Ways to Motivate and Keep Employees


Management practices, used to reach corporate goals and objectives, have undergone a dramatic change. The old functions, especially control and coercion, have been pushed aside to make way for new functions which can better motivate and challenge members of your company to achieve success.

Once your employees obtain and understand the company's goals and objectives, they have to be motivated to perform the required work productively. Most industries today require a manager who can generate excitement and energy among employees about their work. Excited employees are apt to work harder and more effectively. Employees who are disinterested and lack motivation tend to do a project just to suffice, if they do it at all.

Motivating employees can be one of the most difficult, yet important, task you will ever face, as a manger. It requires a knowledge of your employee's likes, dislikes, wants, needs, goals and objectives. Because of the differences among people, not everyone will be motivated by the same thing(s). You have to determine each employee's "driving force", if you are to be successful motivator.

Suppose you are manager of a production facility and the company wants employees producing more units per hour than they are currently producing. You may inspire employees to work more productively by offering a monetary reward incentive for superior production. This works if all employees are motivated by money, but fails if employees are motivated by other factors, such as public recognition. This is why it is important to know each employee's goals, wants, needs, interests, and more specifically, their motivating factor(s).

The easiest way to discover what motivates your employees is to ask them. They will be glad to tell you and, as a result, your job as a motivator becomes easier. It would be a mistake to assume money is the only driving force motivating employees. Some value praise for a job well done, public recognition and/or more freedom to present innovative ideas to the company.



Linking Performance with Reward

In order for your motivational practises to be successful, employees have to be motivated to complete the tasks that will help reach the desired result. For instance, if your company's goal is to double its market share, you should motivate your employees to promote the company as a potential market leader. Offering a pay raise each time the company's market share increases, would be a good reward for those employees motivated by money.

Communication of Incentives
Once you have decided on the incentives and rewards to be offered, your employees must be informed of them. Employees have to know the possible rewards and incentives if they are to be motivated by them. This can be accomplished in company meetings where information hand outs are provided and thoroughly discussed. Posting documentation throughout the company may serve as a useful reminder to employees about the incentives and rewards available to them. The more aware employees are of the available incentives, the more involved they will be in the process, and the greater chance your motivational campaign will succeed.

Monitoring the Incentive and Reward System
It is important to monitor your reward system to ensure it remains effective. Some rewards only have a limited course to run and beyond that point they become ineffective. To ensure incentives are not being taken for granted by employees, some rewards should only be offered on a short term basis. Regularly monitoring your incentive and reward system can reduce the amount of money unnecessarily used on an ineffective reward structure.

Monetary Rewards
If employees are motivated by money, it will make sense that they perform better if monetary incentives are employed. The type of monetary incentive should be evaluated however, because different types of monetary rewards will bring different end results. Some examples of monetary incentives are salary raises, employee stocks (allowing employees to buy shares and take small ownership in the company), bonuses, commissions, promotions, and company perks such as an expense account.

Non-Monetary Motivational Factors
Employees who are not enticed by monetary rewards might not perform better regardless of the money involved. They need something that money cannot buy to motivate them; and remember different offerings will get different results. Some of the common non-monetary ways to motivate an employee to improve performance include: offering increased responsibility in decision making, personal thanks for a job well done, giving time off, public recognition, allow him to celebrate in the company's success, sporting tickets, giving praise for a job well done, delegate interesting tasks, allowing employees to offer suggestions and provide the company with feedback (and thus more participation), a new job title, more duties, and/or greater responsibilities.

In summary, the most effective motivation practice is offering rewards and incentives for jobs well done. It is important to decide what reward and/or incentive is to be offered, when trying to motivate your employees. Those rewards can involve monetary or non-monetary incentives. They will be dependent on the employee's motivation standards, needs, and wants, as well as the company's desired result and positioning strategy. To be successful, rewards should be offered on the basis of improved or superior performance. In practice, such things as increased sales levels, market share increases, productivity improvements, error or malfunction decreases, and maintaining expense levels should all be rewarded; (that is, if they are relevant to your company's goals and objectives).

Categories: Management