People Management: Making Motivation Matter

Motivation is a critical factor in retaining talent and getting optimal performance from staff. However, motivation goes beyond creating job satisfaction to encompass the desire or willingness of employees to invest emotional energy into the company’s goals.

Why is Motivation Important to Employees?

A motivated employee will feel a sense of emotional attachment with the company in which they work. They are not just doing their job; they strive to do it well and improve upon it as time goes on because they know that the reward for good performance comes with more than just higher pay or a bigger office.

Although it might seem obvious, the choice to get emotionally attached to the company comes from within an employee; nothing can be forced. There are no shortcuts that a manager can take to ensure motivated employees. Emotional attachment is a by-product of proper hiring practices, effective communication, and trust between employees and employers.

These feelings of attachment, in turn, breed loyalty from employees. Being loyal and dedicated to an employer does not mean that the employee has no desire or plans to move on at some point; it means that they have a higher likelihood of remaining with their current company for an extended period of time before looking for something new. Even if the employee does choose to move on, there is a much greater chance that they will do so in a positive manner and potentially recommend their employer as an ideal place to work.

How Can Managers Help Motivate Employees?

Motivated employees are those who understand that they are valued. This means that managers must let them know how important they are to the company. That means that managers should talk with employees about their work and how it fits into the big picture, give praise when warranted, and set goals for them to accomplish at a high level. Employees want to feel like they are doing work that matters in the grand scheme of things, so they need employers to communicate to them a clear understanding of why they are doing the work they do and how it will help the company.

How Can Managers Create Incentives That Are Appealing to Employees?

Employees want rewards, and if they fall within company guidelines, then the rewards should be granted. Bonuses for good salesmanship or working on a project over-and-above what is expected are great motivators. Think about what each employee in your department does and find a way to reward them for good performance.

Ensure that the incentives being handed out are consistent with company policy and do not lure employees into thinking that they can get bonuses for working below par. Creating a clear policy on incentives that rewards good performance and penalizes lousy performance is the best way to keep employees in check.

Encouraging loyalty and commitment is about making people feel like they are an essential asset to your company, not just someone who makes you money or completes a checklist of tasks each day. If a leader can make their employees feel as if they are a vital cog in the company’s machine, then they will often go above and beyond the call of duty to help your business achieve its goals. These feelings must be genuine. If an employee senses that they’re being tricked, it could backfire horribly. The best employers don’t just make their staff “feel” valued, they genuinely value the help and do everything they can to show that.

Genuine Compassion

Make sure that managers take time to get to know people on a personal level. Employees want their bosses to be fair, but more importantly, they want them to be human. No one wants to work with a lifeless robot. Holding down the right metrics is essential for managers, but remember that you are dealing with real people with real emotions. Employees must feel like they can and should talk freely about their feelings, triumphs, fears, etc., and not have it affect their level of pay or position within the company.

Talk about the value of your employees to your company on a regular basis, and make sure that they know that you are being genuine with them. Help yourself by using employee engagement software. Employees want to feel like they matter to their employers, so if you can do that consistently, then you will more easily find yourself with motivated workers who stick around for the long term and increase the likelihood of your company’s success.