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Are You Doing the Employee Motivation Thing Right?

Posted on: June 13th, 2012 | Category: Employee Relations, Human Resources, Our Blog, Talent Management

Employee motivation: Are you doing it right?Give me an M! Give me an O! Give me a T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N! Employ-eeeeee Motivation! Go team!

Too subtle?

OK, let’s try this topic again. As the weather warms and the dog days of summer begin, it can be increasingly difficult for many employees to focus on the task at hand. (For some employees, this may be the case regardless of the weather!) We’ve found some great advice to help counteract this problem in Geil Browning ‘s brilliant article “10 Ways to Motivate Anyone”. The truth is, in our still-struggling economy, businesses must be focused on having the most productive employees possible to keep their headcounts manageable and to maximize profits.

Autonomy, mastery, and meaning. These are elements of work that the article relates from best-selling author Daniel Pink’s book, Drive. We couldn’t agree more! In hireVision’s work conducting exit interviews for employers , we’ve anecdotally heard on many occasions that employees are much more likely to leave their jobs if they’re micromanaged (no autonomy or chance to prove mastery) or if they don’t see the impact of their roles (lack of meaning). (See  our May newsletter for more on Exit Interviews.)

True workplace motivators. Other motivational theories support these ideas, including work done by famed psychologist Frederick Herzberg, who identified long-term, sustainable motivating factors that can even trump extrinsic ones such as pay, benefits and other perks. These powerful factors include:

  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • Work itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement

So, what’s the take-home message? When combined in a meaningful way, people can stay motivated on the job if they:

  • find internal value in the work they’re doing.
  • be able to do that work responsibly and effectively.
  • experience some sort of kudos for it.

That’s not to say that maintaining (but not overemphasizing) the “basics” (pay, benefits, and the like) isn’t important, but employers should not forget that businesses can get prolonged motivation and satisfaction from workers through the types of workplace factors that show them that they are appreciated and respected.

Are you inspiring your team towards top performance? There really isn’t a “one size fits all” way to motivate employees for all companies, or across every industry. “You have to invest your time and energy into learning about employees’ individual motivational preferences and your company’s unique culture,” says Tina Hamilton, president and CEO of hireVision. “Business leaders should custom-fit their approach to motivating their talent in order to really make—and keep—each employee enthusiastic.”

At hireVision, we get really jazzed thinking about ways that employee motivation and performance can impact the bottom line. We’re proud to have amassed some great resources and tools, such as training programs, assessments, and employee surveys, to identify and maximize workplace motivators and help improve productivity. Contact us to discuss ways we can help inspire your teams toward increased motivation today!

{Editor’s note: This article was written by Director of Hiring Management Bonnie Levitt  for our monthly newsletter, hireSolutions.}

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