We all know that employees who feel motivated and appreciated work harder and perform better. Most companies recognise that motivation is important but very few of them get it right. So if you want it to have a real impact on your company’s productivity, it might be worth reconsidering your approach. And there’s no need to make it complicated, in fact the simpler the better – a human and transparent approach to motivation that inspires trust and treats each employee in the way they deserve: as an individual.
It’s your Challenge to Own
Just like respect, motivation from individuals and teams is something you have to earn and not something you can just expect. Cracking the whip to increase productivity may work for short periods of time, but to keep productivity levels high over longer periods you would have to keep upping the pressure. This is not a sustainable operating model. The solution is to put people before targets and to inspire them as opposed to simply managing them. And whatever you do, don’t blame the employees for their lack of enthusiasm – unless you’ve made a bad recruitment decision, it is entirely the employer’s duty to build and maintain motivation.
Do you need some Massive Motivation?
We all know what it feels like to be part of a motivated workforce. It's when everyone is performing at their best and working productively, when targets are being smashed and employees are turning out high quality work that they take pride in. It’s when the whole company is alive with ideas, energy and positivity. In the simplest terms, it’s when work is enjoyable for everyone, not just a select few.
The truth is, nearly every business faces a motivation gap. The 2016 Edenred Wellbeing Barometer found that around a third of employees are unhappy at work. This is down to a combination of factors – a lack of pride and commitment to the bigger picture, a negative attitude towards teamwork and a lack of opportunity and empowerment to help shape the success of the business: “If I’m not going to be heard and it’s not going to make any difference, why should I bother?”
Time for a Re-Think
One of the most important aspects of employee motivation is that one size doesn’t fit all. Managers must learn to understand the specific motivations of an increasingly diverse, multi-generational workforce with different attitudes and career expectations. It is only by building and maintaining strong relationships on an individual basis that employees will be motivated to work towards a common goal and feel appreciated by both their leaders and peers for their contribution. This applies as much to the retention of good employees as it does to the recruitment of new talent, making motivation the key driver for performance and productivity in any successful organisation.
Inspire, Reward, Perform: Massive Motivation in three easy steps
Massive Motivation isn’t about reviewing the way you do one or two things; it’s a fundamental change in behaviour and attitude in order to create a culture of appreciation and recognition in the workplace. This requires a move away from talking about targets to inspiring your people with a vision for success and, crucially, providing the support and encouragement to help them achieve it. Reward is the pivotal link between encouragement and great performance – give reward and recognition that is personalised and sincere and watch motivation grow.
Importantly, monitor what is working and what isn’t: the ultimate objective of Massive Motivation is better business performance. That also means measuring the impact of your approach by encouraging feedback – do your teams actually understand what they need to do to help the business succeed? Transforming your approach to motivation is only effective when you listen and learn from your people: it’s the only way you can be sure you’re getting the results you want.
Whatever your motivation challenges for the year ahead, our full guide to making it massive can be found here: http://www.edenred.co.uk/massive-motivation/landing.html?utm_source=reba&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=massivemotivationhero
Andy Philpott is sales and marketing director at Edenred. You can find more tips and insight around the role of benefits in supporting employee performance at www.edenred.co.uk/e.hub