5 Essential Practices to Motivate Employees

October 5, 20157:29 am618 views

What is motivating your employees to help drive the company toward success?

To uncover the influencers of employee motivation, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, psychologist Frederick Herzberg conducted a series of studies and stumbled across a fascinating discovery: The contributors to job satisfaction and dissatisfaction aren’t related.

In other words, fixing problems or establishing a positive work environment won’t translate into more satisfied employees; it just means they are no longer dissatisfied.

Herzberg concluded that true employee satisfaction rests in a fulfilling job experience – more commonly known as job enrichment or vertical job loading. Employers who deepened their staff’s knowledge through programs or benefits promoting achievement, recognition, responsibility and advancement had the happiest, most productive workforces. They also had more cohesive work cultures, increased company loyalty and more motivated teams.

To enrich the work experience and instill motivation in your employees, implement these five essential practices into your organisation:

1. Balancing both job enrichment and job enlargement

A growing business will inevitably require you to expand your employees’ duties and responsibilities, known as job enlargement or horizontal job loading. While some thrive under a heavier workload of diverse tasks, others prefer more intensive and challenging tasks.

It is important to understand where your employees fall on this spectrum so you can balance the duties and enrichment opportunities effectively, keeping everyone satisfied and motivated to go the extra mile.

See: Empowering Employees to be Their Best: 6 Simple Tips

2. Set up career development discussions

Establish collaborative, cross-departmental discussions about the types of enrichment opportunities that employees feel would be most beneficial to them and their co-workers.

For example, hold monthly lunches with an employee and an executive who don’t normally interact with each other. Because of the flat hierarchy and emphasis on collaboration, employees are encouraged to ask questions about the company, discuss career road bumps and successes and gain new insights into the business. This establishes a level of transparency and accessibility for employees to understand company decisions and gain new perspectives.

3. Offer training opportunities and continued education

Offering training, continued education, mentorship and/or tuition reimbursement can be highly beneficial to the employees. Employees appreciate the opportunity to broaden their skill sets and improve their standing in the company. Plus, the company will gain a well-trained and adaptable workforce as a result.

Establish guidelines for educational and training opportunities that your company will cover. Collaborate with local colleges or professors to set up informational sessions to give your employees an idea of the opportunities available to them.

4. Apply cross-functional training

Begin a cross-functional training program that enables employees to learn skills and business strategies from other departments. This will give employees a clearer understanding of how their work fits into the company’s broad business objectives. Because this approach leverages talent from within your current workforce, you will spend less on outside recruitment to fill vacancies, including temporary positions for employee vacations and leaves of absence.

5. Hand over some responsibility

When employees feel trusted and valued by their employers, they gain an enhanced sense of purpose, motivation and responsibility. Demonstrate trust in your employees by stepping away from the supervisor role, giving individuals more responsibility over projects or departments and training them to take on managerial duties.

Do not neglect to consider the team’s personal and professional growth. Strike a balance between increasing job responsibilities and job enrichment opportunities. This is the key to keeping your employees satisfied, motivated and focused on success — both for themselves and their company.

See also: 5 Quick Tips to Keep Employees Inspired with Their Jobs

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