Are your employees motivated?
Employee feedback surveys are the key to employee motivation!
When was the last time you felt excited, motivated and extremely keen to be at work? Chances are when you had a job that really interested you, had control over what you did and how you did it, and you didn’t have any worries about “zealous boss” interference or job security. It’s a great feeling – we can all probably tell stories of when we were most “motivated” at work.
As managers, do we try to provide this same level of motivation for our employees? Or, are we fixated on striving to achieve the deadlines, budgets and targets that are set for us (and that seem to be getting tougher and tougher and placing more and more stress on us and our people), and forgetting what it was really like when we worked in an environment that was truly “motivational”.
My challenge to managers, is to think back to when they were most motivated at work and identify the reasons why (list them on a sheet of paper as dot points). Then, set about implementing these same conditions for their own people. (Draw up your own list now and see how it compares with mine)
I’ve issued this challenge to managers over the last 20 years in management development forums and invariably their “motivational conditions” they identify are:
- Autonomy – the chance to take control over a complete project or unit of work in which I am really interested
- Responsibility – for setting goals and targets and being accountable for achieving them
- Recognition – for achieving meaningful results
- Development – of my skills, knowledge and capabilities to their full potential
I then ask them to identify the things that really irritate and annoy them and (often) change what could have been a motivating workplace into a drudgery. They list:
- Bosses who do not give recognition, or worse still, take the credit themselves
- A lack of feeling of “team”, ie., we are in this together
- Constant implied or implicit threats of demotion or dismissal
- Insufficient salary (by comparison to others in the firm or in the industry)
If these sound familiar, then you’re right! Frederick Herzberg in his classic article http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/ developed two similar lists nearly forty years ago that he called “Motivators” and “Satisfiers”.
Do they hold true today?
Research into turnover rates for young employees (20 – 30 yrs) shows that in some industries, the turnover rate of young employees is as high as 25% due to lack of perceived career development and training, and limited opportunities for involvement in other areas of their profession. These younger people:
- Are more opportunistic in taking new jobs.
- Are more mobile.
- Have greater expectations.
- Are easily bored.
Andrew Heathcote http://www.brw.com.au/stories/20040226/21726.aspx in answer to this challenge suggests that managers need to:
- Be honest during interviews.
- Be serious about performance reviews.
- Do more career mapping.
- Create a forum to develop a greater spirit of involvement.
- Provide more job rotation.
- Provide more rotation between offices.
- Develop specific training.
- Introduce variety.
- Develop forums for social interaction.
- Consider providing sabbaticals (so they can travel without resigning).
- Increase the availability of unpaid leave.
Richard Layard www.pfd.co.uk/clients/layardr/b-aut.html suggests that work plays a very important part in our happiness and that a lot of our happiness actually comes from the work we do. And the job that we do is affected by how we are allowed to do it!
(Managers this is your cue!!!!)
© The National Learning Institute
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Ian McMaster is Head of Learning & Development at BRC Partnership who assists leaders and managers to ask themselves the pertinent and essential questions so they can be more effective in their work.
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