What’s The Drive For Motivation?

What is it that drives employee motivation? More specifically, what is it that causes an employee to WANT to do his or her job? After all, the answer to this question is the key to the motivation of employees and employer happiness. And, even more important than knowing what it is that motivates an employee is whether or not this motivation is something that will cause an employee to go through the motions of doing the job or in still actual desire for a job well done in the employee’s mind.

The answers to these questions and more are what should always be on every employer’s mind if they are to create effective, productive workforces. A lack of motivation is a true killer, as anyone certainly knows.

Keys to Motivating Your Employees In Rough Economic Times

I recently came across a blog by Kalen Smith, it once again confirms that keeping things simple can often result in major positive steps. Managers are always struggling to ensure their employees live up to their potential. One of the biggest reasons employees aren’t as productive as they could be is that they are discouraged with their work environment. This is particularly true during an economic downturn, so employers will need to be especially diligent about keeping their employees motivated during a recession.

The recession officially ended in 2009, but the economy still hasn’t fully recovered. You may have seen many of your employees are discouraged with the state of the economy and those concerns may be playing out in their work. There are some factors you should take into consideration to keep your employees happy during this economic downturn.

  • Don’t Accept Silence as Motivation
  • Do Communicate Changes
  • Don’t Use Money as a Motivating Tool
  • Motivating Employees in a Poor Economy Can Be Difficult

About the Author: Kalen Smith is an entrepreneur and business advice columnist. He writes about grad school programs for aspiring business owners such as the i o psychology graduate programs.

Author Kalen Smith – Full Article.

Are you doing all the right things to keep your employees motivated?

Employees motivation should be one of the most important things a business monitors. We all know about the stresses and strains that the current business climate causes, yet many businesses forget that a slight change in an employees moods could alter their businesses significantly.

Motivation and empowering employees will not only make them more productive if done right but also provide a host of benefits that the businesses didn’t aspect, here are a few steps you could implement:

  1. Money does motivate and when it doesn’t it de-motivates employees! It’s as simple as that but with the current financial issues many businesses are facing it might not be the way forward for you. You should always remember to pay your employees their worth!
  2. Share information about the overall business performance, the detail is down to you but don’t keep them in the dark! The more they know the more valuable they will feel and understand what they are supposed to do.
  3. Provide clear instructions on their duties, what they have ownership of and their goals. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings and duplication.
  4. Challenge your employees, give them ownership of projects and encourage success. Your employees will feel more trusted and included, this helps them become loyal to the business.

Can an employee be truly motivated in the current climate?

There are currently a lot of reports being done looking at the quality of life employees have. According to a recent article in peoplemanagement almost a third of workers say their standard of living has dropped in the past six months (data from the employee outlook survey), 46 per cent of people have had their pay frozen and 20 per cent believe they’re in danger of redundancy. Many people have commented on how they think this situation should be managed with consistent and high quality leadership being mentioned above most. I feel that this situation needs to monitored more closely.

If an employee has worries outside of work, increased stress levels and is in a state of nervousness is it possible for a business to fully motivate them? Businesses have a big task of surviving and making themselves more efficient during this time of uncertainty and are therefore in a catch 22 position for how much stability and certainty it can provide its employees.

Demotivated staff are harder to work with and it would be nearly impossible for them to increase productivity, but by businesses focusing on motivation, being as open and honest and increasing team work this should enable a greater chance for survival. Employees often think that they are made to pay while the people at the top don’t get affected during difficult times. By educating employees and providing tools for them to see the bigger picture it will help them to be motivated and see that they are not alone in these uncertain times.

Is HR going too far?

Time and time again I read about equality and diversity for example in February 24th edition of peoplemanagement magazine in the news section there is a feature discussing the number of women in senior management and boardroom level jobs. Surely HR should be driving these types of restrictions or recommendations out of our businesses as true equality and diversity should not be monitored or restricted.

I am a firm believer of best person for the job role based on competences and their team working skills, not due to their culture, look or gender. It is only natural that we have a higher percentage of “traditional business men” working in more senior jobs and at board level, succession planning and development is not a quick fix. We have a greater number of “traditional business men” within the work place at all levels and it will take time for the best to filter through regardless of who and what they look like. I believe that it takes a long time for someone to gain the skills needed especially at a senior level so the idea of promoting people into these roles just to meet diversity or equality targets worries me.

Until we get to the stage were everyone is interviewed in a sealed box and their voice is altered by a computer there will always be questions about was it 100% fair. We are always going to have these discussions but if there is no realistic solution shouldn’t time be spent doing other things. We can keep gathering data but what does it get used for and what competitive edge does it give a business?

As a person who on paper fits into the “traditional business man” profile it concerns me how positive discrimination is deemed ok and we are being driven to employing people to meet targets. For years we dealt with the change in business and had to change our working practices and measures to make sure it was fair for all, yet it seems like now we are the ones who are being discriminated against.

Lost Youth?

There is a lot of information written about youth employment looking at the problem, how it can be solved and if employers should care. I believe a major factor is due to motivation, a lot of young people don’t have the motivation. I have friends who have been travelling, every country they go to they manage to get jobs but they don’t mind do the hard manual work. Knowing a lot of young people and from working in the manufacturing/care industry I have seen that young people want a nice easy job that pays a lot of money because young people believe they are owed it regardless of their work experiences and skill level.

I recently watched a TV show titled “Benefit Busters” that featured people who had been on benefits for several years; some of the people featured had the latest TVs, computers and nice houses. On the first episode the presenter pointed out that a lot of fast food companies are also recruiting but the people on benefits looked horrified at the thought of working in “those type of places”.

People don’t want to work for minimum wages as many people believe they deserve more, coupled with the main fact that we are experiences shrinking industries in the UK is it a shock to anyone that unemployment is increasing.

I believe people need to be more motivated to work hard, which will result in being successful but need understand that it will take time to build up to the level they want to be at.

The motives behind motivation…

In Mike Poundfords letter featured in the People Management Magazine commenting on Rob Briner’s “Terms of engagement column and “Engaged in conversation” feature, 30 July 2009” it states that “engagement is a voluntary act” and that the organisation can not engage people, “it is up to the individual.” The letter highlights that there are a numerous reasons why it is up to the employee e.g. financial, social and ethical reasons.

Without seeing the original feature I can’t really comment fully on the complete feature but ending in the letter with “personal aspirations are aligned with organisational purpose” signalling that engagement is difficult for an employer to drive.  I believe it highlights another reason why motivation is one of the main aspects of HR, if an employee is motivated it does result in engagement.

Motivation is still not just about pay…

Published recently in the People Management magazine issues were highlighted in and with the NHS Agenda for Change pay contract. The new pay system for NHS staff failed to deliver cost saving or an increase in productivity, according to the National Audit Office.

A report by the spending watchdog said that productivity in the NHS continued to fall despite the introduction of the new Agenda for Change pay contract.

It amazes me that many HR professionals still believe new pay changes will increase employees motivation/productivity. Whether we like it or not most employees believe that they are due a pay increase year on year, the main argument being down to inflation. Pay raises also show that the business is in a strong position.

We are currently in a difficult situation with the state of the economy and I believe this makes certain aspects of HR easier. It would be quite brutal for an employer to tell its employees that having a job during the recession is a motivational factor but in honesty it would be close to the truth. Personally, I believe that at a time when businesses are spending money more wisely it would be better to use this basic approach and build on it to develop a true motivational scheme.

Employees have a vast range of needs and if an employer wants to work with the employee then they will motivate them without spending money.

A tale of two different approaches…

I have recently left a position within a major manufacturing organisation working on site being the first line of HR support for around 900 staff. After working for 9 months, being asked to work night shifts, having no formal training and being the first person my line manager had managed I felt very un-motivated. The tasks I had to undertake were normal HR activities that I can do with my eyes shut but I have learnt first hand how having no praise, constant negative comments and no guidance will de-motivate someone drastically. I started to question my own ability but speaking to HR professionals I realised that being treated the way I was does have major negative affects.

I am currently under contract with a charity based in London and the difference is amazing. It’s how I remember a team to be, working together, helping each other through the difficult decisions and a structured training approach, from induction through to understanding the organisation.

I’m sure many of you have worked in similar situations, please let me know your tales of how you have felt either motivated or de-motivated…

Self Motivation

We all put objects in our way and come up with excuses for not feeling up to it but really we can do what we want if we have the self motivation. I’m a believer it is mind over matter but to a point were it becomes unrealistic.

 I think self motivation can be achieved via a couple of different options; 1. In order for us to feel self motivated we have to want to do it because we think it will be enjoyable and also rewarding. 2. The self motivation comes from a fear of what will happen if we don’t achieve the task.