Are employees lacking motivation in their work?
Studies reveal most employees want more than just a regular paycheck. Or, even a yearly bonus!
Sure. Most employees want a good paying job along with generous company benefits. But for employees to perform at a higher level, it takes something greater than money.
Research shows that employees who are really engaged in their work are “intrinsically” motivated.
ENGAGED EMPLOYEES ARE “INTRINSICALLY” MOTIVATED
What does it mean to be “intrinsically” motivated?
Intrinsically motivated employees are naturally engaged. They feel they are making a meaningful contribution to the organization. They are challenged. And they understand the difference they are making in people’s lives.
Check out these ideas to encourage “intrinsic” motivation in employees:
1. Help employees understand how their work fits into the success of the organization.
Yes, this takes time. But it’s fundamental to employee motivation. By taking the time to explain the process, the employee sees their value to the organization.
Remember this story?
President John F. Kennedy visited NASA in the 1960’s. When President Kennedy saw a man mopping the floor, he asked what the man did for NASA. The man replied, “I am working to put a man on the moon.”
This man understood how important his job was to NASA. He was motivated to do his work every day. He was contributing to a cause that would change the world.
2. Display pictures of your product or service being used by customers.
This motivates employees because they will see what they are working towards.
A well-known food processing plant uses this practice in their manufacturing facility. Management strategically posts pictures of the company’s delicious, mouth-watering food for all to see throughout the day. These simple posters are a great reminder of the company’s mission - providing high-quality food products.
3. Ask front-line employees to share positive customer stories.
Circulate these stories to all employees, using pictures and videos (with customer permission of course). Try to find a variety of ways to tell these engaging stories (meetings, social media, etc.).
4. Include support employees in trainings about the company – helping them better understand the organization.
This will make them feel a part of the team and the organization - performing their job with greater purpose.
Many times, employees aren’t motivated because they are given a small part of the process and don’t understand how it relates to the mission of the company.
They may even have some good ideas to make the process more efficient.
5. Encourage employees to use their natural talents in accomplishing the mission of the company
This is one of the best ways to encourage employees because they become driven to succeed at their job and the organization. Their work goes from being mundane to exciting because they are doing what they enjoy.
ENGAGED EMPLOYEES ARE SUCCESSFUL
These are just a few ways you can help your employees have real purpose in their work. As a result of your effort, your organization will experience better retention and greater profits.
What methods do you use to encourage employee motivation?
Jonathan came home from work discouraged.
Only a month earlier he had started the “perfect job”. The job was going to give him the opportunity of a lifetime.
As it turned out, his new job required him to complete very simple and mundane tasks that seemed to have no purpose or benefit to the company or its mission. He couldn’t see the connection between the tasks of his new job and the mission of the company.
When he had first started this job, he was so eager. But every day his motivation and commitment dwindled. He dreaded going to work.
This real-life example is not unique.
Sadly, this is how many employees feel every day in their jobs. Not Needed. Unmotivated.
Employees Need a Purpose
Employees, especially millennials, need a purpose in their work. They want to feel they are making a difference.
This is especially prevalent when employees have little or no customer interaction in their jobs.
But you can minimize this problem by becoming more proactive in your management style.
How to Add Meaning & Purpose
Here are some things you can do to help employees see the value of their work:
1. Explain to employees how their work fits into the company and your product/service.
Sometimes it requires detailed explanation of the process so they can get the full picture. By taking the time to explain the process, you are communicating you feel they are valuable.
2. Ask front line employees to share positive customer stories.
Circulate these stories to all employees, using pictures and videos (with customer permission). Try to find a variety of ways to tell these engaging stories (meetings, social media, etc.).
3. Display pictures of the product or service being used by customers.
This motivates employees because they will see what they are working towards. It can be great to display these pictures in your advertising and marketing material as well.
4. Include support employees in client meetings or discussions related to their job.
This will make them feel a part of the team and the organization. And they may even have some good ideas to make the process better.
Engaged Employees Are Successful
These are just a few ways you can help your employees have real purpose in their work. Employees who are engaged in their work are more successful. Your organization will experience better retention and greater profits.
How do you ensure your employees have real purpose in their work?
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
See me there at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donna-davis-48ab80135/
Your organization’s success is dependent on the commitment and engagement of its team members. But how do you find these great candidates that will be motivated and engaged in their work?
Check out these ideas for supplementing your current hiring process:
1. Make your hiring an inside job by promoting individuals already employed with your organization.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, said it is always more desirable to promote from within because it increases employee engagement.
A currently employed team member may be the perfect candidate to fill that open position. If the employee shows motivation and drive, perhaps all they need is just some additional training to make them qualified to fill the position.
Promoting from within has many advantages. The promoted employee will have a better understanding of the structure, giving them insight and making them more profitable to the organization. Also, it gives employees something to work towards.
2. Reach out to your current employees for hiring suggestions.
If an employee is a star performer, they are likely to associate with people who share the same interests, ethics and values. Capitalizing on your current employee’s friends and family members can be a great way to find new talent.
Hiring friends and family is a very controversial topic and can present some challenges. However, with proper planning, this can be a successful method for recruiting committed employees. Remember the success of Apple computers? Steve Jobs hired his friends to help build the company.
3. Ask employees to post on their social media sites about the available position.
Some organizations even offer a bonus to employees who refer a new employee that is hired and stays for a predetermined amount of time. See Josh Lindenmuth, CIO, Payce, Inc.
By asking employees to post on their sites, you are increasing your sphere of potential recruits.
4. Spread the word to vendors and associates that your organization is hiring.
These individuals are a great source for candidates because vendors and associates tend to only refer candidates they think would work well in your organization.
Just making a simple statement such as “We are looking to hire. Do you know anyone who might be interested?” opens the door for possibilities.
5. Post a notice on your organization’s website and social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
According to Recruiter Box, this is an overlooked method for seeking new employees to your organization.
6. Constantly be on the lookout for great employees.
Four Steps to Proactive Hiring. This approach makes the hiring process very proactive. Excellent employees are all around, it just takes an awareness to spot them. Begin to look for potential employees everywhere you go (coffee shop, grocery store, restaurant, etc.) and you will begin to be proactive in your hiring process.
Ideas for recruiting are endless. With all your hard work, you will be rewarded with great employees who are engaged and committed to the organization.
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By: Donna Davis
ENGAGED | Consulting
The other day I was talking with a friend. She said her boss always says she shouldn’t expect so much from her job - instead she should “just be happy to get a paycheck”.
I agree that we should be thankful to have a job. However studies show most all of us want more from our work. We desire intrinsic motivation. Taking part and contributing to the organization. Being challenged in our work. Making a difference in our community.
Within for-profit organizations, it can be difficult to provide employees with these intrinsic motivators because everyone tends to get immersed in the day-to-day functions of running a business. That’s why I suggest organizations consider adopting a company-sponsored volunteer program.
For years, people have been aware of the positive benefits of volunteering. But it wasn’t until a study was conducted by Marieke Van Willigen, Differential Benefits of Volunteering Across the Life Course, that leaders became aware of the positive outcomes to their organizations when they included a company-sponsored volunteer program as part of their benefit package.
Providing employees with the opportunity to volunteer benefits everyone, especially the employee. It helps employees feel they are doing more than just collecting a paycheck. It increases camaraderie within the organization. And it helps employees feel more connected to the community.
To set up a company-sponsored volunteer program:
1. Begin With a Single Non-Profit. Start by partnering with a single 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is located in your community. Beginning strong is essential to the program. Once the program is up and running, more charitable organizations can be added to the program if desired.
2. Engage Employees. Get employees involved in the selection of the charity. This creates excitement. For maximum benefit, make sure the charity is supported by the majority of those in the organization. It’s a great idea to ask everyone for ideas and then vote.
3. Spread the word. Use a variety of methods to announce the organization’s support of the chosen charity. This will build momentum among everyone.
4. Structured Time Off. Give employees paid time off to volunteer. Some companies give individual employees time off each week, while others work together as a group. It depends on the organization and the way you want to structure the program. The key is to structure the program in a way that best meets your organization’s needs.
5. Leadership Modeling. When leaders willingly model volunteerism, employees are more able to engage in their everyday work because of increased confidence in management.
A volunteer program is a great way to involve employees in your organization. Many workers want to feel that they are making a difference in the community and by sponsoring a volunteer program you may find employees are more engaged in their everyday work.
Lead by Example
Do your employees have friends at work? Numerous studies reveal employees who have friends at work see their jobs as more fun, enjoyable and satisfying, reports Christine M. Riordan in the Harvard Business Review. Friendships at work create a strong support network, both personally and professionally. And friends at work increase the overall satisfaction and engagement of employees up to 50%. As the leader/manager, encourage friendships through friendly and open communication to all team members. This is vital to an organization’s success because it sets the foundation for the organization’s culture. A positive and friendly culture is contagious.
Sponsor regular company-wide events (monthly lunches, annual picnics or even company sponsored philanthropic projects). Incorporating regular events give team members the opportunity to develop friendships within all departments of the organization and help everyone feel more connected.
When interviewing a potential new employee, make it a practice to have all department staff meet with the candidate and give their feedback. By involving your current team members in the selection process, you are helping to ensure the best candidate for the department is selected.
Your organization can increase it’s engagement levels among team members by fostering friendships among your team members. If your organization has a unique way of encouraging friendships among its team members, please share.
1. Harvard Business Review, 2017, We all Need Friends at Work
What’s the best way to find awesome team members who will contribute to your organization?
Think attitude … not skill.
We learned this years ago from Southwest Airlines who “hires based on attitude and trains for skill”. In fact, according to a Southwest spokesperson, if they can’t find someone with the right attitude, they won’t even hire for the position.
But how do you hire based on attitude? Take a look at the following:
1. Is the candidate motivated to learn about your company?
Focus on individuals who are curious, inquisitive and open to new challenges. These individuals will be easier to train and more willing to explore new opportunities.
2. Does the candidate get excited about your organization’s mission, goals and values?
Individuals who align with the organization's mission, goals and values tend to be more engaged and motivated in their work. Engaged employees, who have an emotional commitment to the success of the organization and its goals, average an increase in productivity by 20-25%.
3. Does the candidate fit with your company culture?
Every organization has a unique culture that makes it special. Look for individuals that resonate with your current staff. Research shows that workers are more likely to enjoy their work when they fit in with the company culture.
Look for individuals with a great attitude and are motivated to learn and grow with your organization. Finding employees who are committed to your organization is a key component to your business success.
Companies with highly engaged employees share an enthusiastic energy for the organization. This enthusiasm creates stronger commitment levels, better performance, higher productivity, and increased profits. Developing a strong culture is key to increasing the number of engaged employees in your organization.
Try the following ideas to improve your organization's culture and increase employee engagement:
Coach, train and develop direct reports.
A recent study shows that managers who are most successful spend 6 hours a week with each direct report, see Leadership IQ.
Employees who spend the optimal time with their managers are 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged, 16% more innovative and 15% more intrinsically motivated than those who spend only one hour per week.
Increase knowledge of operations.
Some of the best leaders purposefully take time each week to mingle among all the team members. Walt Disney, the creator of Disneyland, used to walk the Disneyland Park everyday on his way to his office. This simple routine gave him the opportunity to stay connected.
Hire based on organizational vision, mission and values.
Organizations with highly engaged employees determine their hiring decisions based on attitude, not skills. Southwest Airlines spends extra time finding the best employees, and their average turnover rate is a low 4-5% (in an industry that is almost double that), see Loyalty Rules.