers and directors of organizations. While recognizing the importance of this topic, there exist some misconceptions or myths regarding personnel’s motivation. Here are the 5 most common myths regarding employee motivation:
Myth no. 1 – “I can motivate people”
Actually, this is not completely true. Employees must motivate themselves. What you can do is create a favorable environment for those in the team to be motivated and promoted.
Myth no. 2 – “Money is a great motivation”
Not really. Certain things like money, a well-styled office and other financial-related ones can help people to not lose motivation, but they do not represent a key factor in their engagement. It is therefore important to understand what truly motivates your employees.
Myth no. 3 – “Fear is an excellent motivational tactic”
Fear is indeed motivational, but only for a short period of time. After it, all the screams and shouts won’t have much of an effect.
Myth no. 4 – “I know what motivates me, so I know what motivates others”
Not at all. Different people are motivated by different things. Some can be motivated by the opportunity to be promoted within the organization, while others by the possibility to get few days off. Again, it’s good to know what motivates each member of the company.
Myth no. 5 – “Increased job satisfaction translates to a higher organizational performance”
Research shows that not even this is true. If the organization’s goals do not coincide with employees’ goals, then employees will not work at their maximum efficiency to achieve organization’s mission.
These are the 5 most common myths that most business leaders encounter with at a point or another. After understanding and debunking them on a one-by-one level, it’s important to understand how staff can truly be motivated. Here are few important tips in this regard:
1. Make a list of 3-5 factors that motivate employees
Make a list of factors that you think motivate each of your employees, and then ask them to complete a list of them individually. Compare what you think it is important for them, and what they think it is. Meet individually with each employee in order to discuss those factors. And finally, take the time to establish what changes can be made to meet all these factors.
2. Make sure the indicated factors are reflected in your employee reward system
For example, the job description may be revised to make it more attractive to employees’ responsibilities. You can think of many ways to recognize and appreciate the efforts of the employee, if this is so important for him/her.
3. Discuss individually with each employee
Employees are motivated for your concern about them more than the attention you give them at work. Try to learn more about employees, their families, children’s names, etc. At first glance, it seems handling, and will be if you do not sincerely. However if you want to know your employees better, this won’t happen by itself, so you’ll need to plan on spending some time with them.
4. Ask employees for feedback
Seek feedback from employees about the organization’s programs, how they can be improved or what other programs or services may be provided. It is not enough just to listen to employee suggestions and ideas, try and put them into practice.
5. Ensure good communication within the organization
Employees should be kept informed about any changes in organization development opportunities etc. Remember: good communication is the key to good teams!
6. Learn to delegate responsibilities
A delegate is to entrust an employee’s responsibility and authority for him to perform a task. Delegation saves you a lot of time and allows the employee to take a greater role in the work they perform, which means higher job satisfaction and motivation.
7. Reward performance every time
An important lesson to be acquired by managers is to focus on employee behavior and not on personality. Work performance must be assessed by actions taken by the employee and not by popular collectivity.
8. Reward immediately after noticing
This shows employees that their attitudes and actions are appreciated inside the company. The more time passes by, the less work done by the employee up to praise or reward from you, the more clearly you will be employees that precisely these actions / attitudes / behaviors are promoted in the organization.
9. Pay attention to employee performance evaluation
Think about how you measure employee activity: establish clear objectives, indicators on how to check whether these objectives have been achieved, surveillance etc.
10. Establish clear objectives
Objectives should be: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and doable. They should provide compensation to those who implement them.
11. Show employees how their work contributes to the success of the organization
Employees are often motivated when they see their work matters. To reach such an understatement, organization’s goals have to be clearly communicated to employees, their progress in achieving these goals monitored, and celebrated when they would have achieved them.
12. Reward accomplishments
This important step is often forgotten. New managers usually focus their efforts on “to do as much as possible,” which doesn’t translate to identifying and solving problems. Experienced managers understand that identifying and rewarding the finding of solutions are as important as the solution itself. If no success is recognized and rewarded, than employees become frustrated, skeptical and even cynical regarding the organization’s efforts.