If you go to the gym excited and ready to put in the work, will you have better results than if you go tired, sluggish, and dreading the workout? The answer is obvious: more motivation breeds a stronger outcome, and the same can be said about employees in a work environment. We’re going to share how motivated staff affects an organisation and the importance of employee motivation for employees and employers.
What is Employee Motivation?
Employee motivation refers to the level of commitment and eagerness an individual brings to their work tasks and day. Employers that are consistently motivating employees in the workplace through various efforts, such as caring for their mental wellbeing or providing rewards and recognition, will reap the benefits of employee motivation.
Why is Employee Motivation Important?
Employee motivation is important and valuable for many reasons. For starters, organisations with motivated employees are going to be more likely to meet their business goals.
Employees that are motivated are engaged and focused with their tasks and responsibilities. This leads to boosted productivity levels and the optimal use of resources.
Additionally, an employee who is motivated will be less likely to look elsewhere for a job, which means that companies have a better chance at retention. Not only does this aid in getting the job done, but it also lowers costs and risks associated with employee absenteeism or eventual turnover.
What are the Benefits of Motivated Staff?
If you’re wondering, “What are the advantages of motivation?” the benefits of motivation in an organisation are far-reaching. Let’s uncover what they include:
1. Positive Company Culture
With employee motivation comes greater collaboration. Collaborative environments with open communication make for a happy and welcoming company culture. Not only does this help with retention, but it also increases the chance of attracting good candidates to your company.
2. Greater Productivity
Motivated employees have a deepened sense of focus to complete their tasks and perform at their highest abilities. This results in greater productivity and efficiency.
3. Boosted Employee Engagement
Motivation and employee engagement are naturally linked. Engaged employees perform their tasks with passion and are the opposite of not engaged (checked out) or actively disengaged (unhappy and lashing out).
Some employees are intrinsically motivated (in which case supporting one’s own mental fitness can lead to results) and others are extrinsically motivated (where rewards and recognition can be useful).
While there is a distinction between the two, it’s of value to note that most motivational factors end up being intrinsic as external motivations can only go so far. Think about this: the best rewards can go unnoticed or fall short if one’s mental health isn’t being well looked after.
4. More Innovation
Motivated employees are more equipped to handle uncertainty or challenges and problem-solve with creativity. In turn, they are more likely to find solutions, be more efficient, and innovative. This is because motivated employees are dead set on achieving their goals, so it’s rare that anything will get in their way.
5. Enhanced Customer Service
In customer-facing roles, motivated employees provide better service because they are dedicated to do their jobs well. In the short-term, this immediately results in happier and more satisfied customers. In the long-run, it means increased brand loyalty and hopefully a heftier bottom line.
What are Financial Methods of Motivation?
Now that you’ve seen examples of how motivated staff affects an organisation, let’s take a look at methods of motivation. We’ll start off with financial methods, as these are often the first thing that companies think of when attempting to increase employee motivation.
Wages are how much money is paid to an employee that is determined by factors, such as time or output. Wages could be paid based on:
- Time rate: number of hours worked
- Piece rate: number of products produced
- Overtime: number of hours worked beyond their contracted hours
2. Profit Sharing
Profit sharing happens when a business provides employees with a share of the business profits, so if the business does better, so too does the employee. The idea is to align incentives.
A salary is a set amount that gets paid to employees, which is based on an annual amount divided into equal monthly payments. Most professions rely on salaries, as opposed to wages.
4. Performance-related Pay
This could be in the form of a bonus (additional remuneration) or commission (money paid on top of set wages or salary for hitting targets).
What are Non Financial Methods of Motivation?
Along with financial methods of motivation, it’s of great value to include non-financial strategies, too. These include:
1. Mental Wellbeing
Utilize an employee wellbeing platform to support and priorities employees’ mental and emotional health. With resources to boost mental fitness and better understand themselves, employees will be able to overcome challenges, voice their needs better, and feel motivated to do their best.
2. Job Rotation
Provide employees with more variety in their day-to-day role so that they are less likely to become bored with their job. This could be through different job roles or different duties within the same role.
3. Job Enlargement
This is when employees have additional tasks as part of their daily role in order to make the job more interesting.
4. Job Enrichment
Job enrichment is focused on giving employees a range of challenging tasks to keep them engaged and motivated. Additionally, it involves providing employees with more responsibility, so they can be autonomous and make their own decisions.
When employees are empowered, they have a greater range of decision-making capabilities. It helps to make employees feel valued and trusted.
Provide employees with training and development programs so that they have the means and resources to add to their skills, knowledge, and experience.
What Drives Employee Motivation and Engagement?
Based on research out of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, neuroscience can help explain what drives employee motivation.
Per the research, there are four behavioral drivers influencing human behavior, namely: the drive to acquire, the drive to defend, the drive to bond, and the drive to learn.
By understanding what drives a person’s behavior, you will be better able to focus your efforts on that to improve motivation and engagement.
While it’s not always easy to get inside the mind of every individual, especially if you’re running a growing organisation, it is possible to gain an understanding through data-driven insights.
Employee wellbeing platforms provide anonymized data of departments and teams within your organisation so you can understand patterns of thoughts, and ultimately, behaviors and actions.
With this type of access, you’ll be better equipped to proactively support employees wherever they need it most.
How to Improve Employee Motivation?
Keeping in mind how motivated staff affects an organisation, you’re probably looking for ways to improve employee motivation. Here are a few tips to try:
1. Set Clear Targets
As a company, you have business goals. It’s critical that everyone within your organisation understands what they are and what’s expected of them to help get the business to each goal. The goals are probably big and made for the long-term, so break them down into attainable targets to keep your team motivated with momentum.
2. Share the “Why”
It’s great to have business goals, but part of that process and communication involves sharing the “why” behind the goals and the tasks. Employees that are engaged and motivated often align on a personal level and agree with the company mission, so it’s paramount to make it clear.
3. Reward and Recognize Work
Be sure to include a rewards and recognition program to give credit where it’s due. Rewards and recognition help ensure that employees feel valued for their contributions and effort.
4. Encourage Autonomy
If a person feels like they lack control over their time and efforts, they may fall into a slump. By offering autonomy, be it in the form of flexible work hours or the ability to make decisions, employees are more likely to feel trusted and excited about their role.
5. Promote Teamwork
If one of the drivers of human behavior is the drive to bond, then it’s obvious as to why promoting teamwork and collaboration could be fruitful. When people get to work with people with different skill sets, everyone is constantly learning and expanding their mind.
6. Prioritise Mental Wellbeing
Supporting mental wellbeing is often overlooked, but it also is likely to be the most important and valuable way to improve employee motivation. Rewards and recognition can only go so far as they typically result in diminishing returns. Employee wellbeing platforms provide employees with a better understanding of their mental wellbeing and techniques to support themselves.
How to Measure and Maintain Employee Motivation?
You’re acutely aware of how motivated staff affects an organisation by now, but how are you to measure it and keep it up?
You’ve likely considered annual surveys. While they can offer some understanding, they will probably end up being a little too late by the time you deduce the results. Additionally, if you recognize employee disengagement or lack of motivation after too much time, employees may have already reached their threshold and are ready to seek employment elsewhere.
Instead, an employee wellbeing platform can keep you abreast of how your team members are feeling and faring in real-time. With access to trends and patterns, you’ll be able to understand where extra support is needed and implement solutions to increase motivation.
With the deep knowledge of how motivated staff affects an organisation, it’s now time to put your plans into action. By implementing the financial and non-financial methods of improving employee motivation, you’ll be able to support a happier workforce that is more collaborative, productive, efficient, and engaged.
Making employee mental wellbeing a priority will result in increased employee motivation and engagement levels.Mental wellbeing platforms can be of great use in taking your organisation and its people to the next level.