What is Employee motivation?


Employee motivation is defined as the enthusiasm, energy level, commitment, and the amount of creativity that an employee brings to the organization on a daily basis.

Motivation is derived from the Latin word, “movere” which literally means movement. All the definitions that you would read in books or in a dictionary relate to the fact that motivation is behavior and one needs to channelize this behavior in order to achieve desired goals and results.

Employee motivation is all about how engaged an employee feels in tandem with the organization’s goals and how empowered he/she feels. Motivation is of two types:

  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Extrinsic motivation

Motivated employees are an asset to an organization, they are directly proportional to an organization’s success. Motivation is intangible, difficult to measure, and extremely difficult to control, but very easy to facilitate if done right. It’s all about intention, intensity, and perseverance

Types of employee motivation

There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. An organization needs to understand for a fact that not employees are clones, they are individuals with different traits. Thus effectively, motivating your employees will need to acquire a deeper understanding of the different types and ways of motivation.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation means that an individual is motivated from within. He/she has the desire to perform well at the workplace because the results are in accordance with his/her belief system.

An individual’s deep-rooted beliefs are usually the strongest motivational factors. Such individuals show common qualities like acceptance, curiosity, honor, desire to achieve success.

Research has shown that praise increases intrinsic motivation, so does positive employee feedback. But it should all be done in moderation. If you overdo any of these, there are high chances that the individual loses motivation.

So if you are a manager, supervisor, or in a leadership role, please be intentional with your feedback or praise. Make sure it is empowering and your employees understand your expectations.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation means an individual’s motivation is stimulated by external factors- rewards and recognition. Some people may never be motivated internally and only external motivation would work with them to get the tasks done.

Research says extrinsic rewards can sometimes promote the willingness of a person to learn a new skillset. Rewards like bonuses, perks, awards, etc. can motivate people or provide tangible feedback.

But you need to be careful with extrinsic rewards too! Too much of anything can be harmful and as a manager or a supervisor, you need to be clear to what extent are you going to motivate your employees to accomplish organizational goals.

Ways to Improve Employee Motivation

Highly motivated employees actually work better. Organizations whose staff work well as a whole performed better, and changing attitudes of employees to work increases the profitability of the company. We offer you several ways to increase motivation and improve the quality of staff that has worked well in practice.

1.Recognize that the subordinates 

maybe motivated by something that is not directly connected with their work. Dynamic staff with significant growth potential, usually passionate about the sport, hobby or something else unrelated to work. These external interests should not conflict with work. You can use the employees’ desire to achieve high results in the area to which they are passionate, to stimulate their growth and motivation in the workplace.

Recognize that they are – real people, with their interests. Find out what motivates them. Help your employees in their occupation and interests of their achievements. Your positive attitude towards hobbies subordinates necessarily affect his work. With the support of management, this situation becomes doubly advantageous: the big success stories in the life of the worker, the higher the quality and productivity of his labor.

2. Teach your subordinates

To measure the degree of success of the work done. Employees who are constantly watching their activities are able to notice and document the growth of their own professionalism. They create for themselves a table of estimates and better than the head celebrate their victories and defeats.

How is this achieved? Any objective of the work can be measured in a simple rating system. If the problem does not imply a result in numerical form, create a scale assessing the productivity of employees.

3. Track your motivation level.

 In most organizations, managers have no idea about the actual level of motivation of their subordinates. Ongoing research in the companies’ satisfaction of employees’ work does not include an assessment of motivation. If you start to measure motivation, it is likely to soon learn how to manage it. Lacking data on the level of motivation, you can never improve on this figure.

Carry out periodic measurements of employee motivation. Let the younger leaders also regularly monitor changes in the level of motivation of their subordinates.

4. Ask your subordinates what they wanted. 

Different workers have different goals and desires, and hence they need to provide different opportunities for work and professional growth. You can not motivate the general programs of specific people. To increase motivation, it is necessary to find an individual approach to each slave.

One way to do it – the delegation of authority, goals, and objectives of each employee in developing a common plan or project. Another way – to give subordinates an opportunity to develop their own strategic objectives and action plans.

5. Ask employees about their performance.

The more information, the greater the motivation. It is for this reason, a good leader seeks to make the exchange of data within an organization more intense. Try to talk less about themselves and more to ask others about their work.

Ask a subordinate question aimed at forcing him to reflect on progress and to report on concrete results. Questions “What results from yesterday reached your team?” Or “How many calls have you been able to cater for the last hour?” Stimulate the improvement of some information vannosti employees. And the ownership of information contributes to intrinsic motivation.

6. Explain to the subordinate.

Have you adopted a system of rewards? Arbitrariness in promotions and rewards leads to cynicism, and not to increase motivation. If the new program is taken from the ceiling, workers began to seem that the leaders do not respect them. Show respect to staff and if necessary, explain in detail the essence of the new staff rewards programs, its goals, and objectives. Give clear answers to the questions of subordinates on how this system of incentives might affect their current activity.

7. Strengthen cooperation.

In many organizations, managers and their subordinates are too busy, and so rarely see each other. They have almost no ability to communicate. To increase the contact between the organization’s management and staff can, for example, plan meetings and events so that the leaders found themselves at the same time and in one place with subordinates. Organize your work in the office so that managers often overlap with the average employee. You can not increase the motivation of the person who rarely visited.

8. Create a bank of ideas.

What do your subordinates? They may have good ideas, but the majority of employees believe that anyone does not care about their ideas. However, most managers would like to share with their subordinates ideas and fresh thinking, just bad leaders know how to ask. Most often, they interrupt the slave or on the move rejected his proposal. Such leaders soon deprive workers of self-confidence and can not themselves achieve their goals.

Can I avoid this? The easiest way to solve this problem – to have a special notebook, folder, file, mailbox on the wall, etc. and to put into it the ideas of subordinates. Managers who have set themselves the task of filling in the day, at least, such a notebook page or file you very quickly develop the skills to listen carefully to employees who have “suddenly” turns out to be a lot of ideas.

9. Inspire knowledge.

To achieve professionalism in any job, the employee should strive to become the best in their field. Fascinated by learning a man must grow up in a post and develop more skills. So you can use the knowledge and training as a reward and a motivating factor.

How is it better to do it? There are many ways. Aim for additional training, conferences, and training of those employees who have achieved significant results in the paper, and whose achievements have been recognized by colleagues. Take advantage of additional knowledge to inspire employees to continue their studies. Suggest a slave choose his own course and give him the opportunity of free education. Knowledge – is a powerful motivating factor, it costs surprisingly cheap compared with their true price!

10.  Individual Reward

for the combined contribution of the group. In this era of teamwork, people often feel that their individual merits remain unaccounted for. Companies are more willing to recognize the achievements of the group as a whole. However, managers should encourage team members are also at the individual level. The only way he will be able to increase their personal motivation.

This can be achieved, for example, by placing before the heads or leaders of groups the task of a weekly report on the major successes of the individual participants. With these reports, you will be able to generalize the results at the end of the reporting period. Strive to ensure that immediate supervisors and colleagues noted the contribution of individual employees in a common cause.

11. Maintain a positive exchange of information.

Maintain a positive exchange of information between subordinates. Individual positive performance appraisal – an effective motivating factor. A corporate culture that supports the effort to give each other positive assessments of the results of each completed task, increases motivation and productivity.

How to achieve this in practice? Firstly, you can develop a subordinate culture of mutual recognition, developing a rewards program that will include rewarding employees based on a survey of their colleagues. When employees begin to recognize and reward each other for their success, their level of motivation will increase significantly.

12. Read the suitability of the slave of his work.

Attempts to motivate staff, who did not like his work, will not give the result. However, faced with a lack of motivation for subordinates, many managers focus on the work they do and not on the people. Changing the parameters of workers may lead to a significant increase in motivation.

First, make sure that the job properly qualified staff. Otherwise, divide the work into a number of small but important tasks, or spend more time on explanations and support. If you aspire to achieve greater motivation and productivity, you have to make some changes in the majority of assignments that you give to their subordinates.

13. Look for people with intrinsic motivation.

When companies hire employees, they are most interested in their level of competence, rather than attitude to work. However, the ratio determines the motivation, which in turn has a major impact on employee commitment to learning and quality work. Why not start to pick employees who have the high internal motivation? It is much easier to train a motivated worker than motivate qualified.

Hire people who have previously demonstrated a high level of optimism, enthusiasm, motivation to work, and the pursuit of growth. To identify such an attitude, you can use the interview or recommendations from previous jobs.

14. Reward subordinates in smaller amounts.

Reward subordinates in smaller amounts but more frequently. In most companies, a common practice to give employees valuable rewards and pay large premiums on the results of the project is completed, quarter or year. The ceremony awarding the best workers are rare and attract the attention of all employees. But they are usually less affected by motivation than not that big, but more frequent promotions.

Plan your expenses for awards and promotions to more rewarding subordinates. As a result, the relationship between work and results will become more apparent to them. Employees feel that they had more chances to succeed. If you do use major awards, then let them preceded by a series of smaller rewards. This will allow you to attract the attention of staff to the gradual improvement of the quality of work rather than to reward per se.

15. Motivation control.

The leaders are convinced that control – that is their prerogative. But in reality, control has a motivational impact. The main idea of ​​this method is to give employees the opportunity to make their own decisions on all matters that do not require centralized control.

Let the staff themselves to change any aspects of their working environment, which do not pose a safety threat and the image of the organization. For example, employees of service delivery at Amazon.com are allowed to walk during the headphones and listen to the music of their choice. Many firms are allowed to decorate the workplace. Provide employees with greater independence (within reason) you can achieve growth motivation.

16. Ask questions.

involving a detailed answer. Polls and surveys are the most common questions that can be answered either “yes” or “no.” Handle such issues in order to obtain the numerical results of the study. However, in ordinary conversation issues involving a specified number of responses seem to be rude, they manifested your desire to control the conversation. They signal that you are not interested in an answer or opinion of another person. However, managers constantly use when talking to subordinates issues that require an unambiguously positive or negative response. Often ask questions that have a detailed answer, and subordinates feel that you have to respect him. As a result, their motivation will increase significantly.

Try asking questions that begin with “Why?”, “How?”, “Could you tell me about …»,” What you had in mind when …». And do not forget to listen to the answer.

17. Make the job more clear.

Submission must be made clear that he does, why he does it, and how well it performs its work. Studies have shown that the clarity of objectives intense effect on employee motivation, sales, then their experience, or the size of the fee. This principle applies to other professions. You can achieve great results if you help employees see personal contribution to the common cause and if employees are confident that they are assessed regularly, promptly, and accurately.

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