Staff motivation remains a challenge for employers. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs principle and Herzberg’s theory of motivation-dissatisfiers have always been a part of business lessons. What creates a motivated employee? How does a business system or an employer recognize and reward their staff for jobs well done, at the same time making them fulfilled to stay on being loyal and motivated to the company?
Understanding employee motivation should be important from a management perspective. Motivation is a complex concept. It is not just about remuneration and recognition. To motivate employees, there should be communication within the workplace. Management should look into how working under pressure, having a competitive environment, and other factors motivate employees.
Giving Employee Task Control. These are issues such as objectives, planning, responsibility, quality, competition, challenge and accountability. Initially, objectives should be set for tasks that provide a challenge, for example, reduce cost or increase quality. Motivation may be increased when a staff member is given greater control over tasks. Managers should also provide for task variety, within the capabilities of the staff.
Employee Recognition and Rewards. These include status, praise, recognition, freedom in decision making, fun at work and corporate social contact. Any action related to ego boosters should be visible to others for it to be effective.
Money as Motivator. A major motivator is the employee salary. Aside from cash, it includes cash, bonuses, fringe benefits, etc. In general, this is out of direct control of the manager. In any case, the performance management report should be used to the fullest. The staff should be advised that remuneration is directly related to performance.
Staff Career Development. This is an important motivator that includes areas as a career path, job security, training, personal development, sense of belonging and actual promotion. Among others, the staff should be advised of job movements within the organization so that they are aware of opportunities. The manager should perform some strategic staff planning. Results may not be provided to the staff but they should be aware that it exists, along with implications.
The responsibilities of employees to their employer begin once they become a part of the company, and vice-versa, for employers to ensure that employees are motivated for the mutual benefit of both. One way or another, the motivation of employees also matters whether they want to be motivated or not. Managers have the ‘buy in’ from their employees, a kind of “what is in it for them to be skilled up and experienced.” They should clearly explain what is required, and how that skill or experience will get them to the next point of their goals, whether in micro steps or giant leaps.
As the manager supports the employee to set up an individual career development program, be it short, medium or long-term plan, the skills and experiences of the staff need to be included in the equation in order to fulfill the business goal along with the employee’s career objectives. Managers’ awareness of staff motivators and knowing the proper ways of handling them will achieve a win-win situation for both employee and the business.
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