Do you want to get the best from your employees? Do you want them to be fully engaged with your business goals? Do you want to reduce staff turnover? Have you developed a motivational working culture for success within your organisation? You may well have introduced some sort of incentive scheme for rewarding people but if you think that extrinsic (from the outside) rewards like money or gifts are a driver for loyalty you need to think again. Money works up to a point but the minute more money is available elsewhere, or the employee can get a better job and survive on less, they will leave and you will suffer. Worse still, once you provide an employee with an extrinsic reward it tends to become expected and this can be very expensive. Withdrawing such extrinsic rewards can leave you worse off and with less motivated employees.
This article will give you a very simple yet powerful idea to help you start to turn things around.
If you don’t have a motivational working culture then, as a business owner or manager, you need to consider developing one. Despite the recent and continuing recession, good people are still very mobile. Quality people can always find new jobs or even start out on their own. Can your business survive losing these good people? The bad ones then stay longer and do less and, if you only motivate with money, they just eat it up. A downward spiral ensues with only one outcome; you fail.
When you begin to develop a business with a motivational attitude you also have to develop a business with an accountability and responsibility attitude. Remember this works in both directions. Ideally, you want good employees to stay and proliferate and you want bad employees to leave. With the rewards comes the accountability and responsibility. Poor employees generally don’t like these two factors. How then do you motivate good people when money alone is not working?
The answer is to create intrinsic motivation in your employees. Intrinsic is a fancy word for from within. This means that motivation is generated by the employees themselves and anything you do is geared towards providing them with the resources and ability to create their own motivation. Sounds simple in theory but how do you go about finding out what really motivates your employees to do great work?
The most direct and simple way is to simply ask them. Ask them one to one, anonymously, via online survey or whatever else it takes. The important thing is to do it. You may be surprised with the answers you get but run with them. People are motivated by some surprising things. Consider honestly what really motivates you. Is it always money? Pick the most common things they mention and start with them. You won’t please everyone of course and some will always favour money over all else. Remember, if the things you try don’t work as planned you can always try something else. At least you’re moving forward. In fact, if you can get the majority of the workforce engaged with the whole process right from the start, you will find your motivational program designs itself over a relatively short time scale and with a high level of employee buy-in and resulting benefits for all. You need to trust the process and trust your people.
Here is the part that many businesses don’t get, however, and it is the bit that involves the nurturing and supporting of your staff to attain the rewards. If you are rewarding people intrinsically then you are gaining as a business and they are gaining as individuals. You also have to back up your staff when you make them accountable and responsible. Provide your people with the tools, training and confidence they need to take on the responsibility and accountability. Here is the real key to it all in my opinion. Be aware that allowing your people to make mistakes is the way forward; as long as you and they can learn from those mistakes. Don’t set people up to fail. Set them up to succeed.
This idea is simple. The results can be powerful. It will take time and investment. Make the investment.
Become a business with an intrinsically motivated working culture and you will be both amazed and amazing. Remember, just ask.
For more information about my work as a communications coach and trainer come visit and explore my website
For me, it's all about helping people to maximise their emotional intelligence and their mental resilience.
I help stressed people get their mojo back.
Check out my popular book "The Resilient Professional"