By Mohammed Ali Dodie Eltom (MBA)
Adopting motivation techniques effectively in your organization as a manager denotes that you want to:
- Pave your employees′ way for success and remain with you.
- Flourish your organization and achieve its goals efficiently.
- Develop your work and employees in order to reach the peak in your work
- Encourage your employees to be loyal and honest to your organization
- Create competition climate among your employees to discover those who have skills and seek responsibility and do great efforts in order to be promoted to upper ranks.
The Term Motivation
The term motivation derives from the Latin movere, " to move." It is virtually impossible to determine a person′s motivation until that person behaves or literally moves. By observing what someone says or does in a given situation, one can draw reasonable inferences about his or her underlying motivation. As it is used here, the term motivation refers to the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction. By appealing to this process, managers (motivators) attempt to get individuals to willingly pursue organizational objectives. (1)
1. Motivation is the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction. (2)
2. Motivation is giving a person a b reason or purpose for acting in a certain way, such as giving employees an extra reward for working hard, or giving customers something attractive to persuade them to buy a particular item. (3)
4. Motivation is giving employees a reason to do the job and put forth their best performance. (4)
5. Motivation is the force that energizes behavior, gives direction to behavior, and underlies the tendency to persist. (5)
6. Motivation is a force that leads a person to act in a particular way in response to a need. (6)
7. Motivation is an internal state or condition that activates behavior and gives direction. (7)
8. Motivation is desire or want that energizes and directs goals-oriented behavior. (8)
9. Motivation is influence of needs and desires on the intensity and direction of behavior. (9)
10. Motivation is the set of processes that moves a person toward a goal. (10)
11. Motivation is the will to act. (11)
12. My Definition
Motivation is using financial rewards (salary increases, commissions, bonuses, family health benefits etc.) and nonfinancial rewards (recognition, gifts, privileges, praise, professional training etc.) to stimulate, encourage and entice an employee to expend more energy, efforts, and devotion to improve a job and increase productivity.
The Importance of Motivation for an Organization
Today′s increasingly competitive business world means that a highly motivated workforce is vital for any organization seeking to achieve good results in business arena. Therefore, learning how to motivate others has become an essential skill for managers (motivators). Motivating people shows you how best to put motivational theories into practice to create and sustain a positive environment in the workplace. (13). Your competence as a manager will be judged not solely on what you do yourself, though this is doubtless important, but on the combined performance of you and your team: all of them, in all their aspects. And there is no doubt that people who are well motivated perform better than those who are not. So the key intention for the manager ( motivator) here is to focus on improving employees′ performance, or more particularly to look at how motivation-good, positive motivation-can create, maintain and improve the performance of your staff. It is assumed not that performance is bad and needs improving. Rather that the philosophy of believing that " even the best performance can be improved" makes good sense in dynamic and competitive times. The days of just telling employees what to do, if they ever truly existed, are long gone. Staff are more demanding of their employers than in the past. They want to know what is going on, they want to be consulted and they want to be involved.
They want to feel that whatever they do it has some real worth, and they preferably want it to have an element of enjoyment; certainly of satisfaction. When employees are content in these kinds of ways they will perform well. So if you motivate your people well they will perform better than if you do not (and certainly better than when they feel management is actively antagonistic in some way). And the incentive for doing so is that a successful team not only gets the job done, whatever that is, but reflects well on whoever manages them also. (14)
Why Motivation is Important?
Because motivation remains a key managerial function today. A lack of motivation can cost an organization millions of dollars, whereas an effective motivational program can help create a competitive advantage in the marketplace that is hard for competitors to overcome. Also, motivation helps explain why people do the things they do. Therefore, adopting and understanding motivation can help shape the behavior of people in the workplace. The overall performance of an organization depends on its ability to motivate individual employees. In general, motivated employees will work harder to accomplish organizational objectives. (15)
Motivation in an organization increases efficiency, effectiveness and productivity, and makes it more likely that whatever results are targeted will be hit. Conversely, its lack increases the time management takes, the endless checking up, argument and hassle that comes managers′ way when people at a low ebb motivationally- and thus take their eye to some extent off the hall.
Let us be clear. If a group of people is not motivated, the results can specifically include the following.
2. Waste of time- break, conversation (unrelated to work) and private tasks (from telephoning friends to surfing the internet);
3. Gossip and, at worst, active rumour-mongering or disruption of others;
4. Bucking of the system (eg embellishing claims for expenses);
5. Challenging of policy;
1. Care, and thus lower quality of work;
2. Pace of work;
3. Willingness to take responsibility;
4. Level of creative contributions;
5. Punctuality (e g being late for morning or finding reasons to go home early);
6. Attention (e g to management instructions, leading to errors);
7. Maintenance of the organization culture;
This a list to which you can doubtless add. The small details are important, and any combination of symptoms is possible. The net outcome in terms of results is clear. So too is the way the management job increases and becomes more difficult when motivation is low. People miss what motivation does for them. The advantages of good motivation are also clear from the list above (absenteeism is reduced and so on). Again many of combinations of advantages may come from it, and much of the success is in the detail. For example, well-motivated people- those who are prepared to put themselves out that much more than others- can make a big difference to results, and a number of them in the team can in turn multiply this. Being well motivated can also make work more fun, and do so for both the motivated and the motivators. All in all motivation is a key aspect of any manager′s job. It is not, as many sometimes be thought, just a ′ good thing to do′- it is a tool, like any other, that can directly influence the achievement of results. (15)
The Best Techniques for Motivating Employees
As a motivator, manager must adopt these techniques in order to motivate employees
1. Encourage participation by setting goals and determining how to reach them.
2. Keep team members aware of how their job relates to others.
3. Provide the tools and training necessary to succeed.
4. Pay at least the going rate for jobs that are performed.
5. Provide good, safe working conditions.
6. Give clear directions that are understood and accepted.
7. Know people′s abilities and give them assignments based on their ability to handle
8. Allow team members to make decisions related to their jobs.
9. Be accessible. Listen actively and empathetically.
10. Give credit and praise for a job well done.
11. Give prompt and direct answers to questions.
12. Treat team members fairly and with respect and consideration
13. Help out with work problems.
14. Encourage employees to acquire additional knowledge and skills.
15. Show interest and concern for people as individuals.
16. Learn employees′ M.O (modus operandi, or method of operation) and deal with
17. Make each person an integral part of the team.
18. Keep people challenged and excited by their work.
19. Consider your team members′ ideas and suggestions.
20. Keep people informed about how they′re doing on the job.
21. Encourage team members to do their best and then support their efforts. (16)
Learn How to Influence your employees′ Behavior
To inspire people at work- individually or in groups- in ways that produce the best fruitful results, you need to tap into their own personal motivational forces. As a motivator you must learn that the art of motivating employees starts with learning how to influence individuals′ behavior. Once you understand this, you are more likely to achieve the results that both the organization and its members want.
Whom to Motivate?
Motivation used to be considered only in one direction: downward, the superior motivating the subordinate. That idea is no longer enough. In well managed organization, in which subordinates do far more than take orders, superiors may need motivating to act accordingly. Encourage colleagues to share your ideas and enthusiasm at work.
Use motivation to achieve both collaboration and cooperation from everyone with whom you work.
Motivating Different People in Different in Different Ways in an Organization
In an organization, senior manager, Manager, supervisor, colleague and subordinate may motivate others in different ways:
Motivate superiors to perceive that what you request suits their own purpose: for instance, improving management information with a new system
As a manager, it is important to remember that you should use your motivational techniques to influence not only subordinates, but also your colleagues and managers senior to yourself.
As a supervisor you must motivate employees in your department to increase productivity.
Motivate colleagues to feel that by helping and supporting you they are pursuing their own ends: for example, putting together a joint plan for office economies.
Motivate subordinates to think that following your wishes will bring them satisfaction for instance, taking over responsibility for an entire job.
The Least you need to Know
1. Learn and remember what is important in the lives of each individual in your team.
2. Peer pressure is a powerful tool for motivating weaker individuals.
3. If you do not know what motivates a person, just ask.
4. Assess your own motivation levels as well as those of your staff.
5. Encourage individuals to take responsibility for entire task (17)
Be Discreet, Wise, effective and Efficient Motivator
To be successful motivator you must foster these points:
1. Create a positive work environment-Motivation is a product of the interaction between individuals′ needs and their working environment. Motivation theories help provide an understanding of needs. Managers can build an appropriate environment to foster motivation.
A key to effective motivation is to create a positive work environment that enables employees to be self-motivated. Creating a climate in which each individual can meet his or her own goals ultimately benefits the organization. Therefore, before employees can be receptive to your motivational techniques, you must make sure that the environment in which they work meets a number of important human needs
An organization that fosters a positive environment supports its individuals workers.
This organization provides training and development opportunities and shows appreciation.
The corporate culture emphasizes participation, empowerment, and tolerance for risk.(18)
2. Assess your attitude-It is important that you understand you’re your attitude toward your subordinates. Your thinking will be influenced by your experience and will shape the way in which you behave toward all the people you meet.
3. Know your style- The forces that drive managers (motivators) will bly influence motivational behavior. It is important, therefore, to understand your own assumptions and priorities, paying particular attention to your personal and corporate ambitions, so you can motivate others effectively. If you put your job first, you are probably highly motivated and know your career will benefit from success. However, success is not just about meeting task objectives, but also about building an efficient, creative team that will succeed even in your absence. For this, a " share-and-collaborate" style may be more effective than an authoritarian " command-and-control" method.
4. Treat your staff well-When considering how best to treat your staff remember the old adage, " Do unto others as you would be done by." Demonstrate trust in your staff and prove yourself worthy of trust. This trust includes, on the part of the manager.
a. Never making promises that you are not able or are not intending to keep;
b. Never asking others to do anything that you would not do yourself;
c. Letting your people know that they can count on your respect and your loyalty, unless and until they prove to be undeserving..
To the best of your ability, see to it that working conditions, pay and status issues, job Security, and working atmosphere are managed promptly and in a way that is comfortable to employees. Deal with personal problems, which arise from time to time,in a sympathetic and positive manner.
5. Motivate individuals well- Trying to motivate individuals is always tricky because of variations between them and the way they interact with your own personality and motivation. Remember at all times to serve your ultimate interest-obtaining the right outcome. To motivate well, start by assessing the individuals on your team. Once you have done so, you will have a far better idea of the best ways in which to motivate them to achieve their maximum potential. Always approach people without preconceptions, and concentrate your attention on Performance-not on personality, habits, or physical appearance. Liking people is a valuable quality in a good leader; favoritism is not. It demotivates the unfavored and may make the favorite unpopular within the team. Avoid accepting a third party′s judgment of a staff member, make up your own mind. To achieve the beat results from each individual, it is important that you recognize his or her specific motives and treat people on their own merits. Differences in behavior may be influenced by age, gender, and position on the career ladder. Give tasks to the most suitable people. For example, a gregarious person will be best at a task that involves meeting people, while someone with a quiet personality may appreciate being given a task that mainly involves working alone. Do not shy away from giving tasks that may develop skills and increase motivation.
Remember these techniques when motivating individuals:
a. Make the most of new staff by first making them feel welcome.
b. Form your own opinions of your colleagues and staff.
c. Stretch people with goals that push them to perform better.
d. Be as natural as possible, but tailor your approach to each individual.
6. Understand behavior of your staff- Actual behavior is very important, but so are the reasons behind it. In most cases, the only way to know how motivated your staff members are is through the ways in which they behave.
This include what they say, their gestures, expressions, and stance.
When trying to read behavior, recognize that while body language can give clues to motivation levels, it can also be misread. More concrete signals will be provided by the ways in which individuals perform their tasks: this is likely to give you the clearest indication of their motivation. People who work cheerfully and efficiently are unlikely to be hiding anything if they greet you with a smile.
Likewise, a dour facial expression should be interpreted adversely only if combined with a grumpy " That′s-not-my-job" attitude to work.
7. Recognize motivation of your employees- Motivation can be recognized in a number of ways- look particularly for signs that your staff feel useful, optimistic, or able to take opportunities. A team in which each member looks after the others′ interests is likely to be a good source of motivation. Look for evidence that your staff are satisfied in their jobs rather than anxious or frustrated. If you find no such signs, ask them whether they are satisfied. You can also establish a good idea of an individual′s level of motivation by his or her attitude toward work. The statements below are all indicative of motivated staff members:
a. They freely volunteer effort and ideas. As well as other contributions;
b. They always react well to requests and new assignment;
c. They work to achieve, not ′ to rule" ;
d. They seem to be happy at work;
e. They always respond frankly to questions.
8. Improve communication in your organization-Not communicating at all conveys a very powerful message- the last one that a committed manager wants to deliver. You can never communicate too much, but be careful about the content and delivery of a message so that it inspires motivation Use the open system of management, which encourages the exchange of information and views between team members, allows managers and staff to work together creatively. Problems can be discussed and decisions reached quickly and easily. To achieve this, try to make your office open-plan- this will facilitate collaboration. You may also wish to leave your office door open whenever you are available to speak to staff; if this is not practical. Make appointments with staff and keep them.
Choose Effective Methods of communication
a. Electronics- The variety of methods made possible by the computer age, such as e-mail.
Factors to consider
- These are highly effective means of quickly reaching those with whom you are communicating.
- Interaction and participation are possible-and often simple-for all involved parties.
- Their ease of use means that they pose a possible risk of communications overload.
- The seemingly endless possible combinations of words, images, and color are very powerful.
b. Meetings-The basic means of direct people management.
Factors to Consider
- If used properly, meetings can build relationships and mutual trust.
- Meetings enable instant feedback.
- Meetings facilitate mutual understanding.
- Responses can often be gauged through eye contact.
- Preparation, planning, and openness are required.
c. Journalism-Takes many forms, from newsletters to full magazines.
Factors to Consider
- In-house publications enable a wide range of messages and editorial techniques.
- It is possible to facilitate some interaction through readers′ letters and contributions.
- The content of most organizations′ journals tends to be land, resulting in low readership.
d. Internal Marketing-Consumer techniques applied internally.
Factors to Consider
- This is a powerful method of " selling" change to the organization′s own staff.
- Detailed written documents and colorful posters help explain and simply complex messages.
- These techniques are able to elicit very b, immediate motivational responses.
e. Bulletin Boards- The easiest way of messaging in an organization.
Factors to Consider
- Bulletin boards can be either official information givers or for general use by employees.
- Bulletin boards provide a central location on which to make information accessible to all employees.
- There no real possibility of interactive response, and employees may feel uninvolved.
f. Telephone- A critical tool for one-to-one communication.
Factors to Consider
- The telephone is not suitable for lengthy or complicated discussions.
- The lack of physical presence may lessen the speakers′ understanding of each other.
Promote discussion in you organization if you want to be a successful motivator. Motivational management encourages and guides discussion about further involvement and contribution. Even issues that are dealt with by formal channels have probably been discussed informally. To this end, it is just as important to have informal talks with your staff as formal team meetings. Invite discussion by posing questions and seeking opinions. Treat contrary views with respect, and when you disagree, explain why fully.
Make Time Available
Communicating and thinking are important activities in motivational management. Try to avoid becoming so preoccupied with your workload that you run out of time for these activities. Keep a diary in which you analyze your workweek.
Eliminate or shorten activities where possible, in order to leave more time for communication and thought. Set aside time for at least one face-to-face discussion or coaching session each week. Remember that to motivate your staff fully it is important to be visible, approachable and unhurried at all times.
To motivate team members, engage them in decisions that might affect them, instead of merely informing them after the fact. If people express concern about a new policy, ask how you can allay their concerns. Undertake to report back on any problems that they pinpoint, and let them know how you plan to proceed, using their input. Involving staff from an early stage encourages all members to feel that they can make a difference.
Remember These Points When Communicating With your Staff
- Deliver internal communications as soon as possible.
- Encourage your staff to participate in decision-making.
- Strengthen your message by using several means of communication.
- Keep staff informed wherever possible-uncertainties are very demotivating.
- Make time to stop and chat rather than simply greeting staff.
- Encourage disagreement-it often paves the way to consensus.
- Be aware of office politics, and set never taking part yourself.
- Always ask staff for their opinions about decisions that affect them. (19)
9. Defeat Demotivators-Managers typically rely on rewards to motivate workers. However, unless they can reduce the demotivators that pervade most organizations, these rewards will not be effective. Even worse than that, rewards offered in the presence of demotivators are often met with cynicism and contempt. Demotivators always do more to undermine motivation in workplace than any other force. They cause workers to reduce, consciously or unconsciously, the amount of productive energy they use in their jobs. These powerful demotivating influences have had a profoundly negative impact on both motivation and performance. They are the number one entropic force 9 cause of energy depletion) in organizations
Demotivators exist in every organization in one form or another, but they are not necessarily egregious wrongs. They exist simply because they are allowed to exist. The prevalence of demotivators in workplace attests to the fact that their removal has not been considered a high priority.
How Demotivators Affect Employees
Many organizations have created a demotivating work context in which employees with enormous personal desire feel blocked from expressing those desires by what they perceive as arbitrary and unnecessary organizational constraints.
It is not secret that fear and anger, both expressed and repressed, are rampant in organizations today, and demotivators are responsible for much of this. Furthermore, employees are increasingly venting their negative emotions in the form of negative behavior (such as criticizing management, withholding effort, sabotaging the work of others, and even perpetrating criminal behavior against the company).
In many companies demotivators are often concealed or ignored. And because managers are, for the most part, isolated from the daily frustrations of the workplace, many of them simply don′t appreciate how serious the demotivation problem is.
Too many managers underestimate the importance of what they consider to be minor irritations in their organizations or departments, not realizing how large these irritations loom in the subjective experience of employees. To employees stuck in the middle of them, they are not minor at all.
Although demotivators often appear to an outsider to relatively trivial, they tend to affect people far out of proportion to their actual size. In fact, overreacting emotionally is human nature.
When there is a negative response to a situation or circumstance, a magnification effect often occurs. Negative emotions tend to enlarge the perception of problems, causing problems that might in themselves be relatively minor to become larger than life. Furthermore, since demotivators rarely exist in isolation, they interact to increase the intensity of each of the individual concerns. As a result, the negative feelings attributable to one demotivator combine with the negative feelings attributable to other demotivators to create a much larger pool of negative emotions-all of which are extremely damaging to employee morale.
Managers Must Fight Demotivators
Managers must never underestimate the insidiously negative impact of demotivators in their organizations. This why all organizations must declare war on demotivarors! Demotivators in the workplace must be defeated. Before managers attempt any motivation program, they must fight and defeat the most serious demotivators.
No motivational program can ever be successfully superimposed on top of demotivators. Piling rewards on top of rewards without reducing demotivators is futile. No matter how powerful the new motivational initiatives might be, existing demotivators will eventually cancel them out. The bad taste demotivators leave remains long after the good taste of rewards is gone.
Demotivators such as the ones discussed below, are the major enemy of any organization aspiring to fruitful motivation. Ignoring them will speak volumes about the organization′s ambivalent attitudes toward employees and their concerns, whereas a b effort by management to attack these demotivators will send a powerful positive message to all employees.
Major Demotivators that Must be Defeated
Demotivators come in hundreds of different varieties. Each organization has its own ways of demotivating employees. The major demotivators that follow have been identified from surveys of hundreds of organizations and from interviews with thousands of employees around the world.
There is a political side to almost every organization. This is the largely informal aspect of organizational life involving the competition for power, influence, resources, favor, and scarce promotions. Politics generally operates according to unwritten rules of success that send subtle, ambiguous, and anxiety-producing messages to employees about " politically correct" behaviors ( such as who to fear, who to appease, who to avoid, and who to blame) if they want to keep their jobs, advance in the organization, and acquire coveted resources.
Although political savvy may be perceived as important by some employees, " politicking" is viewed with derision by most employees, who perceive it to be a wasteful management game that almost always affects them negatively. Whenever decisions are not clearly performance-based, they are typically attributed to politics.
Dysfunctional organizational politics can be reduced by making every effort to eliminate secret ′ unwritten rules" for granting rewards, promotions, and resource allocations. All decisions making should be done in the open, based on well-documented, objective decision-making criteria. Moreover, frank discussions of past instances of political decision making, coupled with a commitment to avoid these practices in the future, will go a long way toward establishing a work environment in which corporate politicians are no longer rewarded for their negative and demoralizing political behaviors.
Without realizing it, management often sends a bewildering array of mixed messages that confuse, rather than guide, employees. " Maximize production!" " Quality is job one!" " Give customers your complete attention!" " Reduce customer contact time!" " Increase long-term profits!" " Reduce costs immediately!" " Work faster!" " Work faster!" " Be innovative!" " Keep machines operating at maximum output!" After a while, workers realize that when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Employees also figure out that management is confused about what it really wants. Furthermore, many organizations tell employees to do one thing and then reward another.
When expectations are unclear, employees feel anxious and sometimes behave erractically. They waste enormous amounts of energy working on the wrong tasks, accomplishing the wrong results, and becoming extremely frustrated in the process. In such an environment, few employees dare to take risks or exercise creativity, because one misstep could detonate a land mine.
Unclear expectation can be addressed through a conscious effort to reduce mixed messages, especially those pertaining to organizational goals and priorities. Management should regularly review all expectations for internal consistency. Employees should also be asked regularly about their understanding of organizational expectations and priorities.
Some parameters are necessary to establish the ′ rules of the game" in any organization. However, unless checked, rules tend to proliferate far beyond what necessary to achieve an acceptable level of organizational control. Most rules are negative and tell employees only what not to do. When employees are too focused on avoiding the negatives, they don′t make many positive contributions.
To avoid this type of situation, new rules should be adopted only if they are absolutely necessary. And all existing rules should be reviewed at least once a year.
Those that no longer serve a useful purpose should be promptly eliminated. In addition, policy manuals should be rigorously edited to remove unnecessary rules and to clarify those that remain.
Poorly Designed Work
Just as rules expand beyond what is really needed, work also has expansive tendencies. Organizations can become locked in activities and procedures that are perpetuated long after they have become obsolete.
Many work tasks have become hopelessly cluttered with unnecessary steps, excessive paperwork, unjustified approvals, frequent bottlenecks, avoidable delays, enormous waste, duplication of effort, and bureaucratic reporting requirements. Tasks that should take minutes often take hours, and tasks that should take hours require days or weeks to complete. Furthermore, many work tasks arte so unsafely designed that they inflict great harm on employees′ bodies and cost companies billions of dollars in lost time, medical costs, and workers′ compensation benefits-not to mention the devastating impact on employee morale.
The solution is the work reengineering movement attempt to address work design problems. There is no doubt that work tasks should be regularly reassessed for their efficiency and effectiveness, with special attention to eliminating unnecessary actions, delays, inspections, approvals, rework, and unsafe conditions.
Have you ever noticed how often employees leave meetings looking exhausted, battered, and bored? It has been said that ′ nothing saps the spirit like watching, powerless, as a meeting wanders into oblivion." Meetings tend to create negative expectations in most people. The next time a meeting is announced, you can just hear them groan: " Oh, no, not another meeting!" For most employees, meetings are an unwelcome interruption in their work schedules. According to Gary English, " When people say they went t a meeting and ′ nothing happened′ they are usually saying, ′ something happened, and it was bad.′ Their time was trivialized and so were they. " Furthermore, many meetings are often accompanied by hidden agendas, manipulation, and domination by a few so that everything except collaboration is encouraged.
IN fact, it has been determined that excessive and unproductive meetings drive more talented employees out of companies than any other single cause
The productivity of meetings can be greatly enhanced by providing training for meeting leaders and establishing guidelines for running meetings most effectively. Also, use meeting formats that encourage everyone to participate. Furthermore, when appropriate, more cost- effective alternatives to in-person meeting (such conference calls, computer-mediated communications, and video teleconferencing) should be considered.
Lack of Follow-Up
Lack of follow-up in an organization will impede the improvement of work and forces employees express disagree with management style and criticize their managers.
To counteract this, a " process mentality" must replace the all-too-prevalent program mentality in companies. In addition, approval for all new projects should be withheld until there is a sufficient long-term commitment to their continuation. Then once that commitment is made, the new initiative should receive adequate resources and staffing so that it has a good chance to be successful.
Change is vital for organizational success, but some organizations simply like to shake things up by changing things for the sake of change. Other organizations change excessively because of lack of clear management focus or poor planning. Today′s workplace is turbulent enough without workers having to worry about unnecessary changes-especially last- minute changes.
Change is actually highly motivating when it is results-oriented and well communicated. Few employees resist change when they perceive it as clearly instrumental to organizational goals.
When changes are essential, the rationale for change should be promptly and precisely communicated to employees. Managers should also be encouraged to take more time to plan their activities.
Although internal competition may appear to have short-term benefit, in the long run it undermines trust, reduces cooperation, and generates negative emotions. So-called " ′healthy competition" frequently turns adversarial and transforms functions into factions, creating a sense of " us" versus " them." After a while, units stop sharing information, hoard resources, view tasks as independent, criticize and blame one another, and regard workers in the next work process as" the enemy" .
The efficient solution to this problem is the use of cross-functional improvement teams and closer internal employees′ relationships that can reduce this kind of dysfunctional internal competitiveness.
People resent being lied to, particularly so when the falsehood comes from someone they have come to trust. That is why it is so demoralizing for employees to discover that their employers is not telling the truth.
Whether it takes the form of making a false claim, covering up a mistake, or failing to reveal an important fact, organizational dishonesty hurts employees deeply. In many companies, however, it is not considered " lying." It is rationalized as " public relations," " selective communication" or " putting a spin on the truth." Some overzealous managers even break the law to achieve corporate goals. In my opinion these managers must be dismissed or punished, because they are dishonest and immoral.
It is motivating for employees to trust their organization. Employees should be proud to tell the world, " I work for X corporation!" Trust is like a liquid filling up a bucket drop by drop. It takes a long time to fill the bucket. However, a single act of dishonesty can overturn the entire " trust bucket" and spill out all the trust that has been so painstakingly accumulated through the years. This why it said that " trust is the most difficult thing to develop, and the easiest thing to destroy." Even minor dishonesty can have truly disastrous organization repercussions.
Therefore, a b policy addressing dishonesty should be adopted and enforced. There can be no ambiguity or equivocation about the fact that dishonesty, in any form, will not be tolerated. And whatever you do, don′t compromise on ethics.
Hypocrisy is a behavioral form of dishonesty, usually involving lofty comments or promises followed by contradictory behaviors. For example, how many times have you heard: " Thanks for the feedback" (but your input was never acted upon); " We trust you" ( but there was no tangible display of value); " We trust you" (but you′d better ask permission before doing anything); " We believe in employee involvement" (anytime between the hours of 3:00 and 5:30 on Fridays); " We care" ( as long as it′s convenient and doesn′t cost anything); " We are 100 percent committed to quality" ( but you′d better get the product out on time, or else); Many organizations talk a good game, saying one thing but doing another.
The surest way to reduce the HQ (Hypocrisy quotient) in your organization is by closely monitoring the consistency between words and actions. Above all, avoid using exaggerated claims, exhortations, and slogans that invite hypocrisy. Senior management must model" walking the talk," Managers at all levels should also become much more sensitive to employees′ perception of their behavior.
Withholding information (or management secretiveness) is yet another form of dishonesty that frequently demotivates employees. The most common complaints in organizations are: " My supervisor doesn′t keep me informed." " I sure wish they had told me sooner" " The company never tells us what is happening." In addition, when employees ask questions, they often get evasive answers, which make them feel distrusted and stupid, and feeds the fear and ignorance that are already so prevalent in many organizations.
Many companies still maintain a highly paternalistic attitude toward employee communication (" We will tell them what they need to know when they need to know it" ). Organizations today are eager to call employees " partners" or " associates" or " colleagues," but few of the employees feel like real partners when management fails to share comprehensive business information.
Therefore, it is essential for organizations to move from withholding information to revealing as much as possible. " New breed" employees want to know more, much more, than employees of previous generations.
Unfairness ranks very high among the most demotivating aspects of organizational life. Many organizations are teeming with what employees perceive as unfair practices. These practices generate more than their share of negative emotions.
Employees always complain from unfair compensation in their organizations. Workers inevitably will compare their compensation packages ( salary, wages. Commissions, bonuses, benefits and other rewards.) with those of others, both inside and outside their organization. If they find discrepancies, this can be extremely discouraging.
Other practices that employees perceive as unfair include preferential treatment, special favors, and management perks. Few organizations recognize just how demotivating unfairness is, and so these practices persist.
Unfairness can be reduced by taking a b position against preferential treatment of any kind. Is your organization reluctant to openly share compensation information with employees? Many are, because they know there are serious inequities. In contrast, smart organizations regularly review their compensation practices, both for internal consistency and in comparison with other organizations. In these organizations, favoritism is being eliminated, and special privileges are being drastically curtailed.
At one time or another, all employees have tried to be creative, only to find the effort met with significance resistance. Because of this resistance many organizations are very discouraging place in which to work. This resistance most frequently comes in the form of discouraging supervisory comments, such as: " It won′t work." " We have never done it that way before." " The boss won′t buy it." " I agree with you, but…" " That is just not feasible." " It will cost too much." " You just don′t understand the way the system works here." " I′ll get back to you later." " Keep your mind on your job." We have all seen ideas killed by a single wisecrack or thoughtless utterance.
Resistance also comes in the form of bureaucratic and cumbersome suggestion system that " reward" employee ideas by way of a form letter thanking the employee for the idea, but explaining that it was rejected for one reason or another. At other times, ideas are simply ignored, making employees feel put down (" They don′t feel that my ideas are worthy of attention" ) and resentful (" If they don′t care, why should I?" ). The word no is the most demotivating word in the English language, especially when it comes without an adequate explanation. Therefore, Managers must do their best do avoid it when dealing with their employees.
Criticism is a type of negative communication that takes man forms, both verbal and nonverbal. It includes such interpersonal abuse as snide remarks (" zingers" ), belittling, frowns, dirty looks, and a hundred other types of " put-downs." Public criticism is particularly demotivating. Criticism is extremely powerful-even more powerful than praise. It has been said that " a single criticism can sometimes wipe out the effect of a hundred compliments."
The best way to overcome criticism in the workplace is by developing a no-criticism culture. Criticism has no place in any organization that aspires to achieve effective motivation. Companies need to educate managers and supervisors to appreciate the value of mistakes. Furthermore, much of problem of overreaction to mistakes is due to poor measurement and feedback.
Almost every employee wants to contribute to the maximum extent possible, but most employees never get to use their full capacities at work. The capacity underutilization problem in many organizations always depresses employees at work.
Some organizations are compounding the problem by filling routine production jobs with college graduates (and even those with post graduate degrees). Superficially, this might appear to be cunning cost-effective, and initially the employees might be delighted to have a job; however, from a motivational perspective, this is rarely a good idea.
The tremendous waste of human potential that results from capacity underutilization can be substantially reduced by changing the all-too-common approach to human resources planning wherein hiring often takes precedence over effective utilization.
Tolerating Poor Performance
Have you ever had to work with a poor performer? Chances are that you, like me, have experienced it many times. Many organizations create this demotivating situation by tolerating mediocre performance in the name of " humane" treatment (which most employees know is really a sign of management weakness, indecision, or office politics).
Some companies not only tolerate poor performance, they reward it by providing across-the-board compensation increases.
One employee described his company′s attitude toward performance in the following way: " In our company, if you do a really outstanding job, you get very well rewarded. And if you do a mediocre job, you also get very well rewarded!" When good performers see that poor performers are receiving the same treatment (and the same compensation), they eventually question the wisdom of their own performance commitments (" Why should I bother working so hard?" ).
Low standards, undeserved generosity, lax discipline, and failure to terminate are personnel practices greeted by employees with derision rather than gratitude. These practices are not good business, nor are they ultimately humane.
To overcome this problem, managers can help employees to become significant contributors again. The performance of many of these employees can be rejuvenated by identifying their hidden strengths and encouraging them to participate more in planning their work. Organizations should also provide plenty of counseling and assistance for problem employees, up to a point. However, If all remedial efforts fail, and if poorly performing employees continue their sub-par contributions, there is no option but to terminate them promptly.
Being Taken for Grand
What happens to people in organizations who quietly do a good job? Generally nothing! Most workers receive little or no positive feedback or recognition, and, sadly, most supervisors and managers are genuinely unaware of how little personal attention they give employees.
Employees don′t require attention all the time, but nobody wants to be taken for granted. The famous Howthorne experiments showed that, no matter how generous the big rewards, it is the little thing, like management attention, that have the greatest motivational impact.
Nothing shows more genuine regard than responding promptly and constructively to employee concerns. Addressing demotivators will also send powerful " we care" message to employees, as will greater emphasis on employee safety.
Organizations that aspire to effective motivation must create high management visibility by communicating to managers that they should spend more time in the operating areas of the company and less time in their offices. However, although management visibility has a huge symbolic importance to employees, just wandering around aimlessly is not enough. Managers must pause long enough to talk, ask the right questions, and, most importantly, listen.
Overcontrol ( in one company, at least, contemptuously referred to as " snoopervision" ) is really the opposite of the now-popular term " empowerment." It is a characteristic of organizations that place a higher priority on maintaining the status quo than an innovation and outstanding performance. In fact, in most bureaucratic organizations, a high degree of control is actually considered to be a virtue.
Overcontrol comes in many forms, from the unwillingness of supervisors to allow employees to take even the slightest initiative without prior permission to elaborate financial constraints and necessary upper management approvals.
The suitable way to overcome overcontrol in the workplace is by empowering employees, while still maintaining healthy control.
If you really want to demotivate employees, just take away an entitlement. This always happens in many organizations, especially in generous organizations with the best intentions. For example, a new compensation program might be installed to improve performance, but because it was poorly conceived, it has to be taken away or drastically changed. An employee benefit might be added in times of plenty, then taken away in times of austerity. Takeaways are not limited to pay and benefits. In another particularly demotivating case, a high-profile project was assigned to a team of employees, but after they had completed the analysis phase, the implementation was assigned to a management group. The negative fallout from the action showed that removing authority can be the greatest takeaway of all. Takeaways are totally unnecessary, and are almost always symptomatic of a management planning failure. As a manager, do not commit organizational resource to any new initiative until some contingency planning has been done. Pilot projects can help out, by enabling new programs to be tested on a small scale before they are implemented organization-wide.
Being Forced to Do Poor-Quality Work
The cost of poor quality goes far beyond the cost of replacement, scrap, and dissatisfied customers. It includes the devastatingly impact on employees.
Most workers want to feel good about the quality of their work. But some organizations often decide that they must sacrifice quality in order to meet shot-term production goals.
Too many organizations blame poor quality on " careless employees." Blame is highly demotivating and never solves the underlying problem. Instead, management should ask: " What′s wrong with our systems that cause employees to do substandard work."
Another answer to " poor quality." Pressures is to adopt a longer-term time perspective. Encourage employee involvement in production decisions. However, if your organization wants an immediate impact on quality, stop production as soon as quality problems are detected. Nothing sends a more dramatic message about management′s commitment to quality than not producing poor-quality products-regardless of the cost.
Reduce Demotivators in Your Organization
Reduction of demotivators in your company is an effective way to improve performance of your employees and increase productivity.There are two ways in which demotivators can be attacked. Frist, direct action can remove the underlying causes of a particular demotivator. Furthermore, since many demotivators are closely related, reducing one demotivator may also reduce others. Second, adding motivators will almost always cause an indirect reduction in demotivators.
Here are eight steps that relate to the direct reduction of demotivators. All will greatly facilitate demotivator reduction in your organization.
1. Ensure sponsorship. As indicted above, top management commitment is essential for reducing demotivators. A high-level sponsor should serve as the champion of the demotivator reduction process.
2. Create realistic expectations. Realistic expectations for demotivator reduction are essential. No one should expect an overnight miracle. Demotivator reduction must be presented as an ongoing process, not a ′quick fix."
3. Empower a coordinating team. Employee involvement in an essential ingredient in any organizational improvement program, and demotivation reduction is on exception. This is why forming a team to coordinate it is so important. Although most corrective actions will have to be mandated by upper management, such a team can provide a crucial link with the workforce throughout the process. Furthermore, while an external consultant can sometimes be helpful in launching the project, expanding it, and sustaining it, without internal facilitators, the project will eventually die.
Any such team should be broad-based, with a diverse, cross-functional membership representing all major areas and levels of the organization. The major qualifications for membership are interest and credibility. Team members should preferably be selected by their peers to ensure rank-and-file support. (In unionized companies, union representation is crucial.) Furthermore, rotating membership will increase opportunities for employee participation.
Involvement in such a team should not require more than a few hours per week, and adequate released time must be provided. Prior to starting, the team should be thoroughly educated about demotivators and participate in some team-building activities. The team should also select a leader from its membership.
4. Identify the highest-priority demotivators. Trying to address all demotivators at once is unrealistic. It is far better to attack demotivators one (or a few) at a time, starting with the highest-priority ones.
There are many ways to prioritize demotivators. However, the best way is to ask the employees. After all, employee perception is at the root of all demotivators, and most employees have had quite a bit of personal experience with them. Although the coordinating team, together with the sponsor, should make the ultimate decision about what demotivators to target first.
This can be done using a variety of data collection methods, such as questionnaires, interviews, or
focus groups. Whichever method or combination of methods you select, the answers to the following six questions are crucial for identifying and prioritizing demotivators.
1. What demotivators exist in the organization?
2. Where does each motivator occur? (Although most demotivators occur organization-wide, some may be localized to specific department or functions.)
3. When does each demotivator occur? (Demotivators sometimes occur more frequently at particular Time, such as during peak production periods when there is greater stress.)
4. In what forms does each demotivator manifest itself?
5. How does each demotivator affect employees?
6. What constrains might hinder demotivator reduction? (There are many factors, such as bly held beliefs, deeply entrenched behavior patterns, or unresolved union-management issues, that can sabotage any demotivator reduction effort.)
The first four questions will reveal the prevalence of demotivators, the fifth question will indicate the seriousness of each demotivator, and the sixth question will help determine the feasibility of attempting to reduce a particular demotivator. The answers to these questions can be rather easily translated into a prioritized list of demotivators. You might also find it useful to look for related demotivators. Selecting clusters odf demotivators will enable more than one demotivator to be addressed concurrently.
5. Develop a demotivator reduction strategy. Once priorities have been established, a general approach (or strategy) for demotivator reduction should be formulated.
In drafting a strategy, you should recognize, above all, that demotivators represent an organizational expectation problem. As stated earlier, demotivators tend to exist and proliferate because they have been allowed to. Demotivators can usually be significantly reduced, even without any other action, when management clearly and unambiguously demonstrates the particular demotivating conditions will no longer be accepted. It is vital that senior management take action to remove any rewards that, often unintentionally, reinforce demotivating behaviors. A well-established psychological principle suggests that when rewards for any behavior ( positive or negative) are removed, the behavior will generally extinguish.
Not only do rewards for negative behaviors need to be eliminated, but support for positive behaviors must also be established. Two crucial support factors are example and training. For instance, if you want to reduce unproductive meetings in your organization, senior managers should be the first to demonstrate productive meeting leadership behaviors. This is why meeting leadership skills training should begin at the top, and then be expanded throughout the organization.
The same basic strategy holds true for addressing all demotivators: First, create positive expectations; second, remove any rewards for negative behavior, and third provide support for positive behaviors.
6. Develop specific plans for demotivaror reduction. In order to be successful implemented, any strategy needs a detailed plan. Therefore, a step-by-step plan for reducing each targeted demotivator should be developed, including action steps, deadlines, required resources, and allocations of responsibility.
Although organization-wide demotivator reduction should be carefully planned, you can supplement it with more informal efforts. Creating a " demotivator busting" attitude throughout the organization will lead to greater awareness of the problem. Furthermore, managers and supervisors should be empowered to find and reduce demotivators in their own departments and work areas.
7. Emphasize communication during implementation. No strategy or plan is any better than how well it is implemented. And communication is a crucial aspect of implementation. This is one area where the coordinating team can be particularly valuable. Employees throughout the organization should be regularly updated about the progress of the project, and ongoing input should be solicited. Inclusion, openness, and involvement are the hallmarks of any successful demotivator reduction process.
8. Recognize improvements. If you want to keep any improvement process going, recognition must be given for progress. This is another area in which the coordinating team can be particularly helpful. Team members should elicit feedback from their own departments and work areas about employees′ perception of how well the demotivator reduction process is progressing. Positive feedback can then be communicated to those responsible for making the changes.
Furthermore, we all know that management generally receives much more negative feedback than positive feedback from employees. This is an excellent opportunity to improve the ratio. (20)
10. Satisfy Basic Needs at Work-people require certain needs at work in order to do their jobs effectively. Therefore, recognizing and satisfying these needs will help you to get the best from them.
Here basic needs that you must satisfy at work
- Salary and Benefits. These include basic income, fringe benefits, bonuses, vacation time, company car, and similar items.
- Working Conditions. These conditions include working hours, workplace layout, facilities, and equipment provided for the job.
- Company policy. The company policy is the rules and regulations-formal and informal-that govern employers and employees.
- Status. A person′s status is determined by rank, authority, and relationship to others, reflecting a level of acceptance.
- Job Security. This is the degree of confidence that the employee has regarding continued employment in an organization.
- Supervision and Autonomy. This factor concerns the extent of control that an individual has over the content and execution of a job.
- Office Life. This is the level and type of interpersonal relations within the individual′s working environment.
- Personal Life. An individual′s personal life is the time spent on family, friends, and interests-restricted by time spent at work.
11. Satisfy Desires. Desire is what propels us forward. It is a desire that releases the tremendous motivational energy that all human beings possess. Desire has been responsible for instigating all the man-made miracles of the world, all scientific discoveries, and all commercial breakthroughs.
Desire has motivated every visionary business leader to discover new products, develop breakthrough strategies, and pioneer new industries. When allowed to express itself, desire can be an incredibly creative force.
Desire differs from need. A need is something that is essential for the survival of living creature. Most traditional theories of motivation have focused on the concept of need. According to these theories, human behavior is seen as governed by " need reduction." When there is a need, behavior occurs to meet that need. Then homeostasis (satisfaction) takes over until the next need arises. According to this paradigm, people are rather passive and reactive.
In contrast, desires are things we actively want; they might make us happier and more effective, but we will not die without them. When we desire something bly enough, we become very persistent in its pursuit. In fact, with b enough desire, nothing is impossible. A full life requires the expression of desires. Without desire, we would be stuck in one place. We would be completely satisfied. But we are not programmed to be satisfied. From our first breath of life, we want. As soon as we get what we want, we want more. Human beings are motivated by what they seek, not by what they have. " I want" is motivating; " I have" is not!
It is human nature to be dissatisfied with the status quo. Dissatisfaction gives rise to desire. Satisfaction is actually the absence of motivation.
The Eight Human Desires
There are eight major human desires, each of which has the potential for releasing enormous amounts of motivational energy. These are the desires for activity, ownership, power, affiliation, competence, achievement, recognition, and meaning. When these desires are allowed to find expression, great motivation is generated. When these desires are blocked, anger and frustration are the inevitable result.
Here are the eight human desires:
Desire fie Activity
The desire for activity reflects the innate human orientation toward stimulation- to be active, to be engaged, and to enjoy life. In our personal lives, we typically find extremely creative ways to avoid boredom. However, at work, there tend to be fewer options. Employees want to be active and involved. They want more variety in their work. They know that work should be more fun than it is now.
Desire for Ownership
Ownership has become a measure of self-worth. Owning things makes people feel better about themselves. In fact, in contemporary society, the more a person owns, the better he or she is considered to be. How much one possesses has become the primary yardstick of human value.
When someone owns something, he or she takes much more pride in it. People will spend countless hours mowing their lawns, washing their cars and boats, and cleaning their houses. They even spend large sum of money for the equipment and related paraphernalia.
Ownership is certainly not limited to material possessions and tangible items. Psychological ownership may be even more important than material ownership. Consider how protective people are about their ideas, and how sensitive they are when their ideas are criticized or ignored. Human history is littered with people who fought and died to protect ideas they felt bly about.
In the workplace, we have scarcely begun to scratch the surface in discovering opportunities for satisfying employees′ potent desire for ownership. How many employees take real pride in their workplace, their equipment, the products they produce, and the company the work for? If they don′t, it′s only because their desire for ownership has been frustrated. Employees want to " own" their work, and they are willing to work very long hours, even for less pay, to experience the spirit of ownership. " New breed′ employees want significant input into their work. They want to feel responsible for their jobs and major projects. The desire for ownership can release enormous energy in each and every employee if we simply create an environment conductive to it. It should not be at all surprising that in some organizations, increasing the sense of employee ownership in work has dramatically improved productivity and quality.
The desire for power is also deeply rooted in human nature. Unfortunately, a great many people today feel that they are powerless over the external forces shaping their lives. There are a great many external controls, both inside and outside of work, that rob employees of a sense of personal power. People want to make choices. They desperately want control over their own destinies. Traditionally, organizations have been highly controlling places. The conventional model of power in organizations consists of a b manager giving orders to a weak employee, who follows obediently. According to this model, employees are expected to trade their freedom for a paycheck. Today, an increasing number of employees are demanding their freedom back. Employees always say expression like these in their organizations: " I want to make decisions about my work" " Why do I have to ask permission about everything if I have an ability to make decisions?"
People naturally resist external control. Even children rebel when parents place too many restrictions on them. Why should adults be expected to passively accept major restrictions on their freedom? Most employees have very few choices. They are told when to come to work, where to work, what to wear, what to do, how to do it, when to take breaks, when to leave, etc.
Enlightened organizations everywhere are beginning to address the desire for power. Empowerment has become a major organizational theme. Companies are discovering that by creating an empowering environment, they are able to release enormous quantities of previously untapped motivational energy.
We human beings are social creatures. We have a deep desire to interact and socialize with one another. Although some of us may desire more social contact than others, there is little doubt that the desire for affiliation exists in everyone. This is the primary reason why solitary confinement is considered to be such a severe punishment.
Work provides extremely important affiliative opportunities. It provides rich and varied social contact and relationships. In fact, for many people, work is the major source of social affiliation. Social support and helping relationships 9especially from peers) are among the many benefits that work provides. Work groups-from departments to unions to informal groups-provides employees with a b sense of social identity. This sense of identity is one of the major reasons for the explosive growth of the team concept, which is truly revolutionizing the workplace.
Desire for Competence
Competence may be the most fundamental human desire because human survival depends on it. Very little else is possible without sufficient competence. Competence is also at the very core of self-esteem. In fact, self-esteem is really nothing more than self-perceived competence.
There is no better feeling in life than the feeling of being competent.
Competence requires learning, and human beings are natural learners. The work environment ought to be the most fertile territory for learning. There are so many opportunities to learn and so many skills to master at work.
Competence is a deep and abiding desire. Virtually all employees welcome opportunities to feel more competent.
Desire for Achievement
Another powerful human desire is the desire for achievement. Because of its centrality to work, achievement has probably been the subject of more motivational research than any other desire.
It has been said that in all people there lies the " seed of achievement," which, if used, can carry them to undreamed-of heights. Achievement has also been described as one of the fundamental routes to happiness.
Achievement has a lot to do with the feeling of succeeding. Although success means different things to different people, everybody thrives on some form of success. For some, it means creating a masterpiece; for others, it means completing a project on time; and for still others, it means just taking a step in the right direction.
The ultimate satisfaction from achievement is pride, or a feeling of accomplishment. When people feel good about what they have accomplished, no external reward is needed. In fact, external rewards sometimes detract from the intrinsic pleasure of pure achievement.
Desire for Recognition
No desire is more clearly universal than the desire for recognition. Everyone wants to feel appreciated by others, to be positively recognized for his or her merits and contributions. The desire for recognition is deeply ingrained in human nature.
All of us have a virtually insatiable hunger for genuine positive recognition, which is amply demonstrated in our appetite for honors, medals, trophies, titles, and the like. These tokens of esteem hold great significance for the human ego.
We all know how difficult it is to keep going without encouragement and appreciation. Everybody needs an occasional pat on the back and a word of encouragement from time to time. Without it, motivation diminishes rapidly. Desire for recognition is so b that people who do not receive enough positive recognition will often seek negative recognition by provoking punishment.
Some people who receive inadequate recognition become seriously depressed. Recognition can be given in a great many diverse ways, from money to gifts to a simple " thank you." However it is expressed, recognition is one of the most powerful forces that organizations can use to unleash human energy and productivity.
Desire for Meaning
All human beings want to feel that their life matters, that they are living for a reason other than just to make a living and makes stockholders richer. The desire for meaning is a powerful motivational force. People want to feel significant, and want to feel that their efforts, however humble, are making a difference. The human spirit seeks more than a mundane life. It seeks meaning beyond survival and wealth. All people want to find something they can truly believe in and commit to-a mission that transcends the ordinary and transform their existence into something extraordinary. The more people care about something, the more they will strive to make it happen. Many people are willing to give their lives for a cause that they deeply believe in. Although work has unlimited potential for meaning, people are likely to find more meaning in religion, in political causes, or in charity than in the work they do. Companies must do great effort to address their employees′ desire for meaning. One bright light on the horizon is the quality movement. Quality is something many employees are finding meaningful and worthy of their commitment. (22)
Foster These Motivators to Encourage and Enhance your Employees
Motivators have awesome power to positively transform the context of work. They motivate because they increase desire. Motivators make people want to work, want to get involved, want to learn, want to achieve, want to gain recognition , and so on.
The power of each motivator comes from its capacity to stimulate one or more of the eight human desires that mentioned previously. These are the major motivators:
Motivation is an active (not a passive) state. Human beings are most highly motivated when they are actively involved. People want to participate in life, not just be idle observers. This is why participation in sports and games is so motivating. Sports and games satisfy the human desire for activity in ways that most work does not. To use action as a motivator means to ensure that employees have plenty of productive work (not busy work) to keep them both physically and mentally occupied. With some creativity, more active formats for work can easily be found, even within existing constraints. For example, workers can use downtime more actively and productively by learning more about the production process, improving it, preventing problems, and interacting with internal customers and suppliers.
The most active people are, the more absorbed they will be in their work, and the more likely they will be to think positively and experience positive emotion.
Fun at work? To many traditionalists, this may seem like a contradiction in terms. Fun is something conspicuously lacking from most workplaces. But fun energizes people. People need rejuvenation breaks in order to recharge their batteries. There is nothing more motivating than a job that is fun to do.
No matter how tedious or routine a task might be, any work context can be made more fun by interspersing activities such as celebrations, humor, surprises, treats, and parties. Not only are fun activities motivating, but they also provide welcome relief from the inevitable 9and emotionally draining pressures endemic in today′s stressful workplace.
The purpose of using fun as a motivator is not to amuse employees, but to make them more energetic and, consequently, more productive. These activities break the routine, stimulate creativity, release energy, and give employees something to look forward to.
Human beings thrive on variety. Employees need sufficient variation to remain energetic and alert. Sameness may be comfortable, but it is also deenergizing. (Incidentally, boredom resulting from the sameness of routine work is one of the major causes of industrial accidents.)
Variety at work can be offered in an infinite number of forms, including rearranging the physical environment, temporary changes in work assignments, job rotation, increased customer contact (especially for employees who do not ordinarily come in contact with customers), visits to other areas of the company, cross-training, job enrichment/enlargement, involvement in team projects, and, as we saw in the previous section, fun activities. Variety can be applied to any job or work area.
Not only does variety motivate, but through it, employees develop new skills and valuable experience, making them even more productive contributors to the organization.
One terrific way of adding variety to work is to ask employees for input on how to improve their work. Employees are full of ideas. Each worker is a priceless resource and a potential wellspring of creative input that can help improve any organization.
Employees want to be involved. They want to be asked for their ideas. They want to contribute their suggestions. They want to help and solve problems and make decisions. When management is sincerely interested in employees′ input, it taps enormous creative energy. When employees are asked for their input, they will work much longer and harder to achieve organizational goals, carry out plans, implement ideas, and follow through on decisions. They will work much more energetically when they know it is their idea (at least partially), rather than management′s alone.
It is very frustrating for most employees that they work each day to enrich other people-business owners, and investors. Although not everybody can own a business, every worker can share in their ownership of organization.
Increasingly, organizations are " stake sharing" with their employees. Although most stake-sharing efforts tend to be financially oriented, stake sharing can take many other forms, such as decision-making and sharing leadership. The most common formal programs include employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), stock purchase plans, profit sharing, and gainsharing.
These initiatives are contributing significantly to employees′ new sense of being part owners of their companies. Employees who used to be completely uninterested in, or even contemptuous of, management decisions are beginning to pay close attention to them. Many who previously had little concern for the financial affairs of their employer are becoming intensely interested in them. In fact, in one company at least, hourly workers meet in the break room to chart their company′s stock price.
Employees with a stake in the ownership of their organization tend to have much ber motivation to perform in virtually everything they do
Probably the most distinctive characteristic of human beings is their capability and inclination to make choices. This is one of the major reasons why leisure activities are so motivating-they are so full of choices! Just having a choice can make an individual feel better about doing even most routine task.
Choices releases incredible motivational energy by enhancing employees′ sense of autonomy, self-determination, and control over their lives. People are always likely to care more about doing the things they choose than about doing those that are imposed upon them. High motivation starts happening when employees start working on issues they really care about
Many traditional managers believe that workers shirk responsibility. However, what employees actually avoid is getting more work dumped on them under the guise of increased responsibility. If responsibility is genuine, employees will eagerly embrace it.
Today, many organizations are beginning to realize that " new breed" employees want more responsibility, not less. Employees should have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of planning and carrying out a piece of work on their own, from start to finish, without constantly having to ask permission. When workers are given greater responsibility for the work they perform, there is much higher motivation to achieve. It is their work, not just management′s!
A major myth accepted by many managers is that only a small proportion of the workforce is capable of leadership. However, leadership isn′t just a privilege reserved for a chosen few; it should be shared widely.
Most supervisors and managers take leadership for granted. They don′t realize how excited employees become when they are entrusted with authority. Practically everyone enjoys being a leader sometimes. Since most people have assumed leadership responsibilities at one time or another in their personal lives (whether as a parent, a teacher, a coach, or a civic leader), why shouldn′t they be afforded this opportunity at work?
Organizations are full of diverse activities just crying out for leadership. With the increasing emphasis on teamwork and employee involvement, there should be abundant leadership opportunities for everyone. Such an opportunity might involve chairing an improvement team, directing a pilot project, or simply organizing a social event. Leadership, However modest, increases employees′ motivation and enhances their commitment to both the task and the organization. Highly motivating organizations create an environment in which employees are eager to take the lead, not just follow the leader.
Despite all the difficulties of commuting and the frustrations inherent in the traditional workplace, when given a choice of working there or at home, an overwhelming majority, still choose the plant or the office. Human beings thrive on social contact, and most work settings are full of rich and varied opportunities for social interaction.
Social interaction doesn′t just mean chatting in the break room or around the water cooler or in café. Productive social interaction includes such diverse activities as small-group discussions, cooperative work assignment, expertise sharing, collaborative problem solving, internal customer-supplier relationships, and interfacing with external customers.
Most human beings want to help others, and some organizations harness this desire by deliberately establishing networks of helping relationships and support groups in which there is a lot of sharing of information, resources, and experience. In such environment, workers spend most of their spare time not in unproductive socializing, but talking with other workers about how improvement can be made.
The most powerful form of social interaction is teamwork. Teamwork is truly revolutionizing the organizations′ workplace. Teamwork is a successful motivational factor in workplace. However, simply putting people together in groups does not ensure teamwork. For example, teams should never be confused with committees. In contrast, to ongoing committees, a team is task-specific. Teamwork also breaks down traditional functional boundaries by uniting people in a common mission.
The hallmark of true teamwork is synergy, which means that the team′s performance is more than the sum of the individual members′ separate efforts
In one company, a team of secretaries worked long without extra pay, taking work home for the first time in their careers. In another organization, the team spirit on some work teams so powerful that members had difficulty returning to their regular nonteam assignments and remaining motivated.
"One of the key determinants of an employee′s motivation and commitment to a company is his feeling about how he is being utilized." Most workers have a great many strengths that they rarely get to use.
Strengths can be job skills and knowledge (such as machine operation), general abilities (such as communicating), or personality characteristics (such as persistence). There are, in fact, a great many hidden talents in every employee.
When employees are hired, they bring with them a vast array of strengths developed through previous education and work experiences, many of them apparently unrelated to their principal job duties The intellectual abilities of many workers are particularly underutilized.
Employees find it extremely motivating to be recognized as excellent performers. When employees have worked in a particular job for years, they are bound to get very good at it. Organizations should make more effective use of these accumulated skills and knowledge. After all, they have paid dearly over the years for employees to develop this expertise.
Some organizations are realizing the value of letting employees share their strengths by using them as trainers, coaches, peer tutors, and minors. They realize how much more effective and highly motivated employees will be when they are allowed to use and share the skills they already possess.
In addition to wanting to use their existing strengths, employees have a b inner desire to enhance their competence. All human beings are born with an insatiable curiosity and desire to learn. I think workplace is a suitable and fertile place for learning. Most organizations are richly endowed with learning opportunities, and there are enormous number of new skills to master and an enormous a mount of new knowledge to acquire. Organizations routinely sponsor extensive education and training programs, but the results of this training have tended to be disappointing. Learning is motivating only if, as a result, employees feel more competent-but unfortunately, too many employees do not. Sadly, many employees find company-sponsored training programs uninteresting, irrelevant, and even threatening to their self-esteem.
Formal training is only one of many ways in which employees can acquire and develop skills. Other methods include mentoring, delegation, job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment, working in project teams, and participating in problem solving.
As a motivator foster tolerance in your organization. Avoid blaming employees who fail to perform their jobs accurately at first time. Let them learn from their failure. In fact, most innovators have found that their greatest success have usually come on heels of failure.
If employees know that they can make errors without beings unduly criticized or punished, they will be much more likely to work energetically for success- to strive for improvement, to set challenging goals, to attain goals, and to use more of their creative abilities along the way.
Many employees wince at the mere through of being measured at work. It isn′t measurement itself that employees dislike, but the manner in which it is frequently done. These same employees would be horrified at the prospect of bowling or playing golf, tennis, baseball, or football without keeping score!
Keeping score is probably the single most motivating aspect of sports and games, and it is no less important at work. Without scorekeeping, there is no way of winning. People actually love being measured, as long as the measurement is fair and nonthreatening.
It is well known fact that " the things that are measured get done." When statistics are maintained on quality (as in statistical process control), employees take quality more seriously.
When safety is being measured, workers exhibit more safe behaviors. When costs are being tracked, employees watch their expenses more closely. The mere act of keeping score provides b impetus for improved performance.
Human beings are goal-oriented creatures, and consequently, goals are very powerful motivators. Goals can create great excitement, focus attention, concentrate energy, and increase persistence. Despite the value of goals, unbelievably, only a few of employees have any formal goals for their lives. The one common characteristic of all successful people is that they set goals for themselves. These highly self-motivated people are able to concentrate their energies on the specific outcomes they truly desire to attain.
Increasingly, organizations are recognizing the motivational importance of individual and team (as well as organization-wide) goals. They know that striving to achieve a valued goal is one of the most energizing experiences a person can have in life. Nothing motivates like people care about.
When goals are too large, they are overwhelming. In fact, it is continuous improvement, rather than great breakthroughs, that provide people with their most enduring source of motivation. Most people feel quite good when they attain a small victory in some aspect of their life. And once people experience improvement, they want more.
Improvement does not mean achieving a big overnight success. It involves a series of little successes en route to ever-larger successes. In fact, gradual improvement is the most reliable way to achieve any end result.
After a while, any activity can become boring, unless it is challenging enough. Most healthy people seek some challenge in their lives. Some climb mountains, others skydive, ski, or engage in competitive sports. The peak experiences in life usually occur when a person′s mind or body is being stretched to its limits. Challenges have an extraordinary capacity to bring out the best in people.
The same is true at work. Almost every employee will respond energetically to appropriate challenges. Although employees may initially put up resistance to new challenges, most of them actually thrive on situations that force them beyond their " comfort zones."
Competition is a major source of challenge-especially when it is against other companies or against a standard of excellence. Employees want challenge, but they don′t want to be punished if they fail to attain an ambitious goal. When employees don′t feel threatened, they always prefer challenging tasks to easy ones.
Measurement and encouragement should go hand in hand. Measurement tells people where they stand, and encouragement tells them that no matter where they stand, they still can win. Even when people appear to be losing, encouragement tells them, " You can do it, you can win." Encouragement releases enormous motivational energy, and sustains it even when times get tough.
Encouragement is important at work. As employees strive to attain goals and to improve their performance, they want to feel that significant others have confidence in them. No matter how good your employees are, it helps them enormously to be encouraged by a manager or supervisor who wants them to score a " performance touchdown."
Appreciation is one of the most powerful, least expensive, and most " portable" motivators available. A sincere " thank you" can be delivered at any place and at any time, costs absolutely nothing, and can be more motivationally powerful than a substantial monetary bonus.
Appreciation is the psychological compensation employees desire most. How many employees do excellent work and never get any special recognition? We often fail to tell employees how much we appreciate them until they retire. In his farewell speech, a retiring school custodian said, " It′s at times like the last day of work that you realize how much your contribution was appreciated….and how much you will be missed." Why do we often wait until the last minute to show employees how much we appreciate them?
The most highly motivating organizations appreciate the importance of appreciation. They make workers feel special. They make employees feel happy. These organizations make sure that employees at all levels continually know much they are appreciated.
If an organization wants its employees to give it their best efforts, the employees must believe in the importance of what they doing. Today′s employees want more than routine work. They want to feel that they are accomplishing something worthwhile. They want to be involved in " missions that matter."
Employees in all jobs and at all levels should understand precisely how their contributions fit into the big picture of the organization, and how they add value to the product or service ultimately delivered to the customer. (23)
Evaluate Each Job
As well as looking at ways to motivate your team as a whole, you need as a motivator to look at ways to develop individuals and their jobs. Conduct a through evaluation of all aspects of each job as well as of the organization′s overall system
The key point to remember when evaluating jobs is that the job is more important than the grade, which is merely an administrative convenience. The lure of rising one or two grades may well be motivational, but rules for how many grades staff can advance at any one time, or stating that " a lower grade cannot be the manager of a higher grade." are nonsensical and unnecessary. Get the right person in the right job, and make it clear that the grade goes with the job, not vice versa. If you ask someone about his or her job and the reply is " I′m an 8," take corrective measures.
Define performance When Evaluating an Existing Job
Part of the process of evaluating an existing job-or defining the ideal for a new job-involves looking as past performance levels and deciding what new qualities or tasks are needed to improve them.
Arriving at a single measure of performance is difficult. Financial results are the best all-inclusive measure, but do not rely solely on them, since they will convey the wrong message-that only profit counts. They also neglect to show that good short-term results can be gained through bad management, such as cutting back on investment or understaffing. To measure quality, rather than just quantity, include staff morale, customer satisfaction, interteam collaboration, and specific project results as measures of performance. (24)
Empower your staff
Most organizations run on rulings that are passed down to the staff from top management; this is demotivating. In contrast, delegating powers traditionally kept at the top not only motivates, but also raises everyone′s levels of performance
In most cases, people are experts in their jobs, having improved their skills over time, and they are perfectly capable of both suggesting improvements and implementing those changes. Use these people when seeking improvement. If their knowledge is ignored, staff become demotivated by the neglect and resistant to change imposed from outside. Consult with those affected before making changes, and encourage them to take full responsibility by redesigning the job.
Delegate Authority to your Staff
Being managed is not in itself a motivating experience. If you are a wise, stimulating manager, those who work for you will be motivated.
However, the more authority is retained at the top, the lower motivation will be. Staff become used to depending on their manager′s decisions and authorization, blunting their own initiative and making them dependent. Exercise authority, but not unnecessary force, to achieve desired results.
Sharing authority helps develop people′s own talents. Delegate downward any tasks that you do not have to do yourself. Look also for whole areas of authority that can be delegated, but always retain overall control. (25)
Empower those who don′t want to be empowered
Your first job as team leader of a newly empowered team involves converting people who do not to be empowered into enthusiastic supporters of the newly method of working. Here are some suggestions that may help you do this:
- Many people don′t want to stretch their brains. Employees are often happy doing routine work in a routine way. Find the true reason that they feel this way. Perhaps they don′t believe that they have the ability to do mote than routine work. Sometimes you have to work with team members to build up their self-confidence.
- Team members may not fully understand their new roles. Take the time in the beginning to explain the true meaning of empowerment. Time spent in good orientation pays off in better team efforts.
- Train your team members in methods for generating ideas, such as brainstorming. Show videos about team participation. Have members of another team that has been successful in empowered activities describe how empowerment has worked for their team.
- Get under way slowly. Choose assignments or projects that easily lend themselves to participative effort in the beginning. Gradually progress to the point at which team members tackle all projects collaboratively.
Make Empowerment Work for you
Empowerment isn′t a panacea for curing all management problems. Its primary benefit is that it enhances collaborative efforts to get a job accomplished by giving every member of team the power to get things done.
Many major companies such as general Electric, Kodak, and Federal Express have reported that instituting empowered teams has made them able to not only keep up but also move ahead in their tough, competitive industries. Thousands of smaller companies relate similar experiences.
To help your empowerment program succeed, follow these guidelines:
- The program must have the full support of top management. Empowerment works most effectively when a company′s CEO empowers its senior management group who in turn passes that empowerment down through the organization.
- Team members and team leaders should be trained in the techniques of empowerment. Because many companies assume that the transition to empowerment is more difficult for team members than for team leaders, they concentrate their training on team members. Because the program is collaborative, supervisors (now team leaders) and employees (now team members) should be trained together by consultants or others who are knowledgeable in this type of work.
- All team members should be given full information about team projects; support to acquire necessary skills and techniques; freedom to interact with the team leader and any team member to accomplish the team′s goals; and encouragement to use their initiative in planning and implementing projects.
- Counseling should be available to assist people who have difficulty adjusting to the new techniques.
- Training should be ongoing. Many organizations have excellent training programs is for orienting and starting up an empowered-team program; after program is under way, however, assume that it will work smoothly. As teams mature, many initial problems are overcome, and new problems occur. Hold reinforcement training meetings periodically to discuss and resolve complexities that develop.
- In self-directed teams, every team member may be required to coach and facilitate certain projects or parts of projects. These members should have the opportunity to take the same leadership-training programs that are given to permanent team leaders.
- In theory, everyone can be trained to be a leader, but in practice it doesn′t always work. Some people aren′t emotionally suited for leadership roles; they just aren′t motivated to assume these types of duties. These people will not or cannot change their patterns of behavior from dogmatism to participation. Allowing them remain in leadership positions is destructive-they must be removed. The team leader is the fulcrum on which a team revolves. Highly motivated, well-trained, committed team leaders are essential to the success of empowered teams.
The Least You Need to Know
- Empowerment is the sharing of power to make decisions in planning and implementing a job with the people who will perform that job.
- Empowerment fosters synergism. By interacting and collaborating, team members produce more and better work than they can as individuals.
- Empowerment fosters ownership. People involved in determining how a project will be accomplished are committed to its success.
- When you empower your team, you don′t have to lose control. Empowered teams work with you to ensure that performance standards are met.
- Some team members may not want to be empowered. Win them over with a well-planned orientation, and, if necessary, augment it with individual counseling.
- Team leaders and members alike should be thoroughly trained in the way empowerment will change the way they work. This training should be conducted be experts in empowerment and should be reinforced with periodic refresher meetings.(26)
Encouraging People to Aim for Advancement
Suppose that your organization has excellent opportunities for advancement. You believe that some of your team members have the potential to move up to those jobs, but they′re perfectly content to do what they have to do and have no desire to do more. You don′t want all that talent to be wasted. Here are some guidelines for motivating these folks to change their attitude:
- Find out what really turns them on. They may be satisfying their needs outside of work.
- Show how working toward advancement might help them meet their outside goals. For example, Ali is a football player. To pursue this sport, he needs money, and higher-level jobs pay higher salaries. Working toward a higher-level job will give him the income to provide the type of education he wants from them.
- Some people are status-conscious. Point out how advancement increases prestige not only in the company but also in the community.
- Creative people can be encourage to work for advancement by showing how higher-level positions give them the chance to use their own initiative and institute some of their creative ideas.
Dealing with People Who Want to Advance When there′s No Opportunity
When ambitious are frustrated by lack of opportunity for career advancement, it′s tough to keep them motivated. They often quit or request a transfer to a department that offers better opportunities. If the chances for promotion are blocked because of a temporary economic situation or short-term internal problem, make sure that these factors are clear to everyone and that opportunities become available in the future.
If it′s unlikely that advancement will occur in a reasonable period, you have to expect that ambitious people won′t be content. Do your best to motivate them in other ways:
- Make special assignment to enable them to stretch their minds.
- Get them deeply involved in team projects so that their satisfaction in seeing the team′s achievement replaces their personal desires.
- If you can, set up a compensation system that rewards them financially.(27)
Foster Praise efficiently in your Organization
Human beings thrive on praise. Although all of us require praise to feed our egos and help make us feel good about ourselves, you can′t praise people indiscriminately: Praise should be reserved for accomplishments that are worthy of special acknowledgment.
Here are Five Tips for Effective Praise
As important as praise is in motivating people, it doesn′t always work. Some supervisors praise every minor activity so that praise for real accomplishment loses its real value. In some instances, the manner in which the praise is given makes it seem to be phony. To make your praise more meaningful, follow these suggestions:
- Don′t overdo it. Praise is sweet. Candy is sweet too, but the more you eat, the less sweet each piece becomes-and you may get a stomachache. Too much praise reduces the benefit that′s derived from each bit of praise; if it′s overdone, it loses its value altogether.
- Be sincere. You can′t fake sincerity. You must truly believe that what you are praising your associate for is praiseworthy. If you don′t believe it, you come across as phony.
- Be specific about the reason for your praise. Rather than say, " great job!" it′s much better to say, " The report you submitted on the X matter enabled me to understand more clearly the complexities of the issue."
- Ask for team members′ advice. Nothing is more flattering than to be asked for advice about how to handle a situation. This approach can backfire, though, if you don′t take the advice. If you have to reject advice, remember the Scoratic approach-ask people questions about questionable issues until they see the negative aspects and reject their own poor advice.
- Publicize Praise. Just as a reprimand should always be given in private, praising should be done (wherever possible) in public. Sometimes the matter for which praise is given is a private issue, but it′s more appropriate to let your entire team in on the praise. If other team members are aware of the praise you give a colleague, it acts as a spur to them to work for similar recognition.
Put it (Praise) in Writing
Telling people that you appreciate what they′ve done is a great idea, but writing it is even more effective. The aura of oral praise fades away; a letter or even a brief note endures.
You don′t have to spend much money. It doesn′t take much time.
Writing Thank-You Cards
As a team leader you must keep with you packets of " thank you" on which the word Thank You are printed in beautiful script on the front flap and the inside of the card is left blank. Whenever someone does something worthy of special recognition, you can write a note on one of the cards detailing the special accomplishment and congratulating the employee for achieving it. The recipients cherish the cards and show them to friends and family.
Awarding Certificates and Plaques
No matter what type of award you give to employees-large or small (cash, merchandise, tickets to show or sports event, or a trip to resort, for example)-It′s worth spending a few more dollars to include a certificate or plaque. Employees love to hang these mementos in their cubicles or office, over their workbenches, or in their home. The cash gets spent, the merchandise wears out, the trip becomes a long-past memory, but a certificate or plaque is a permanent reminder of the recognition. (28)
For rewards to motivate, make sure you encourage competition among staff by acknowledging individual achievement and giving appropriate recognition to highfliers. In achievement-led style of modern business, outstanding contributions from individuals further careers and earn rewards. Any rewards, however, must be motivational. Reward appropriately any contributions that are of genuine benefit to the organization. (29)
When staff members are asked what would raise their motivation, many say, " more money." But money has only a short-term motivational effect. Use pay to reflect good performance, and remember that other motivators may be more effective. The key phrase is ′individual circumstances." When you ask a special effort of an individual, however, offering a cash reward in return may work well.
Consider Pay Packages
Basic salary raises can dominate pay negotiations. However, wise employers (and wise employees) look at the value of the total package when recruiting and promoting. The other element, in addition to the basic salary, can be decisive. Profit-sharing and pension plans are very attractive, and non-financial benefits can also be valuable. Be sure that the package you offer compares well with industry and other norms. A competitive pay package can be a highly effective motivation too.
Secrecy is on factor that makes pay a managerial minefield. Usually, people do not know what other people in a unit- or an organization- earn. They tend to make wrong guesses, or else they find out and then feel aggrieved by what they discover. Openness is a great way to promote a sense of fairness. People can accept the principle of unequal pay for unequal achievement, but only in an atmosphere of consensus and cohesion.
Encourage both by ensuring that pay levels are discussed openly and with full information. The feeling involved can be painful and deep, though, so treat perceptions of unfairness accordingly. Be sympathetic with people who feel unfairly paid, even when nothing can or should be done.
Analyze Pay System
Reason for Payment
1. Time. Work has been carried out for a specific number of hours.
Factors to Consider
- It is difficult to monitor the use of working time.
- Payment for fixed hours is not an efficient motivator.
- Effort and hours spent are much less important than individual expertise and quality of contribution.
2. Expertise. Skills possessed by the individual are essential to the job at hand
Factors to Consider
- Achievement and recognition are key motivators for staff with expert knowledge.
- Levels of payment are directly related to the amount of demand for specific skills.
3. Input. Individual has made a significance contribution to the project, unit, or organization.
Factors to Consider
- Staff who produce good work should be highly valued.
- It can be difficult to measure an individual′s input.
- A good organization encourages innovation, does not penalize mistakes, and rewards creativity imaginatively.
4. Quality of Output. Work has been of a consistently high standard, enhancing quality of the final product.
Factors to Consider
- Quality of output is more important than quantity.
- Payments made on this basis result in increased competitiveness among team members.
- Achieving quality standards is motivational.
5. Achievement. Objectives have been met to the satisfaction of those who commissioned the task.
Factors to Consider
- Rewards offered to project leaders are linked to the success of the project.
- As workloads are increasingly divided into tasks, more pay is becoming achievement-based.
Points to Remember
- Pay your staff members for responsibility and contribution, not for seniority and status.
- Get the money right, or everything else could easily go wrong.
- Watch costs of fringe benefits-unwatched, they tend to soar.
- If you are the highest payer, be sure to get the highest results.
- Use monetary rewards as flexibly as possible to get the most of their motivational value. (30)
Reward Exceptional Performance
Staff members are paid for the worth they do, but many employees have incentive schemes for exceptional performance. When considering these as an option, work out what constitutes expected performance, and plan a sliding scale for anything above it.
The term " exceptional performance." Is not a fixed, scientific measure. It varies from task to task, job to job, and organization to organization. As a manager, it is important that you recognize and reward what you consider to be genuinely exceptional. To do this, carefully work out, and fix solidly, the levels at which both financial and non-financial rewards are triggered off. Seek to ensure not only that good work gets rewards, but also that top standards are not so high as to be impossible to achieve. You will find that a certain amount of trial and error is inevitable in this process.
Most incentives schemes tie rewards to sales or profits, or both. Do not reward for achieving budget. Instead, offer rewards at, say, 10 percent intervals above budgeted levels, and inform staff of this. The extra profit should handsomely cover the cost of the reward. You can choose to reward cost reduction, quality improvement, innovation, or customer satisfaction. Rewards must motivate, so monitor the scheme to be sure that they do.
Offering Non-Financial Rewards
Achievement is its own reward-but it is never enough. Achievers also want recognition. Even a simple " thank you" is an important, underused reward that costs nothing. Staff also value inclusion in events like seminars to discuss company strategy. Such events fit into development programs that central to sustaining job satisfaction, increasing responsibility, and enhancing career progress and personal growth.
Other non-financial rewards such as gifts and vacations may prove cheaper than cash rewards-and everyone loves to receive presents. However, these provide less motivation than individual recognition and are not substitute for good, year-round management
Offering Cash Rewards
Use rewards in the form of pay increases or financial benefits to recognize achievement, prevent a high-flying staff members from leaving the organization, or encourage an individual to take a greater level of responsibility in his or her job. Remember, however, that this type of reward often has only short-term motivational value. It can also lead to resentment among other staff members and discourage interaction within a team.
Considering Financial Rewards
1. Salary increases. Increases in basic rate of pay.
Factors to Consider
- Money is powerful short-term motivator; the bigger the raise, the higher the motivation.
- The impact wears off relatively quickly.
2. Commissions and Bonuses. One-time payment linked to targets.
Factors to Consider
- Increases motivation and job satisfaction.
- There can be difficulties in fixing rates and relating these rewards to base pay.
3. Performance-Related Pay. Regular wage increases based on target-linked performance.
Factors to Consider
- Is motivational and can be a tax-effective incentives.
- There may be a delay between earning and receiving performance-related pay, thus weakening its impact.
4. Shares/Stock Options. Gifts of shares, or the chance to buy shares at a fraction of actual value.
Factors to Consider
- Encourages long-term loyalty and sense of involvement
- A highly effective motivator, as pay-off can be substantial.
- Reward is not immediate, initial benefit may be small.
5. Special Rates. Help with mortgage/rent, insurance, and other items within tax limits.
Factors to Consider
- Has considerable staff-retention value and can act as " golden handcuffs."
- Has low motivational value.
6. Family Health benefits. Paid or subsidized plans offering a wide rang of health care options
Factors to Consider
- It is in an organization′s interest to have healthy staff.
- Has low motivational value because health-care provision is expected from organizations.
Personal thanks for exceptional performance are powerfully reinforced by being repeated or given at a public celebration. Celebrate success, and you can motivate everybody in the unit, not just the achiever. External awards and dinners have proliferated, and few industries are now without them. Pay for entries and tables at these events, and make a fuss of any winners. The same format applied internally is also effective. If a whole team, rather than an individual, is involved, celebration is highly appropriate. Parties give you the chance to motivate by words and by singling out special contributions. Ensure, however, that any event of this type is carefully planned and well staged. Skimping on any elements, especially the catering, is a false economy in terms of motivation.
Points to Remember
- Look first at those rewards that do not cost anything to supply.
- Make contests for non-financial rewards as much fun as possible.
- Make sure that the rewards you give are the icing-not the cake.
- Do not let sliding-scale cash rewards become a source of demotivation.
- Give performance-related rewards, not just pay raises, where possible.
- Use certificates and engraved presents as reminders of high achievement.(31)
The Last Advice to the Manager
1. Being Aware of Dangers to Avoid
So all you have to do is convert from traditional methods to team concepts and all your troubles are over, right? Of course not. Teams aren′t a cure-all for management problems. They have their share of problems.
One common problem is that team members sometimes don′t carry their weight and other members have to work harder to maintain their team′s productivity. Team members can often overcome this situation themselves, by working with the weaker person to help build up necessary skills. If the reason for poor performance isn′t a lack of skill but instead a lack of motivation, the others may encourage-or in some cases, shame-the slacker into better production. Peer pressure is a powerful tool. If all else fails, the person will have to be removed from the team.
Teams in the workplace have many advantages, but they′re not a panacea. People who learn to work together in teams produce more, enjoy their work more, and are less likely to quit for superficial reasons. Teams create a motivational environment in the workplace and help to build the esprit doe corps that is important to success in meeting goals. (32)
2. Getting to Know your Team Members
How is listening important in developing productive team members? By observing and listening, you realize that Ahmad is an active and creative person. If you want to excite him about his role in an assignment, you can do so by appealing to his creativity. You notice that Ali is slow and lazy when he is learning new things but that, after he learns them, he works quickly and accurately. To enable Ali to do his best, you know that you will need patience.
It′s easy to remember these individual characteristics when you supervise a small number of people, but if you′re involved with larger groups or have high turnover in your department, it′s not so easy. You need help. Try to go great effort to know everyone in your department. (33)
3. Motivate the " Unmotivatible"
You have to accept that some people just can′t be motivated (short of putting a stick of dynamic under their chairs). With the right approach, many men and women who seem to be complacent and unmovable might be spurred toward improved performance.
Some employees have been with their organization for many years. They′ve gone as far as they can go-and they know it. They also know that it′s unlikely they′ll ever be fired as long as they meet minimum performance standard, because most companies don′t fire long-term employees except under dire circumstances. People with the attitude " I′ll do as little as I can get away with" are called coasters. Coasting isn′t limited to ′old-timers." People of all ages, unfortunately, fall into this category. They meet your minimum standards, but make no effort to do more. It′s difficult to motivate people who really don′t want to be motivated, and many managers and team leaders don′t even try. They look at these people as crosses they have to bear. (34)
4. Involve Everyone in Planning
There are many types of work for which production quotas are established. Word-processing operators are given the number of letters they must complete each day; production workers are given hourly quotas; salespeople must meet monthly standards. Management usually sets these quotas, but most workers don′t like having quotas imposed on them; if management wants to raise quotas, employees are resentful and resistant.
Have your team members participate in setting quotas for their own jobs. You might think that they′ll set low quotas that are easy to meet, and it may happen.
That′s why the process is participative-you haven′t stepped out of the picture completely. You′re one of the participants. Your role is to ensure that realistic goals are set. In most cases, however, team members do set reasonable quotas, and because it′s their goal, they accept it and work to achieve it. (35)
5. Avoid Negative Motivation
Threatening to fire people if they don′t work is sometimes effective, at least temporarily. When jobs are scarce and people know that they won′t have a job if they get fired, they do work. But how much work do they do? Some folks work just enough to keep from getting fired and not one bit more. This fear isn′t real motivation; real motivation spurs people to produce more that what′s necessary to keep their job.
Fear of being fired becomes less of a motivator as the job market again expands. If comparable jobs are available in more amenable environments, why work for a martinet?
Some people do not respond to negative motivation. Maybe they′ve been raised by intimidating parents or have worked under tyrannical bosses for so long that it′s the only way of life they understand. Good leaders must recognize each person′s individualities and adapt to them. (36)
6. Offer Ample Incentives
There are many incentives you can offer to help motivate people, and each has different effects. Some of those most commonly used include, recognition, money, health and family benefits, and insurance. There tends, however, to be a dividing line between financial and nonfinancial incentives. If you are not in a position to offer financial incentives like pay raises and bonuses, it is still possible to motivate staff by ensuring that the nonfinancial incentives you offer are attractive to the potential recipient. For example, you might allocate a parking space to someone who drives to work. Think about the general and specific requirement of your staff. (37)
7. Empower your Employees
Empowered employees tend to be more motivated. Empowering the work force creates a feeling of ownership; it is a demonstration of trust. The managers must let go of power and of decision-making. Given more autonomy, workers make more decisions and often take initiative. (38)
8. Create a No- Blame Culture in your Organization
Anyone with responsibility- including yourself-must accept their failures. However, to motivate effectively you need a culture in which no blame is laid for failure. Errors should be recognized, then used to improve chances of future success.
Management by motivation hinges on delegation and runs two risks ; the delegate entrusted with the missions may fail; and the task may fail. To maximize chances of success, you must understand the nature of true risk. This should be a calculated step, not a gamble. Make sure that the delegate is fully briefed before starting the task. Assess the situation, and take action only when the possible and probable outcomes have been systematically weighed and success appears extremely likely. Anything less is generally poor management.
Learn from Mistakes
The lessons of failure are valuable, not only to the individuals involved, but also to the organization. Discuss the reasons for failure, so that you can eliminate them and strengthen the platform for success. Taking a constructive and sympathetic attitude to failure will motivate and encourage staff. If you choose to punish failure or motivate by fear, you will not create lasting success. However, make it clear that tolerance of error has its limits. Repetition of the same error is inexcusable, since it shows an inability to learn from mistakes.
Points to Remember
* Praise work well done, if some targets are missed.
* Take risks only when the chances of success are high.
* Do not gamble, but combine risks with excellent planning.
* Be firm but fair when you are drawing attention to error, and do not pull any punches. (39)
9. Use praise wisely
.Praise is an evocative motivator, it encourages your employees and makes them more productive. Praise can be a great motivator. It must, however, be administered appropriately to be most effective. Praise must be specific. To ensure that the appropriate behavior is repeated, clearly articulate the behavior being praised. The individual must also understand why this behavior is important and how it helps the organization meet its objectives.
10. Respond to your employees
When employees provide feedback or suggestions, be sure to listen and respond to their comments. Your failure to respond may make your employees wonder if they are being heard. (40)
11. Keep Motivation High
Once you have successfully raised the motivation levels of your staff, it is important that they stay raised. Varying working conditions, improving management systems, and placing a high value on your employees should all be top priorities.
People want to feel good about their work and their organization. Encourage and nurture this natural drive- do not spend your time cracking whips and shouting slogans.
Use surveys, research, and polling to check on morale and find out when and where new initiatives are needed. Select trusted people to talk to you informally about general mood, developments that affect motivation, and potential individuals.
Underperformance is expensive, yet 85 percent of all recorded underperformance is thought to result from the system imposed by managers. Do not let that be yours. Review every aspect of your business system regularly. All business systems are capable of demotivating staff, and all are open to improvement. Poor systems generate poor morale. Regularly test your system, and ask for improvement suggestions from those who are on the front line. Remember that the act of reform itself improves morale. Even if your system was motivational when it was originally set up, changing conditions mean that you should always be open to revisions- whether the initiative comes from you or from your staff. Above all, treat seriously all comments on the system- staff will often bring matters to you as a last resort. (41)
1. Kreitner Robert. Management. Bosten: Houghton Company, 1989, P. 424.
2. Ibid, p. 429.
3. Longman Dictionary of Business English
4. Rachman, David J., and Mescon, Michael H. Business Today. New York: Random House, Inc., 1987, p. 199.
5. Bartol, Kathryn M., and Martin, David C. Management. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1991, p. 445.
6. Berkowitz, Eric N., Roger A., and Rudelius William. Marketing. Boston: Ma, Irwin., 1989, p. 695.
11. Robert Heller, Motivating People. New York : DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, p. 6.
12. The Researcher Definition
13. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, p. 5.
14. Patricia Buhler. Human Resources Management: All the Information you Need to Manage your Staff and Meet your Business Objectives. Avon, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation. 2002, p. 188.
15. Patrick Forsyth., How to Motivate People. New Delhi: Kogan Page, 2006, pp. 2-3.
16. Pell Arther. Complete Idiot′s: Guide to Managing People. 1633 Broad way,1993, pp. 215-216.
17. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, pp. 6-7.
18. Patricia Buhler. Human Resources Management: All the Information you Need to Manage your Staff and Meet your Business Objectives. Avon, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation. 2002. p. 197.
19. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK publishing, Inc., 1998, pp. 12-23.
20. Spitzer, Dean R., Super-Motivation: A blueprint for Energizing your Organization from Top to Bottom.1601, Broadway, New York, NY, AMACOM, American Management Association. 1995, pp. 43-63.
21. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK publishing, Inc., p. 10.
22 Spitzer, dean R., super-Motivation A blueprint for Energizing your Organization from Top to Bottom. 1601, Broadway, New York, NY, AMACOM, American Management Association. 1995. pp. 23-28.
23. Ibid. pp. 65- 78.
24. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., pp. 46-57.
25. Ibid. pp. 52-53.
26. Pell Arther. Complete Idiot′s : Guide to Manage People. 1633 Broadway, 1993, pp. 225-228.
27. Ibid. pp. 210-211.
28. Ibid. pp. 201- 204.
29. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, p. 52.
30. Ibid. pp. 48-49.
31. Ibid. pp. 60-63.
32. Pell Arther. Complete Idiot′s : Guide to Manage People. 1633 Broadway, 1998. p. 186.
33. Ibid. p. 183.
34. Ibid. p. 212.
35. Ibid. p. 214.
36. Ibid. p. 216.
37. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, p. 6.
38. Patricia Buhler. Human Resources Management: All the Information you need to Manage your Staff and Meet your Business Objectives. Avon, Massachusetts, Adams Media Corporation. 2002, p. 196.
39. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, pp. 24- 25.
40. Patricia Buhler. Human Resources Management: All the Information you Need to Manage your Staff and meet your Business Objectives. Avon, Massachusetts, Adams Media Corporation. 2002, pp. 200-201.
41. Robert Heller. Motivating People. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1998, pp. 64-65.