It is still a common misconception that money is the only source of motivation for employees to keep working. After all, isn’t that why companies give out salaries, compensations, bonuses, and all the other monetary incentives that ever existed?
While money is important and, indeed, can help to boost motivation, it is only temporary. Eventually, employees are always going to be able to find more money elsewhere and that’s where you might lose your best people.
According to a research article on Harvard Business Review, a meta-analysis done by Tim Judge and colleagues found that there is actually a weak association between salary and job.
Apparently, there are just some things that money can’t buy. And one of those things is motivation.
As leaders, the responsibility falls on our laps to keep our employees engaged and motivated to retain our best people.
So we have come up with 3 simple changes your organisation can adopt immediately to keep your employees motivated in the long run.
Allowing Appropriate Autonomy
Imagine for a moment that you are going about your day, doing your work the way you always do with the same great results constantly generated. One day your boss comes up to you and tells you to change your methods and do exactly what they do, even when the end results are exactly. the. same.
Isn’t that such a major waste of time?
People generally don’t like to be micro-managed in the way they carry out the work or tasks. That’s because everyone has their own best way of getting things done. Oftentimes there are many different approaches to getting to one single outcome.
According to Business News Daily, to keep employees motivated, they need to feel they are in control of their careers and have a say in what they do. This breeds confidence in them and encourages professional growth.
Thus, as leaders, instead of setting the specific approaches, it is better to set clear outcomes and goals instead and give your employees the autonomy to use their own methods. You’d be surprised at the different methods your employees can create and at times, even discover better ways to go about doing things.
Of course, in giving your employees the freedom, the necessary resources and right environment need to be provided to encourage your employees to take the calculated risks.
Building Strong Trust and Fostering Strong Relationships
Working in teams means that relationships between colleagues are important to achieving quality results and keeping employees motivated and engaged. Those relationships must be strong, respectful and trusting.
Employees need to trust their team members to effectively receive their team members’ support. Most importantly, they also need to trust that you, as their leader, fully support them.
It is also important for employees to have friends at work. According to CNBC, having friends at work is crucial to a successful career.
Everyone needs a close confidant at work who can be their listening ear or to go through the good times and the bad times together. These quality relationships in the organization promote better collaboration and open communication amongst team members.
According to an article on Forbes, it is also important for employees to play together. Creating an environment of fun in the organization can be a stepping stone to building stronger trust and relationships. As the saying goes, a team that plays together, stays together.
Affirming People for Who They Are
Affirmation is one of the cheapest form of employee retention. It literally requires $0. Affirmation will motivate them to keep doing what they’re doing and encourage them to keep striving to do better. Employees need to feel that their work matters and they are making a contribution and are being impactful to the organization.
One easy way to affirm them would be to focus on their individual unique set of strengths. The science behind the Gallup research shows that when you focus on the strengths of your people, they become more engaged, and in turn will lead to higher productivity, better customer engagement, better retention and even fewer accidents.
According to research by the Gallup Organization, by focusing on the strengths of your people, they are 6 times more likely to be engaged in their work and 3 times more likely to have a higher quality of life. This simply means that they have better health, better relationships and better well-being. This shows that as leaders, it is crucial to understand the Strengths of our people.
Understanding the Strengths of our people also helps us solve differences between individuals. Everyone has a unique edge of what they can bring to the table, and sometimes these unique edges may seem to clash with one another. Understanding the uniqueness of each individual allows us to leverage on differences instead of letting differences tear the team apart. Understanding the uniqueness of people also allows us, as leaders, to provide an environment where their strengths can flourish.
The CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) is just one of the many tools that can help you discover your own strengths and the strengths of your team members.
These are just three out of the many ways to boost your employees’ motivation at work.
Ultimately, it is all about creating a desirable work environment that can allow appropriate autonomy in individuals, foster strong relationships and focus on the strengths of everyone.
You can easily create a work environment that boosts employees’ motivation and meet their needs. In turn, you’ll be able to see a higher retention rate in your best employees and achieve awesome results for your organization.
Dina is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach at StrengthsAsia. She is one of the principal architect and designer of StrengthsAsia’s wildly successful Strengths Engagement Programs. She is passionate about bringing strengths to the education sector, in helping educators and student leaders discover their natural talents, passions, interests, and building ‘strong’ foundations to do what they do best every day.