Once employees are happy with the basics, and it is very worthwhile to keep them happy - remember these are the causes of dissatisfaction – quitting the job, we can move forward from a solid base.
- The first stage of our motivation rocket is ‘achievement - personal growth’. People like to learn, to become better at what they do; to be stimulated, to improve their skills. This can be, but does not have to be, training courses. You can do a lot in-house through one-to-one discussion of their role or group discussions on best practice. Suppliers might run free training or at least welcome visits to their facilities. Anything that helps the individual to understand why they do what they do and how to do it better is worthwhile.
- Responsibility: Get them involved in developing themselves and others in their team. Make the best person team leader or ‘senior’. Provide a career path for them to advance, if you can, so that extra skills are rewarded and extra effort recognised. People respond to being given even a little responsibility for a particular aspect of their work – a little more autonomy or decision making about the ‘how’ of doing something. This works too at small group level – discussions on how to achieve a result. Delegate and devolve responsibility, it makes your life easier and motivates those you manage.
- Work itself can be a great motivator. Boredom is a killer. Time goes quicker if you are busy; it is less arduous if it is interesting and it is more rewarding if the work is seen to be worthwhile. If you want something doing well, give the task to a busy person! Keep staff occupied, challenged and attempting new tasks. create variety, where you can.
- Give due recognition for work well done. Always praise in public (conversely, always discipline in private). A word of thanks goes a long way. People really do strive to be employee of the month or to get to wear the gold star badge. If appropriate, give a voucher for a meal out or a weekend away, but do it publicly. Being seen to succeed is very motivating and really more important than the reward.
- Achievement: not everybody wants to be promoted. Each individual has their own aspirations and goals. Find out what they are and help them to achieve them. For most people, they want to feel that what they do is worthwhile and that they are contributing to success. Some of their goals may be nothing directly to do with work but their work will be improved if you can help them anyway.
Part of motivation is also being part of a successful organisation. Tell your staff when you get a new order,have a record month, get mentioned in the media. This too contributes to status and therefore motivation. Tell them when a record month is achievable and ask for a little more effort – celebrate your successes even in little ways. Make them feel part of it, a vital cog!
Herzberg’s research reinforced the conclusion given in the earlier blog, pay/salary, despite what people may say or even think, is not a prime motivator. It is often quoted way down the list as a reason for leaving a job but ahead of the money are promotion prospects, more interesting or varied work, more flexible working arrangements and a better location for the worker and his/her family.