Managers throughout corporate America tend to overestimate their ability to motivate employees. The general assumption is dangling financial incentives such as annual raises, quarterly bonuses, and higher commissions is all that is necessary to motivate workers. The truth is employees are motivated by much more than money. In particular, millennials and members of the Generation Z age cohort are interested in workplace benefits beyond an increase in financial compensation. They crave an employee experience that offers more than just a paycheck.
The Link Between Employee Engagement and Motivation
Engaged employees are that much more motivated. However, maintaining employee engagement is easier said than done. After all, most jobs become somewhat stale after a year or two. CareerBuilder finds that 61% of employees are actually burned out on the job, as rising stress levels at work manifest in poor physical health and compromised mental health. This is precisely why managers should consider employee wellness in addition to employee compensation levels. Even a well-compensated employee has the potential to feel disengaged from work to the point that he or she lacks the motivation necessary to continuously improve. For this reason, 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (Forbes).
Keep your employees engaged through ongoing dialogues as opposed to top-down monologues, a wide array of positive reinforcement, and other measures such as a multitude of subtle (but important) workplace perks. Even something as simple as a friendly competition between workers with a form of positive reinforcement such as selecting the restaurant for the company’s holiday party has the potential to motivate your team to give their all each day of the workweek.
With the help of Dynamic Signal, PageGroup, was able to capitalize on their sales-driven culture and leaderboard-mentality by incentivizing their employee advocacy program to increase content shares and better frame their recruiters as thought leaders. They rewarded gift cards to the marketers and salespeople who increased their individual monthly shares by 15%, and as a result, saw an astonishing 55% increase in the total number of articles shared.
Find out what motivates your unique team as well as individual employees, shape positive reinforcement with those motivations in mind, and your group will reach new heights. Employees who are properly engaged with their work really will try their hardest, gradually climb the corporate ladder and boost the company’s bottom line.
Tips and Secrets to Motivating Employees
No two people value exactly the same things in life. In particular, members of the many different age cohorts tend to be motivated by different forms of positive reinforcement. Members of the baby boomer age cohort generally respond well to financial incentives. Millennials who witnessed their parents pass through the corporate grind are often more inclined to favor a work-life balance over financial compensation.
Members of Generation Z tend to favor flexibility, meaning these youngsters desire the option to work from home and set their own hours. Add in the fact that each individual worker within these age cohorts has his or her own nuanced motivations and the challenge of identifying the best possible forms of positive reinforcement becomes that much more complicated.
Recognize no two Employees are the Same
The secret to motivating employees is to understand each worker’s unique desires. The best managers take detailed notes pertaining to employee motivation during initial interviews, job performance interviews, “stay interviews” and other conversations. However, merely writing down each employee’s unique motivations is not enough. These motivational factors must be implemented to ensure each employee has something to strive toward.
Highlight the Reciprocity of the Employee-Employer Connection
Above all, employees desire to be connected to their employers. Sadly, a recent survey shows merely 40% of employees in corporate America are aware of their employer’s goals. There is clearly a disconnect between employers and employees. It is up to managers to explain what the company is attempting to accomplish, why the organization is striving toward those particular goals, and how each employee’s contribution helps in achieving these nuanced aims. Engage employees with this important information, recognize their hard work and they will prove motivated to not only stay with the company but give their best effort across posterity.