Factor 3: Motivate your Employees
it is important for the success of an organisation to motivate its employees to use their full talents. It’s worth considering your company’s strategy and approach to motivation: getting this right and having positive motivation philosophy and practice in place leads to improved productivity, quality and service. There are many businesses out there feeling cash-strapped and this should not be seen as a barrier. I will focus on aspects of motivation other than those related to salary enhancements.
Top of the list in terms of motivating factors is “being valued”. Explain, in an appropriate fashion to the employee, how to go about their job. Spell out to them what your expectations are; it doesn’t offend to say what you are expecting of them. With these enablers in place, when they then deliver, don’t hesitate to thank them. Even better, do this in front of others; it’ll make others strive to do a good job too and receive their praise in turn. Feedback on performance regularly, and keep people challenged (but not overloaded and stressed). It also helps if individuals’ roles are set in the context of the company objectives, strategies and plans and employees can see how what they are doing fits in to the bigger picture. People are self-confident when they are feeling valued. Finding the right balance of confidence is difficult, too little nothing happens: too much leads to arrogance and and inevitably to poor decisions. Without great levels of self-belief, the pillar of confidence, your employees will not take risks or try new things. You can’t have confident organizations without confident individuals inside them
Give people the potential to develop their skills outside their core competency. Consider the skill sets engineers, marketers, accountants etc need to perform well in their field, that these are transferable skills, which could be applied to, and honed in, another function, and you’ll create a flat-lattice organisation without the chains of command or predetermined channels of communication that are features of pyramidal management. In those organisations there are no bosses, but leaders. Associates choose to follow leaders rather than having bosses assigned to them. They commit to projects, accepted and prioritised by the board of directors, of their own choice rather than having tasks delegated to them. Performance reviews are based on a peer-level rating system. Staff are mentored and supported in their development so they have a good understanding of the organisation, and how they can contribute to its success. Contribution to success is about how your employees perform, so it means having clear goals, moving positively towards them, talking about issues that might prevent them meeting their objectives and feeling heard when they do so. They do all this best when they feel appreciated and valued by their leaders and their colleagues. So it’s not just about delivering: it’s about doing that within collaborative working relationships too.
The opportunity of giving an employee a secondary responsible role – is also a way of supporting them to fulfil their career ambitions. It equips them with more widely practised skills and experience which will stand them in good stead when an opportunity becomes available. A promising employee who is effectively blocked in their promotional scope by your own presence could find this seeming lack of prospects demotivating. As a way of keeping your people motivated, and also as a method of effective succession planning, consider a sidewards move for them within the organisation, or even a secondment to a valued supplier or customer. Your employees should be convinced that they have a future within the organization. Conviction is a short-term motivation factor both in good times and bad. It will keep your employees going even when things get tough, they will maintain their energy, motivation and resources they will feel good and will be resilient, efficient and effective. To have conviction your employees would need to trust you and the organization so avoid promising things you know you won’t be able to deliver!
The goals you set your employees should be challenging and stretching, and they need the support and resources in place to achieve them. Consider what difference new software, machinery, guidance from yourself, help from a colleague, support in prioritising, agreement to home working etc could make to whether an employee believed their goals to be achievable or otherwise. Think how clearly you deal with a supplier: you specify how and when you want a product or service to be delivered, using tools such as specifications to support this. Your suppliers know what is expected of them and commit to deliver against this. Treat your employees likewise. Commitment matters because it is why your employees do the work you expect them to do. When your employees commit to a goal they are perceive that they are doing something worthwhile, they demonstrate strong intrinsic interest in their job and feel that the vision of the organization resonates with their purpose.
the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, research, involving 9,000 people from around the world, reveals some astonishing findings. Employees who report being “happy” and motivated at work:
- Stay twice as long in their jobs as their least happy colleagues
- Spend double their time at work focused on what they are paid to do
- Take ten times less sick leave
- Believe they are achieving their potential twice as much
Employees experimenting the “feel good factor” will solve problems faster, be more creative, adapt fastest to change. Customer service will be excellent, your clients will be loyal and recommend your products / services to their friends and business acquaintances so your bottom line will increase!
I will explore factor 4 on how to keep high morale in your organization:
“Establish a process to help people meet performance goal” , in my next post on October 6 2011.
In the meantime if you’d like to discuss any of the above points please feel free to contact me at jb@macint,co.uk or call me on +44 1656 766 363