How To Motivate Your Employees
“It’s the job of a manager not to light the fire of motivation, but to create an environment to let each person’s personal spark of motivation blaze.”
After reading these words written by well-known American psychologist Fredrick Herzberg, there is a good chance that managers everywhere would agree with him. But, not without a bit of scepticism. Because it does not answer every manager’s perennial question
“How do I get an employee to do what I want?”
Managers use the ever so popular “Kick To The Pants” (KTTP) approach to get what they want. But this approach is not only cruel but also short-term. If the KTTP approach isn’t helpful, then managers resort to the “Carrots” or the rewards approach.
Sounds good, doesn’t work.
Fredrick Herzberg’s classic Two-factor theory sheds some light on why the “Sticks & Carrots” approach isn’t the right way to motivate people. There are two factors that influence people’s motivation at work
1. External needs – Also known as hygiene factors. These include employees receiving a decent salary, working in a safe environment, and job security. This helps in removing dissatisfaction but does little in motivating employees from performing higher.
2. Internal needs – Motivation is a function of growth from satisfying internal (intrinsic) needs. Interesting and challenging work, autonomy, recognition and advancement are few of the intrinsic rewards that keep employees engaged. This kind of motivation helps them perform well again and again.
But the question still remains – How can managers identify these internal needs in order to motivate their people?
Assessment Tests: Today, scientifically validated assessment tests can comprehensively determine and measure motivators that influence people’s behaviour at work. This helps managers understand the link between individual motivation and employee engagement.
Manager-Individual Conversation: The assessment results allow managers to understand each individual’s workplace motivation, leading to an encouraging conversation for building an action plan. An action plan is a useful tool in the process of self-development and continuous improvement.
Regular Feedback: Continuous improvement cannot take place without proper feedback. Regular feedback from employees can help managers check if the motivators and action plan are serving their purpose.
Managing employees isn’t the easiest task around, but by getting to what drives people, managers can encourage people properly to get the best out of them.