Great Leadership - How to Motivate Your Employees Without Going Broke
In a time when most businesses struggle to make ends meet, workers themselves are having trouble to stay motivated. It’s easy to motivate people with a big paycheck, but finding and keeping a good worker without a big wad of cash is a bit trickier.
The dominant view is that if you have people working for you who are motivated strictly by money – you’re doing something wrong. Humans need a purpose. Recent studies have shown that if you give your employees an extra reason to work, both your investors and your customers will be more satisfied and you will attract more business. But, this is not as easy as it seems, and there’s a specific playbook that needs to be followed for this approach to succeed.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors
Frederick Herzberg, the famous American psychologist and innovator in the field of business, conducted a now famous study of employee motivation and came up with a very precise definition of job motivators and their internal mechanisms. The intrinsic factors that lead to worker contentedness, as he defined them, were the work process, opportunities for growth, responsibility, achievement and being recognized for an achievement. On the other hand, extrinsic factors that influence dissatisfaction included working conditions, supervision, administration, overall company policy, security, status and last but not least, salary. Note how the salary is just one of the factors that influence dissatisfaction? What is interesting, according to Herzberg, is that a bigger paycheck may simply reduce dissatisfaction, but it has nothing to do with influencing worker happiness, as it is an extrinsic factor.
If we follow Herzberg’s logic, the focus should be on bolstering intrinsic factors. Enthusiasm is contagious, workers will copy positive models of behavior if they see others being rewarded, but be aware that every person works differently and has different needs.
So, you have a shoestring budget and a tense situation on your hands, but you want to keep the ball rolling and make a real difference in your field. Where to start?
Focusing on the Goals
The foundation of every good business is clearly delineated goals. High achievers do not have to fall into your hands or have to be found – they can be created. Start by having a clear idea in mind of where you wish your company to go. If all employees are aware of your plans, they will feel that their job is more meaningful and will work hard to achieve mutual prosperity. Great leaders don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and manage to, at all times, focus the attention of employees towards this powerful vision.
When there’s a game plan set up and the team knows where they are headed, every good leader needs to focus on empowering and supporting the workforce, one person at a time. Every individual working in a company is there for a reason and most certainly contributes to the company’s bottom line. If given a sense of ownership over the work process, a sense that their role makes a difference, workers will give their best. A great example of this is a study that was conducted at the University of Michigan on employees of a call center who had the daunting task of calling up alumni asking for funds for scholarships. A group of call center workers met a scholarship holder who told them his story of how much these funds meant for him and his personal development, thanking the group for their hard work. This, in turn, created an enormous impetus for the group which showed an increase in weekly revenue of an astounding 400%.
Apart from putting effort into making work a meaningful experience, there are many ways in which even more can be done to improve the overall performance and still keep workers happy. Some successful businesses allow more flexibility to their workers, such as flexible work hours, having meals together during lunch break, allowing employees to decorate their workplace or even volunteering together. Another approach is to spend some money to rearrange the office by creating stress-free zones, allowing people to unwind a bit during a busy day. Invest in a commercial fitout for more comfort, as an investment in furniture is an investment into the health of your employees.
No matter what approach you take towards bolstering your workforce, research shows that giving them a sense of purpose and lowering the stress that is inherent to the process, works incredibly well when it comes to improving overall performance. Work is just an extension of our daily lives and if a leader shows competence and respect for the human element of labor, there is very little that can stand in the way of doing good business.
About the author:
Stacey Cooper is a business consultant with genuine love for blogging. Through her work she tries to connect her different interests- passion for writing and interesting business tips , with just right dose of humor. Highly creative and enthusiastic individual interested in new business strategies , marketing and entrepreneurship.