Actively Foster Employee Growth
of 10 employees do not feel their supervisor supports their growth. Employees
are more motivated when they know that by staying with the company they will
have an opportunity to grow. Yet when business is slow, organizations are very
quick to cut training. Our research shows that only half of all employees feel
that they are given the opportunity to learn new skills on their job.
Link Pay to Job Performance
Only 3 out of 10 employees
feel that their company does a good job of linking their pay to their job
My son just returned home from his freshman year
at college. He is working at a retail store for the summer, his first real job.
As part of his training, he learned that every time he convinced a customer to
sign up for the company's credit card he would receive $5. He was also told
that he would receive another $10 for selling a few selected products. He came
home one day and said, "Dad, these incentives REALLY are motivating me. I had
learned in my economics class that incentives are one of the 10 Guiding
Economic Principles but now I really see it." He added, "I wake up each morning
and think about how can I make more of these sales."
Set Clear Performance Expectations
One of the reasons
employees don't believe that their pay is tied to job performance is because
they have never been told exactly what is expected of them. If they don't know
what is expected, they won't know what they need to do to be viewed as a good
performer. Management merely assumes that employees know what is good job
performance and what is not.
If job standards, criteria for success, and
specific performance levels are not made clear and specific, employees will not
be motivated to perform well.
Provide Employees with the Opportunity to
Fully Use their Skills
One-third of all employees
do not feel they are being fully utilized. It is important to employees that
they feel as though they are fully using their valued skills and abilities on
their job. If they are not, they will quickly lose interest in their work.
To fully utilize the skills of employees, ask them
what else they would like to do and provide them with opportunities to use
One-third of employees do
not feel they have the decision-making authority they need to do their jobs
well. To enrich a job, provide employees with challenge, autonomy, personal
growth, and more of a say in how their work is performed.
Help Employees Feel Part of a Winning Team
Ever notice how winning
teams have a tradition of winning and losing teams have a tradition for losing?
Success breeds success. Employees desperately want to be part of a winning
team. However, senior management more often communicates failures than
Share the good news and thank employees for their
contributions. Doing so will help improve employee motivation.
Help Employees Feel That Their Work is More
than Just a Job
There were three movers in
front of a moving van. One was asked, "What are you doing?" He responded, "I'm
just putting in my time for this moving company." He added, "The more hours I
work, the more money I make." The second mover was asked the same question. His
response, "I am moving these boxes from the truck to the house." The third
mover responded, "What I am doing is very important. I am helping a young
family start a new life for themselves here on the east coast."
Which mover do you think is more motivated?
It's easy for employees to lose site of the fact
that no matter what their actual work involves, they are performing a more
important function for their customers.