The lack of employee motivation and employee engagement is one of the gravest problems businesses are facing. Sure, you cannot expect employees to be happy 24/7. Their workdays are filled with multiple peaks and valleys and that’s totally fine.
But, what if your employees are consistently dissatisfied and unmotivated?
Well, they will soon start looking for a new job. Gallup’s research says that 73% of unmotivated employees are seeking new professional challenges, compared to 37% of engaged ones. Given that, it’s not surprising that the lack of engagement costs companies up to $550 billion yearly.
Employee Motivation is defined as the desire and enthusiasm that makes employees committed to their job. It is what drives them to the office daily and motivates them to put their best foot forward in all their work. Employee motivation helps uplift their morale, increases their job satisfaction, and gives a better employee experience at their job.
Here are a few tips on increasing workplace motivation.
Hardworking employees expect to be properly rewarded. By incentivizing good work, you’re telling your employees that you care about them and that you appreciate their dedication. Most importantly, you will boost their loyalty.
If one of your teams did exceptionally well last month, why not throw an office party, plan a team building event, or take everyone for a drink? Such events don’t have to be expensive, but they will mean a lot to your teams.
Get to know your employees. Learn about their major hobbies and preferences when choosing the right reward. For example, if one of your best employees has a sweet tooth, why not buy them a box of chocolates they love? Know what their favorite store is and buy a voucher or a gift card there. If you’re still not sure about their preferences, you can always use prepaid cards that are accepted in multiple stores. For example, your employees could use a Xoxoday voucher to purchase from over 5000+ experiences, 1000+ gift cards, and 10,000+ perks - meaning that they have ample options to choose from.
The way you treat your employees tells them a lot about their future at your company. After finishing an important project or a professional milestone successfully, they tend to envision themselves moving up in their career. Career advancement opportunities, as well as monetary rewards like bonuses or raises, are always a good way to increase your employees’ morale.
Trusting your employees and gaining their trust is key to your organization’s success. Precisely because of that, you need to invest in greater workplace transparency.
Start with your employee recruitment and hiring tactics. When onboarding a candidate, make sure they understand what your company stands for – what your major values, goals, and missions are. They need to know what their roles and obligations are, as well as how they, as individuals, contribute to creating a cohesive work environment.
Sweeping employee performance problems under the rug can only lead to greater problems. Yes, talking to your underperforming employees about their mistakes may upset them, but that’s the only way to help them improve their productivity.
So, set reasonable employee productivity KPIs and track their performance regularly. Based on these metrics, create comprehensive, clear, and unbiased productivity reports that will help them understand what their major productivity problems are and help them overcome them. Research shows that the highest engaged employees receive feedback from employers on a weekly basis.
Knowing how your employees feel about their current position, how satisfied they are, and what their major expectations and fears are - may help you a lot and that is why collecting their feedback regularly is important.
Hold regular meetings and encourage employees to ask questions and voice their ideas publicly. Nurture an open-door culture. Let your staff know that they can talk to you whenever they come up with an innovative idea or they face a problem.
Remember that many of your employees are afraid or embarrassed to state their opinions openly. In such situations, you can always turn to anonymous surveys and polls to gather honest employee feedback.
Over time, your employees will gain more knowledge, experience, and courage. They will want to improve themselves both personally and professionally, expand their skill set, and take on more responsibility at work. And when that happens, you need to back their ideas up.
This is what Steve Jobs emphasized a while ago: “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Only 34% of your workforce is engaged. The question is - what about the remaining 66%?
Therefore, get to know your employees. Talk to them in person to learn more about their preferences, ambitions, professional goals, and plans. Ask them whether there is anything new they would like to learn or whether there is any field of the industry they would like to specialize in. Is there any training program or course they would like to attend? Based on their answers, give them the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge.
Over time, assign them with more challenging tasks. Encourage them to participate actively in the decision-making processes, unleash their creativity, and voice their ideas openly. Put them in charge of important projects, let them work with your major clients, and ask them to attend any industry-specific events on your behalf. This way, you will signal that you trust them and that your goal is to keep them happy.
Sure, as their obligations grow, make sure you reward your employees properly. Like I’ve mentioned above, this starts with a greater salary, public recognition, and a better position in your organization.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that can work for each of your employees. Each of your staff members is different – they have different needs, worries, and goals. And, your goal is to focus on building a vibrant and inclusive workplace culture that celebrates people’s differences and individualities. In other words, instead of making them adapt to your corporate values, your corporate values need to be tailored to them.
Highly engaged teams show a 21% greater profitability.
Walk-in your employees’ shoes. Learn about the things that are important to them. Help them celebrate their personal milestones. To appeal to minority workers, know what their major holidays are and help them celebrate them properly. If you’re hiring people with physical disabilities, then adapt your offices to their needs so they can perform their daily tasks effortlessly. Any young parent should be allowed to work remotely when the need arises. That said, nowadays a remote job is so very popular that you can also offer all your employees that option. They could meet every week in a rented co-working space, like this one from the Executive center.
Long-term success is a result of small wins. One of them is definitely keeping your employees engaged and helping them feel appreciated. This will help you retain top talent and create a unique corporate culture.
Just like I’ve stated above, there is no strict strategy that may work for you. Instead, you will need to get to know your employees and experiment with different intrinsic-extrinsic motivation tactics until you find the one that really resonates with your staff.
“A man doesn’t live on bread alone. He needs buttering up once in a while.”
– Robert Henry
Employee Motivation is one of the most crucial challenges companies face. A low level of employee motivation is certainly very unhealthy and hence, unprofitable for an organization. According to a report by Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. There is no single approach to motivating employees. An organization may have to resort to multiple techniques to achieve a required level of motivation. This becomes an arduous task if the organization doesn’t know where to begin. Motivation promotes productivity in employees which further improves employee retention and hence becomes important for managers of an organization. This guide is set to equip you with complete knowledge about Employee Motivation methods and their application.
The need hierarchy theory by Abraham Maslow lists five need levels:
An employee works his/her way up this hierarchy and upon fulfilling any need level, aspires for the next one. For example, if an employee has received reward and recognition for his work, he will no longer be motivated by the need for self-esteem and would instead look forward to fulfilling his self-actualization needs. So organizations should identify the position of each employee in the need hierarchy and motivate him/her to reach the next level.
Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory states that a person’s motivation depends on three factors: expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. It differentiates between the efforts put by a person, his/her performance, and the final result. Victor Vroom argues that when employees have the liberty to make choices in their work, they mostly choose something which motivates them the most.
According to this theory, Motivational Force = Expectancy x Instrumentality x Valence
To motivate an employee, there has to be a positive correlation between his effort and performance. An employee’s persona, his/her skills, and the expectations he/she has from his/her own abilities together form a motivating force for the employee.
Nudge theory credited to American academicians Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein motivates employees to make decisions that are in their broad self-interest. Organizations can gauge how each of their employees thinks and make it easier for them to choose what is best for them, their families, and society. Nudge theory can also be used to explore and understand influences on how people behave, especially looking at negative influences, with a view to getting rid of them. This theory clearly accepts that people have certain attitudes and capabilities and considers it a part of human tendencies.
On the basis of Nudge theory, employees can be helped to:
by being offered relevant choices that contribute to these outcomes.
Employee motivation is ideally one of the most crucial responsibilities of the manager. To achieve a good level of motivation among the employees, the manager needs to adopt a range of techniques. Below let’s discuss how various theories can be applied in organizations:
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more empowered to perform their best work. - SalesForce
Below are some of the latest trends of employee motivation which organizations can adopt:
96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention - Forbes
We can sum up by saying that when employees are motivated, they feel engaged or emotionally involved in the organization. Such employees in turn add value to the organization and help in increasing productivity and hence, profits. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to motivate employees. Different employees feel emotionally connected to their organizations in different ways. It is the responsibility of the organization to look out for the most suitable means to motivate their employees because, in the end, it will lead to a win-win situation for the employees as well as the organization.
Studying employee motivation from the purview of organizational behavior sciences helps Human Resource practitioners closer to achieving motivation at their workplaces. Occupational research breaks it down to help us understand the antecedents of employee motivation in isolation.
A better understanding gives way to better achievements.
Let us look at what the researchers have to tell about employee motivation
Innumerous studies have been conducted to understand what motivates employees and the following are the most important factors that decide the employee’s motivation.:
Employee involvement or Employee participation is said to have the maximum on the employee’s motivation. Employee involvement can be created in an organization by creating an environment where employees can influence the decisions and actions that affect their jobs. This is more of a management and leadership philosophy than a strategy and it enables people to continuously contribute to the success of the organization.
Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year - The Engagement Institute—a joint study by The Conference Board, Sirota-Mercer, Deloitte, ROI, The Culture Works and Consulting LLP
Methods to improve Employee Involvement:
Following are a few ways employee participation can be improved:
A guarantee of regular income is the primary motivation for employment and job security is the measure of this assurance. Job security refers to the probability of losing or keeping one’s job and a great influence on the motivation levels of an employee.
89% of workers at companies with well-being initiatives would recommend their company as a good place to work- American Psychological Association
There are several factors that affect the perceived job security of the employee and the following are the most important of them:
People at high-trust companies experience 74% less stress.
This trust can either be relational - based on the personal connection the manager and the subordinate has - or it can be calculated - based on the abilities of the manager or the subordinate.
Almost $7 trillion are lost in the name of unproductive employees - Gallup
When employees have precise instructions on tasks and know exactly what to do, it will lead to tasks getting completed. Task-oriented leaders are thus perceived to provide better job security because this increased probability of task completion leads to safer employment.
19% of employees view their bosses as mentors, people they can learn from and trust
When the supervisor genuinely tries to connect with the employees, in an attempt to attend to and accommodate these problems, employees are partially relieved of the tension of their out-of-work issues. This reduction in stress and anxiety will lead to reinstating the employee’s motivation.
6. Tactful discipline: To tactfully discipline employees is an important factor of motivation. This can be done by:
61% of employees are burned out on the job - CareerBuilder
Employers have a general duty to ensure that the working conditions are as per statutory mandates. This includes managing the maintenance, ventilation, temperature, ambiance, workstations, facilities, and interiors of the office so as to ensure a congenial working environment. This also includes proper communication and training of safety precautions and usage of work tools.
Employee motivation has wide-reaching implications and these can be broadly classified under two major organizational metrics:
45% of employees complain that outdated versions of software keep them from being productive - Unisys
Several studies have proven a strong correlation between employee motivation and performance. Not only are the actual quantitative and qualitative outcomes of their tasks significantly better, the employees themselves perceive their performances as good. This positive perception and conviction allow them to increasingly improve their performances further.
Motivated employees tend to believe that their organizations allow them to grow as an individual and enable them to effectively contribute to the organization - thus driving the effectiveness of employee initiatives.
81% of employers that offer benefits agree that their company’s benefits offerings increase employee satisfaction
They also tend to positively perceive the organization’s environment to be cooperative, fair, and trustworthy. They feel that the organization is genuinely interested in their wellbeing and resultantly score high on employee satisfaction scores and promoter scores.
The increased employee satisfaction enables the employees to empathize with organizational goals, ethics, and moral values. This results in employees exhibiting behaviors that account for organizational citizenship behavior. These are characterized as actions and behaviors that go beyond their normal job responsibilities but benefit the team and organizational functioning and efficiency.
Want to know more about how to improve employee motivation? Do let us know.
In times when ‘Valentine’s Day at work’ is a pretty celebrated event full of chocolates, heart-shaped candies, and red balloons, it doesn’t really bring out the fun at work element because—let’s face it—employees don’t really know how to go about it. HR professionals and CXOs keep looking for avenues to make this occasion presentable in the corporate ambiance, while it is right there in front of them.
Your employees’ jobs are nothing short of a real-life romantic relationship and just like every relationship, there’s a honeymoon period in every job. In this time, it’s all lovey-dovey, hugs and kisses, and zestful passion that keeps the spark well and truly arrives. Once that time passes by, your workforce loses its luster simply starts to go with the flow.
The question is, how to make your employees fall in love with the work all over again? Is it possible to bring back their old spark, performance, and results? Here’s how this Valentine’s Day, you can make your employees fall in love with work again.
Employee burnout is a significant issue for organizations across the globe in recent times. In fact, the WHO calls it an occupational phenomenon that comes with a high degree of mental health risks. Many organizations openly give out sabbaticals, paid leaves, vacations, and ‘me-time’ to those who need it and if it’s feasible.
It doesn’t always have to be a three-month sabbatical to rekindle the spark, however. The smallest of gestures and perks can help your workforce clear their heads. Giving them a coffee-plus-bagel voucher or 8 laps on a go-kart might give them time to rejuvenate over the weekend without worrying about the money. Basically, it’s all about giving them some time to think.
There are several instances at the workplace where you see the HR generalist talking it out to an employee over a cuppa— “are you happy here?” It might feel like this brings out the right answer but in reality, it doesn’t and it’s nothing more than just tough talk.
A simpler way? Don’t ask them “do you love what you do?”. Instead, ask them “do you love how you do it?”. With the emphasis being pushed on employee recognition and engagement, it’s safe to say that working professionals find their way to their dream jobs. To make your workforce fall in love with their work again, re-jig their work procedures by suggesting them a better way of doing things—even if it means shifting from MS Word to iWork. A small, fresh outlook goes a long way.
This one’s straight from the horse’s mouth—what do your demotivated employees want? Is it a dream project that they’ve been willing to get on for a while, or just a change in role to fill their think-tank? Maybe, just maybe—a corner office?
To bring back the fire, ask your employees what they want and if possible, deliver it for the right price. He who has the biscuits gets to tell the story and you’ve got the cookie jar—before offering them what they want, set goals and objectives in sync with the big picture.
Employees do talk about unmet expectations on smoke breaks and near the cooler, but when officially asked about, they never address these issues in front of the management. Transparency is the key to a healthy relationship—be it a romantic one or a corporate one.
Not just the plastic wall-hangings and standees—the simplest way to give your workforce a new outlook all around is to re-jig their seating pattern. New neighboring teams and a different lighting pattern does freshen things up. Sounds unnecessary? It is if you do it too often (and also if you don’t change their chairs with the place).
When it comes to behavioral changes in an employee, it won’t happen in a day. But CXOs and HR professionals can persuade employees to change their attitude for better and that should be enough to reincarnate the pleasures that a new job offers to the existing employees. Walk them through the process of envisioning happiness in their work. It’s crucial not to disrupt matters so much that it hinders their performance, for it’s the primary factor.
The right kind of motivation is such that, not only does it have a high impact, but at a low cost. Employees who don’t feel recognized in an organization start plotting for avenues beyond their current work and that’s why recognition is crucial for both the management as well as the employees.
Sometimes, a simple reward or gratification to employees for a job well done is as good as hugs and kisses (also referred to as XOXO in Xoxoday). With employee engagement and recognition platforms taking it online, it’s simpler to acknowledge a peer’s efforts in front of a huge audience when done on a social media modeled platform. Recognition re-ignites the spark in employees and the objective of making your workforce “fall in love with work again” gets close to its accomplishment.
This Valentine’s Day weekend, don’t just commemorate the occasion with a one-day chocolate exchange fest, rekindle the spark and make your workforce great again!