Yours is a thankless job.
No seriously, you might aswell give up and go home now. Because nobody is interested in the work they’re doing. So they’re not going to be interested in doing it better.
Statistics say that a shocking eighty seven percent of the world’s workforce is disengaged. That’s extraordinary. So how on earth are you expected to do your job?
A summary of employee motivation
“Employee motivation is the level of energy, commitment, and creativity that a company’s workers bring to their jobs.” Inc.
Employee motivation comes from two places:
- Intrinsic — from within; and
- Extrinsic — from external factors.
Too often, leaders rely solely on financial and other incentives — or worse, penalties — to motivate their employees. But money by itself is not enough to create real employee motivation.
Jordan Fliegel, Founder and President of CoachUp, explains:
“The best coaches on the ball field and the best leaders in the office understand that to build a truly winning culture, you need to create intrinsic motivation.
Inspiring those you lead to do great work for the love of the work itself and not because they’ll receive a trophy at the end of the game or a mention in the next company newsletter.”
Source: Center for Creative Leadership
5 awesome tips for boosting employee motivation
1. Connect the dots
A scientifically proven way to increase employee motivation is to connect what they do with the people the organization serves. In what ways does their job directly contribute to how the organization helps its customers?
People want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Part of a team.
Achieving something together creates a sense of belonging and personal accomplishment, even if the part we played was only small.
“At work, the link between an employee’s day-to-day work and the success of the business can be less obvious but employees must understand the importance of their contribution to the success of their department and company as a whole.” Jordan Fliegal
2. Use the four pillars
Fred Kofman writing in Entrepreneur says:
“Organizations that engage their people rely on what I call the “Four P’s” of intrinsic motivation.”
The Four P’s are:
- Purpose: Significance, meaning, impact, service, self-transcendence
- Principle: Integrity, ethics, morality, goodness, truth, dignity
- People: Belonging, connection, community, recognition, respect, praise
- Autonomy: Freedom, creativity, achievement, learning, self-mastery
3. Include some light relief
Let’s face it. There are a lot of people out there who like their jobs, but there’s a million and one other things they’d rather be doing. Like walking their dog. Listening to music. Or eating out.
Why not try and incorporate some of that into the workplace? A games room is a great place to start. You could make your office pet-friendly, or have a bring your dog to work day.
“[Dogs] make people smile almost universally, and I think they allow anxiety to diffuse when they suddenly skitter by.” Sarah Starpoli, Employee Manager Etsy
If you’re not convinced about having animals in the workplace, try to create a positive environment some other way. Studies have shown that a positive mindset, or happiness, can in fact improve performance.
Why not send out a survey asking employees what they are interested in to involve them in their training? Maybe they could choose the food, or the venue, or play DJ for the day.
4. Be flexible and modern
Gone are the days of clocking in and clocking out. Corporate attire is less rigid than it used to be. And increasingly organizations are opting for flexible working conditions.
Why? Because they improve the employee experience. And that in turns boosts engagement and employee motivation.
“As long is the system is treated with respect and performance standards are being met, working remote is a great way for employees to ensure they are experience more of life’s precious moments.” Tanner Rankin, CEO Source Approach
5. Think smaller, not bigger
Seriously ambitious goals can be daunting and off-putting for employees. Think a bit smaller and frame success in terms of overcoming “bite-size” challenges.
It’s like the old saying goes: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Small steps keep people motivated to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Making employee motivation work for you
So, develop tactics to motivate employees by making training:
- Part of the bigger picture — the organization’s overall success.
- Intrinsically motivational.
- More enjoyable.
- More modern and convenient — it’s a myth that training has to be done a certain way.
- A big morale boost, with frequent wins — beware poor experiences, which can be very damaging (especially to new hires).
Consider using some or all of these tips to increase motivation and engagement with your next training program.