Many employers would like to know what they can do to increase motivation amongst their employees. Workers who are excited and passionate about what they do are more productive and create a positive atmosphere in the work environment. Here are some factors that contribute to employee motivation and a list of what employees really want from their bosses.
How Motivation Works
The Four Basic Emotional Needs
• Acquiring – This involves collecting tangible and intangible goods.
• Bonding – This allows us to make connections with other individuals and groups.
• Comprehending – This gives us a need to understand and make sense of our environment.
• Defending – This makes us protect what is important to us.
3 Ways to Increase Employee Performance
• Autonomy – Let your workers direct themselves to feel more responsibility.
• Mastery – Encourage your staff to hone their skills and talent.
• Purpose – Inform your employees about the end goal and allow them to contribute.
The Reward System
Traditionally, employers use tangible rewards, such as salary, bonuses, and plaques to motivate their employees. However, according to researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Duke University, and MIT, these types of incentives make workers perform less because profit is unrelated to the larger goals of the organization. The types of rewards that get more attention in the modern American workplace are intangible and have a stronger relationship with the goals of the business or organization. They include perks such as recognition, flexible hours, and opportunities for growth.
Perspective in Other Countries
Japan – In traditional Japanese countries the Nenko system is used, meaning that more tangible rewards, like wages and bonuses, are offered to employees.
Germany – After polling employees, it was found that German workers preferred to have more intangible incentives. In fact, 80% of engaged employees reported that their opinions were held as valuable in their companies, and 65% of them strongly felt that their work has been recognized.
The Relationship between Managers and Employees
What Employers Think Their Employees Want
• Money – 65%
• Training – 6%
• Recognition – 29%
What Employees Really Want
• Boosting Morale – 32%
• Recognition – 27%
• Money – 18%
Effectively Motivating Managers
According to Harvard Business Review, workers who had their entire primary emotional needs met to acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend had a higher performance rate. If an average firm ranking in the 50th percentile of employee motivation effectiveness were to improve upon one of the four needs, their performance levels would increase up to six percentage points. However, if the firm were to enhance all four needs, the performance rate of their employees could be raised up to 88%.
After reading the article, you will find that ironically, salary is not the best motivation tool for a person to do their job. Many employers do not understand what their employees truly want, creating a disconnection. Instead of just offering money, employers should consider whether their workers would appreciate receiving more intangible rewards instead.