Ever had an employee just watching the clock, who could hardly wait for the next break?
Ever notice an employee get more excited about collecting a paycheck then about getting a job done?
Ever see an employee more motivated about a sports team then about the success of their employer’s company?
Ever had an employee resign because they felt under-utilized?
Ever heard an employee say, “That’s not in my job description?”
These are all symptoms pointing to a single root problem! Hold on to your hat because the solution is simple and easily resolved. As a matter of fact, fringe benefits include stress reduction for management and motivated employees with increased productivity.
Here are 6 easy changes to help motivate staff members for success:
1. Fill that human need to be valued.
Negative: When all company decisions only come from the top without employee interaction, employees feel like just another “cog-in-the-wheel.” They feel unimportant and assume that management purposely keeps them in the dark. This causes them to look for the only thing that gives them value — a pay check. Thus, a demotivated clock-watching employee is created.
Positive: If an employee feels valued, they work harder, do a better job and go out of their way to accomplish goals for their employer. They also tend to motivate other staff members, who are not as motivated as they are. All human beings are created with a desire to be validated.
2. Validation of employees starts with an easy 2-phase process.
Negative: Firstly, encourage supervisors to rule with kindness and respect, instead of fear. Employees that are submissive because of fear, become clock watchers. They also begin sending out their resumes to other companies, who appreciate their skills and expertise. When that employee leaves, they take with them experience that may not be easily replaced.
Positive: Employees, who are treated with kindness and respect, respond eagerly to new assignments. They often go beyond what is expected of them to complete the job well.
Negative: Secondly, assign supervisors the task of bridging the gap between management and employees. Employees, who feel that they are just part of the staff and not necessarily part of the company, have low morale, are demotivated and dissatisfied. They often feel that their talents and skills are terribly underutilized.
Positive: A team-atmosphere, promoted by the supervisor, also produces a change in employees’ attitudes. Employees, who are included as part of the team, automatically feel a sense of value and belonging. A validated employee transforms into a motivated and loyal employee. Motivated employees never take note of a task not listed in their job description. They just do it because it benefits the team.
3. Knowledge is empowerment.
Negative: It is demotivating for employees to “be told” what to do, without being given proper background information or rationale. This “air of secrecy” creates a sense of isolation and bewilderment. Employees do not understand how to arrive at the final objective because the direction is totally unclear. They are only doing something because they were told to. The question of, “Why,” remains unanswered. Usually, the end result takes considerable time to complete and is often wrong.
Positive: When employees are part of a team receiving pertinent information, they are properly equipped to complete the task. Knowledge empowers each member and the team, as a whole, becomes highly motivated. The correct result is often accomplished on the first attempt without any floundering or wondering about uncertainties. This time-saving feature is a direct result of empowering employees by sharing knowledge.
4. Share the decision-making process.
Negative: The ideology of many companies dictates that only management level is included in the decision-making process. Obviously, this excludes most of the employees, who are also affected by the decisions finalized behind closed-door meetings.
Excluding employees from these important decisions creates a wall between staff and management. Long-term, this wall can cause severe damage to the strength of the company.
When management takes on the decision-making process and excludes all others, they also create unnecessary stress-levels for themselves. All companies have employee pools filled with rich resourceful ideas. Tapping into these resources can add greater value to the decision-making process or even establish new company growth ideas.
Positive: When there are decisions that affect the company, it is critical to include and involve all employees in this process. Including them promotes a sense of “ownership.” This feeling of ownership is especially true if employees come away from the meeting with a specific project — even if it is a team effort.
Employees given the opportunity to “drive” their own projects, become enthusiastically motivated to produce above-average results. They take great pride in being considered the owner of this project and tend to take personal responsibility for the success of the project.
Giving employees “ownership” of a task or process becomes even more important when the decisions have a negative impact. Employees accept negative decisions more readily when they understand the reasoning and are part of the decision-making process.
5. Brain-storming sessions with all employees can add great value.
Negative: Employees consistently excluded from participating in their employer-company, will not share their cost saving ideas, improved process ideas or even new venture ideas. No one develops better or more creative ideas then the person who works the same process daily.
These efficiency ideas may carry great benefits for the company. Unfortunately, they will never come to fruition when employees do not participate in brain-storming sessions. Often, these employees, unable to share their ideas with their employer, act on them by creating their own venture and establish competition for their now-former employer.
Positive: Supervisors, hosting brainstorming sessions with their team, will be pleasantly surprised to see the brilliant ideas that come out these sessions. Gifted ideas can translate into serious increases to the bottom-line of a company.
Employees, given the opportunity to participate in these brainstorming sessions, take a deep personal interest in the success of the company. They see themselves as valuable and an important part in helping make the company a success.
Employees who are given the opportunity to use their talents and expertise begin to shine in unexpected ways. Their work reveals never-before-seen quality that can enhance the company reputation.
For example, Company #1 has an acceptable product, while Company #2 has a great product. Which company do you suppose has more customers? Reasoning would say Company #2 has more customers.
In reality, the answer is Company #1. What differentiates these two companies is the staff in the Customer Service Department. The staff at Company #1 are talented, knowledgeable, polite and friendly, while the same is not true for Company #2.
Customers are immediately drawn to the company that cares about them as clients. Company #1 may not have the best product but they have the best customer service – that’s what really matters to the consumer.
6. Implement incentive or profit-sharing programs.
Treat Me Good and I’ll Work for Peanuts – Well Maybe Not Quite: It isn’t necessary to have an incentive or profit-sharing program to attract talented people as employees. Talented people will happily work for a company that recognizes their skills and values them as team players.
People are often heard commenting during breaks, that their number one priority in a job is to be happy, satisfied and fulfilled rather than feel undervalued, unimportant and uninvolved. Notice how there was no mention of money? Every human being is created with the desire to be validated.
True Ambassadors: If the company chooses to implement an incentive or profit sharing program, employees become truly motivated ambassadors for the company. They promote the company at every opportunity. After all, if the company performs well, they share, not only the profit, but also the pride in being successful.
A true story: A young man, employed as an assembly line worker at a tissue manufacturing company, was out doing his weekly grocery shopping. Moving between aisles, he stopped at the paper products section to purchase tissues.
While in the aisle, he noticed several people comparing different brands and checking prices. Unashamed, he began to brag about the products of his company to these undecided shoppers. His pride and knowledge of the product were unmistakable. His impassioned motivation clearly showed as he answered each shoppers’ question.
Needless to say, all the undecided shoppers purchased the products recommended by the young man. Quite possibly these shoppers are now dedicated to purchasing the same brand each time. They will always remember the young man who answered all their questions.
Later someone asked the young man, “Why did you take the time to talk to those people?” He responded, without hesitation, “I work for the greatest company in the world. I am part of the team and I want to see my company be even more successful then it already is. Besides, I know we make the best product that there is!”
What’s Good About Today? To motivate staff for success requires a new all-inclusive team management style. Employees respond quickly when included in the process that makes their company work.