Why Your Business Needs an Employee Motivation StrategyLast Updated: February 2, 2020
If you’re a manager or employer, it’s time to start caring that fewer than a third of your employees have any true passion for and commitment to your organisation. As it’s these people who’ll help your organisation grow, your key Resolution for 2020 should be to add to their number through an employee motivation strategy.
Employers and business leaders in the current climate who believe their employees should be happy to have jobs and so should just get on with it and never complain need to think seriously about devising an employee motivation strategy.
“Fewer than a third of employees are working with passion and feeling… and it’s these people who help an organisation move forward.”
Take note, managers! Firstly, Employee commitment, satisfaction and engagement are not abstract concepts. They’re demonstrable. In fact, Engagement has never been more important.
It is very important as a manager to grasp the fact that they are the creators of the working environment, and that the quality of the environment is directly linked to team performance, intelligence and energy. This is not about clearing a space and assuming your team, aided possibly by executive toys such as fidget spinners and puzzles. You can’t create smart working in a vacuum. It is a matter of devising a proper employee motivation strategy.
If managers ignore the links between the work environment they create, and the performance of their teams, they do so at their peril. This is the overriding reason why an Employee Motivation strategy is imperative. It’s the beginning of a New Year. Why not take the steps right now, today! Regard this post as your ground-floor primer in the subject.
Employee Engagement is the extent to which an intellectual and emotional commitment exists among employees, in terms of accomplishing the work of the organisation. Engagement is like a heightened level of ownership, where each employee wants to do everything possible for the benefit of their internal and external customers, and for the success of the whole organisation.
What is worrying, though, is that fewer than a third of employees are actively engaged at work. The figure has varied in the US, and worldwide, between 29 at the start of this decade to 32.6 per cent in 2016. So at any one time, fewer than a third of employees are working with passion and feeling profound commitment to their companies. It’s these people, the Actively Engaged, who help an organisation move forward.
Here is what we know about this grouping of Actively Engaged employees from workforce surveys in the US and worldwide over the past half-decade.
Almost 90 per cent of actively engaged employees believe they can positively impact on the quality of their organization’s products, compared with only 38 per cent of the disengaged.
Approximately 70 per cent of Actively Engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service, versus roughly 25 per cent of the disengaged.
Some 65-70 per cent of Actively Engaged employees believe they can positively impact costs, compared with around 20 per cent of the disengaged.
Here is Gallup’s tracking of employee engagement in the US over the past five years.
While the overall upward trend is welcome, the shallowness of the incline is not, nor is its erratic nature.
Here’s a couple of reasons why employee motivation and employee engagement really matters. Engaged employees feel a strong emotional bond to the organisation that employs them. This is manifest in a willingness to recommend the organisation to others, and efforts to help the organisation succeed. We can deduce, then, that Actively Engaged are motivated more by intrinsic factors (personal growth, working toward a common goal, as part of a larger process or team), than by extrinsic factors such as a pay or bonuses/raises.
Most interestingly, the correlation between employee engagement and organisational performance appears to be borne out by the fact that Actively Engaged employees tend to perform 20 per cent more effectively than their less engaged counterparts, and are approximately 85 per cent less likely to leave their organisations.
Employee Motivation Checklist
Leaders and managers need to think how they can create an environment in which employees are motivated, enabled and energised to deliver their best performance. Managers urgently need to translate their thought into action on employee motivation, across in the following areas:
- Employer engagement: employers can stay engaged with their employees by actively seeking to understand and act on behalf of the expectations and preferences of their employees.
- Employee perceptions of job importance: an employee’s attitude toward their job’s importance has more impact on loyalty and customer service than all other employee factors combined.
- Employee clarity on job expectations: if expectations are not clear and basic materials and equipment not provided, this can give reside to boredom or even resentment, and the employee can shift towards a focus on self-preservation rather than thinking about how they can help the organisation succeed.
- Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors: feedback gives employees a sense of where they’re going, but many organizations are remarkably bad at it. What employees want to hear is ‘Thanks, you did a good job.’ But all the average boss does is hand out a cheque.
- Quality of working relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates: if employees’ relationships with managers are fractured, no amount of perks will persuade employees to perform well. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss.
- Perceptions of the organisation’s ethos & values: inspiration and values are the most important drivers in the Engaged Performance model. Employee motivation and inspirational leadership, then, is the ultimate perk. If it doesn’t exist, employees are unlikely to be engaged.
- Effective Internal Employee Communications: these convey clearly what is going on in the organisation. If you accept that employees want to be involved in what they are doing, you need to explain what is happening in the company. The effect of poor internal communications is seen at its most destructive in global organisations.