Organisations are built by people, and as such, motivated employees make for happier and more successful businesses. The benefits of motivated staff can be felt internally by employees and externally by customers. In this article, we will share expert tips for how to motivate employees as a manager and the advantages of motivating staff.
What is Employee Motivation?
Employee motivation refers to employees’ level of commitment, energy, and creativity that people bring to their work.
Employee motivation is directly related to employee engagement, which is how much employees’ personal goals align with those of the business.
Employee motivation can be either intrinsic or extrinsic.
1. Intrinsic Motivation
This means that employees are motivated internally and have a desire to perform at their highest potential because it is their belief to do so.
2. Extrinsic Motivation
This means that employees are motivated by factors outside of themselves, such as rewards and recognition. When it comes to extrinsic rewards, you have to approach them carefully so as to not reap counterproductive results.
Here’s a resource all about rewards and recognition schemes.
Why is Employee Motivation Important?
Employee motivation has widespread effects on the people and productivity within a business. The benefits of motivated staff have an impact on:
Motivated employees care about the future of the business, and as a result, are more invested in helping the company achieve success. This means that they are more likely to contribute creative and innovative ideas.
With motivation comes hard work. Employees who feel motivated and excited about what they are working on will be more accountable for their work and contribute stronger outputs.
Employees who are motivated to reach internal or external goals will continue to strive towards doing so in their current role. Without motivation, they are more likely to look elsewhere to grow, be challenged, and stimulated.
What are Key Employee Motivation Stats?
Perhaps, one of the best ways to understand the implications of employee motivation is to quantify it. We can do so by sharing some interesting statistics, including:
- Highly engaged teams result in 21% greater profitability
- 87% of employees expect employers to support their endeavors to achieve a work-life balance
While motivation can stem from internal or external factors, it has everything to do with mental wellbeing. In fact, 89% of employees at companies that support wellbeing initiatives find themselves more likely to recommend the company as a good place to work.
Organizations that care and support employees’ mental wellbeing will likely reap the benefits as employees are more able to face challenges, remain committed to achieving goals, and have the necessary tools to express their needs.
1. Lower Absenteeism
Motivated employees want to work, which means there will be less employee absenteeism. Employee absenteeism is when employees are absent from work without good reason or being excused in advance.
2. Increased Worker Retention
Motivated and engaged employees are also less likely to look for jobs elsewhere, resulting in lower turnover and increased worker retention. Ultimately, this saves the company time and money because recruitment and training are costly.
3. Improved Manager and Worker Relations
Motivated employees recognize their impact on the business and tend to get along better with their managers. With aligned goals, everyone is on the same page to fulfil their responsibilities at their highest potential.
4. Improved Employee Performance & Productivity
As alluded to earlier, employees who are committed to their jobs will produce at higher rates and with better quality. Their level of care is unparalleled.
5. Improved Quality & Customer Service
With this high level of care comes increased customer service because motivated employees showcase effort in the quality of their work and how it impacts the end result, namely customers. They face customer issues with enthusiasm and creativity in resolving issues and providing the best service possible.
6. Increased Innovation, Creativity & Ability to Overcome Challenges
Motivated employees are better at overcoming challenges and pushing through chaos to achieve their goals. They possess the mental toughness and resilience to be creative and improve upon the ways things have always been done.
7. Improved Reputation and Recruitment
Employees who are satisfied and motivated at work will share their good experiences. Their level of connectedness with the company can result in recommending the organisation to others in their talent pool and network, which can aid with recruitment. It also helps the organization to establish a good reputation as a positive place to work.
8. Improved Company Culture
People who feel engaged at work are better at working together to achieve shared goals. This all comes together to make for a positive company culture where employees share their good attitudes and even motivate one another to always try to do better.
What are Financial Methods of Staff Motivation?
Oftentimes, businesses rely on financial factors to motivate employees. This method can work, but only to a certain extent. The reason that they cannot be the only motivator is because employees tend to experience a sense of diminishing returns over time.
For example, providing employees with a £10,000 raise that bumps them from £50,000 to £60,000 may result in more satisfaction than that from £60,000 to £70,000. At a certain point in time, any dissatisfaction or disengagement that an employee feels about their job won’t disappear with more money.
Financial incentives can be in the form of:
1. Wages: Wages are a fixed and regular payment on a weekly or daily basis. It’s often the payment setup for unskilled workers. Wages can vary based on performance or hours worked.
2. Salaries: Salaries are a fixed payment that is agreed upon by employers and employees in advance of the work being performed.
3. Profit Sharing:Profit sharing provides employees with a share of the company’s profits based on quarterly or annual earnings.
4. Performance-Related Pay: Performance-related pay is payment to employees according to how the employee contributes to a company or how well they perform.
5. Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits are add-ons besides salaries and wages that are perks for employees. For example, fringe benefits can be in the form of health insurance, access to a company car, or subsidised meals, to name a few.
What are Non-Financial Methods of Staff Motivation?
Non-financial methods for staff motivation are unrelated to money and tend to have long-lasting effects. They often get to the root of what spurs employee motivation from the start, which is why they are so useful to deploy.
Non-financial methods for employee motivation include:
1. Mental Wellbeing
Supporting employee mental wellbeing can come from providing access to an employee wellbeing platform. Such platforms provide employees with tools and techniques to best manage their own mental wellbeing and develop mental fitness to overcome challenges.
It is an excellent tool for improving motivation because it allows for employees to strengthen their problem-solving capabilities and rather than shy away from responsibilities, they are more likely to want to do more and reach their highest potential.
Employee wellbeing tools can also offer insights about the major root causes that impact employees’ mental health and offer personalized recommendations to improve the situations. They also connect employees with support systems and any of your existing internal initiatives.
When employees feel good, they display healthier behaviors and have stronger decision-making abilities.
2. Job Enlargement
This refers to adding more tasks to an employee’s role. Although this seems counterproductive and like it could cause stress and overwhelm, it may provide the challenge that an employee seeks. It also offers greater variability for an employee’s role, which can be invigorating.
3. Job Rotation
Job rotation can be in the form of different job roles or different job duties. Different job roles mean that employees spend a few hours working on one role and then shift to another one.
Different job duties means that a person in a single job role may vary their scope of work throughout the day. For example, a graphic designer may spend a few hours creating a website and then a few hours working on print marketing materials.
4. Job Enrichment
Job enrichment provides employees with a greater sense of responsibility in their role. It comes along with having more control of tasks, having more variability in their tasks, enhancing their knowledge and skills, and having more flexibility in how they carry out their work.
5. Job Empowerment
Job empowerment is how much control an employee has over their work. With more empowerment, employees gain a greater ability to make decisions, which contributes to a greater sense of value. In return, employees may feel more motivated and trusted.
6. Job Training
Job training builds skills and knowledge. Training can result in employees having a greater sense of confidence, which could lead them to a promotion.
How to Improve Employee Motivation?
Want to know how to motivate employees as a manager or HR professional?
Here are a few ways:
1. Focus on the Why
Make sure that everyone is aware of how their job duties and role impacts the big picture. With a deep understanding of purpose, people are more likely to care about what they do and how they do it because they know their value.
2. Set Goals
The organization likely has big goals and targets to reach that will take time to achieve. To keep employees motivated along the way, it’s best to set realistic short-terms goals to keep the momentum flowing.
3. Reward Effort
Employees need to feel valued and supported for what they do. Recognition and rewards are a great way to consistently praise effort and hard work. It helps to prevent any resentment on behalf of employees from building up.
4. Support Employee Wellbeing
While rewards and financial incentives can be useful, they can only go so far. Prioritizing employee wellbeing results in increased motivation for the long run.
When employees are happy, healthy, and supported, they are able to approach work with a clear mind and be present. A positive mindset supports creativity, innovation, and optimism.
By supporting employee emotional wellbeing, companies can overcome challenges like retention as employees will be more engaged and satisfied with their jobs, thereby reducing turnover.
How to Measure Employee Motivation?
Measuring employee motivation can be done in a few different ways. For one, you can conduct surveys to check-in with how employees are feeling. However, employees don’t always feel comfortable to share their truth, especially if they have been feeling disengaged at work.
Managers can set one-on-one meetings with employees in an effort to understand how employees are doing. A combination of these conversations and employees’ productivity can offer insight into employee motivation levels.
Another way to gauge employee motivation can be through employee wellbeing tools. While these are not directed at quantifying employee motivation directly, they do provide anonymized data that shows when teams or departments feel overworked or need extra resources.
These sentiments can lead to disengagement or lack of employee morale, so HR teams and managers can take proactive steps to best support their teams.
The Bottom Line
As you can tell, the benefits of motivated staff are worth investing in and caring about. Employee motivation is greatly driven by employee wellbeing, so it’s no wonder why it is continuously atop the list of priorities for organizations.
Motivated staff results in greater productivity, retention, and innovation. Thus, it’s in everyone’s best interest to promote and protect employee motivation.
By focusing on employee wellbeing and providing an employee wellbeing platform to help, your employees can strengthen their mental fitness (and resilience), overcome personal and professional challenges, and remain invested in their work.