By Muthoni Ndegwa
How do you motivate your employees?
Other than money, what other motivational methods work in today’s market?
Most employees have come to expect money –in one form or another, as motivation. A fair number of companies will often increase salaries or give commissions as a way to motivate employees.
Is money the only effective motivator?
During a Leadership Training we hosted for executives, I met with Faith who had this question.
Faith is the managing partner at a hospitality company of about 35 employees.
After the training, Faith shared she was experiencing difficulties motivating workers in the organization. “Over the last few months, business has been low. Total revenue has decreased by over 30 percent. The competition has also increased. We have identified areas of growth, but it will take some time before we can see the results. Most of the employees have been demotivated, and this shows even in their work. How can I motivate my employees without using money?” shared Faith.
Are there other modes of motivation? If so, how effective are these methods?
Over the years, I have come to recognize, and appreciate motivation amongst employees. Here are some motivation methods I have successfully used, or have seen other managers use and achieve the intended results.
1. Have clear communication channels
How open are your organization’s communication channels?
When your employees know they can approach the management with an idea or even a concern, they are more open to discussing how the company can move forward. In turn, this will lead to motivation across the board.
On the other hand, if the employees have a hard time communicating with the leadership, they’ll not struggle to voice their ideas.
Moreover, you should ensure the managers can effectively communicate with the employees. When you possess effective communication skills, little of what you say is misunderstood.
For example, a gesture such as applauding an employee will help boost the morale of the employee, as well as other employees.
2. Involve your employees in decision making
As a leader, most of the decisions will fall on you. You have to weigh what effects the decisions you make will have on the organization as well as the employees.
However, when your employees are involved in making decisions, they get a sense of ownership to the ideas and decisions made. As a result, the employees will be eager to pick up these ideas and run with them
For example, if you run a sales department, instead of pointing out the targets and asking them to reach these targets, you can take a different approach. You might share the targets, but then ask them how you can achieve the goals set.
For starters, you’ll be surprised they have more ideas that could get to the objective more effectively. Secondly, involvement and participation will motivate them to see through the ideas they have come up with themselves.
3. Share the rewards as well as the losses
When the company does well –or when you achieve the goals you had set, celebrate. The celebration does not have to be exorbitant. You can have a small appreciation and celebration event –perhaps during the lunch break.
The point is to show the employees you realize and appreciate their efforts.
The same happens for losses. When you lose, let the team know, and then come up with a way to move beyond the loss.
I have seen employees who’ve stayed with a company both when it’s doing well and even when it’s making a loss. When the employees see the hardships the company is having, they will not only understand the situation, they’ll also look for ways to get the company back to its winning ways.
Motivating your employees doesn’t have to be through money. The above methods have proven relatively cheaper and more effective. As a leader at your workplace, your leadership style and tactics have a huge impact on the organization. Grow your leadership and management skills today and lead your team to success.
Muthoni Ndegwa is the General Manager at Corporate Staffing Services. To learn more about the leadership and management training, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.