Employee motivation is an internal and intrinsic drive to commit the necessary action and effort towards specific work-related tasks. It is that spur of the moment, or “spark”, which gets a person up and running in the right direction. However, with the increase in the rate of unemployment over recent years, employee motivation has taken on a new meaning, one that is sometimes called the “new job mantra”. The mantra helps to keep people on track to achieving company-wide objectives. For the modern organisation, motivation is not only a must but also a viable option.
The best way to get an employee motivated is to understand his needs and motivations. This requires careful assessment of the individual. One of the best ways to do this is to ask the employees themselves – what motivates them? The answers to these questions can provide the employee with a starting point for further inquiry and analysis. While conducting assessments, the small business manager should keep in mind some important factors which affect employee motivation.
One of these factors is the intrinsic rewards an employee receives for doing a particular job. A common mistake made by managers is to compare monetary remuneration to the value of the job they are doing. Although money undoubtedly plays a big role in employee motivation, other factors such as recognition, perks, training facilities, social engagement, recognition badges and others are equally important. Recognition, for example, encourages employees to remain at their desks longer and perform better; it provides a sense of worth and value to them. Employees may become less motivated by an employee receiving fewer perks, especially if they feel that they are not being rewarded sufficiently. However, the number of employees interested in working for a particular company will always remain high, irrespective of the amount of money they may be offered.
In order to make the most of employee motivation, organisations need to set higher targets and create greater financial incentives. Incentives should be based on the performance of the individual employee and should therefore be geared at increasing the individual’s productivity. It is important for managers to set realistic goals, so that there is no tension between actual performance and desired targets. Setting too low a target without a corresponding incentive level will not yield positive results.
A great deal of time and energy can be wasted simply waiting for employees to show motivation. In order to see true results in employee motivation, many different aspects must be taken into consideration. Understanding the factors that affect employee motivation can make it easier to implement changes that can boost motivation, and therefore improve overall performance. Some of the many different factors which can affect motivation include; physical appearance, job performance, task completion and job satisfaction, as well as many other external factors.
The importance of employee motivation should never be underestimated in order to help small businesses achieve superior results. There are many different strategies that can be implemented to help improve motivation within all kinds of businesses. Many small businesses have discovered that implementing an employee recognition program can greatly improve motivation. Recognition programs should be designed to recognize accomplishments and achievements, but they should also encourage employees to express any kind of effort they have made. Employee recognition programs can provide a powerful tool for boosting employee motivation.