Is your greatest challenge as a leader finding ways to motivate staff? Knowing what motivates employees and incorporating this knowledge into the reward system will help retain a motivated and productive workforce.
Key drivers or motivators at work include:
- Doing challenging and interesting work
- Having the ability to make choices about how to go about one’s work and to take ownership
- Achieving results that are valued
- Receiving recognition for one’s work
It is as important to understand motivators as well as de-motivators in one’s work. De-motivators at work include:
- Misaligned job where the strengths are not employed at work, and areas of weakness are required
- Unclear expectations, causing frustration and necessity to redo work
- Misfit between boss and employee, causing continual tension and strain
- Disrespect and not feeling like a valued contributor
Understanding each employee is key. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy! Take time to get to know what motivates and de-motivates each individual.
Here are some questions to ask each of your staff:
- What is most important or interesting about your work?
- What challenges you in your work?
- How do you feel your work is valued and contributes to the organization overall?
- Have you recently received honest feedback about your performance?
- What is your greatest source of frustration in your work?
- When you do a good job at work, what kind of recognition is meaningful to you?
As a leader, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Over the last 12 months, have I given each employee an opportunity to learn and develop?
- Am I giving recognition whenever I see someone do a good job?
- Does each employee have the chance to take ownership of their work?
- Am I clearly explaining the expected outcomes for each employee and letting go of how they achieve it?
- Is each employee using innate strengths at work? Do I know each one’s strengths?
- Do I respect each employee as an individual?
If you answer no to any of these questions, consider putting some focus on and adjusting those areas.
By John Hester