A good article on Motivation... I read it somewhere thought of sharing it with all...
Basic principles to motivate employees
* Help people reach their full potential: The need of the hour is to provide opportunities for self-development by involving employees meaningfully in the organizations. Employees today hunger for involvement in decision making. Different methodologies like job enrichment and job redesign can be tried for wholehearted involvement of employees for achieving organizational goals. The employees are more eager to go to work if they feel they can learn something new and improve themselves. A career plan will help the employees set their long-term goals. If you assist employees in reaching those goals, they will become more loyal and motivated.
* Catch your employees doing something right: This simple sounding sentence has some magic hidden in it, the magic which can revolutionarize the concept of managing employees. The essence of the phrase is - we shouldn't highlight our employees doing something wrong, instead we should try to motivate them by highlighting their achievements.
* Make your employees feel important: Every human being has a natural desire to feel he is "somebody". The desire to be important is man's strongest and most compelling non-biological hunger. Take a good look at how most people exhibit their attitude, which seems to say, "you are a no body; you count for nothing; you mean nothing, absolutely nothing to me." There is a reason why the "you-are-unimportant" attitude prevails. Most people look at another person and think, "he can't do any thing for me. Therefore, he is not important." But right here, people make a basic blunder. Every person, regardless of his status or his income, is important to you. There are two basic reasons for having "you-are-important attitude." First, people do more for you when you make them feel important. If you make someone feel important, he cares about you. And when he cares about you, he does more for you. Employees will work harder for you, they will go out of their way to co-operate with you, if only you will make them feel important. Here's the second giant reason for making others feel important - when you help others feel important, you help yourself feel important too.
* Practice appreciation: Make it a rule to let others know, you appreciate what they do for you. Never, never let anyone feel he is taken for granted. Practice appreciation with a warm, sincere smile. Practice appreciation by letting them know, how you depend on them. Practice appreciation with honest, personalized compliments. People thrive on compliments - whether 2 or 20, 9 or 90, a person craves praise. He wants to be assured that he's doing a good job, and that he is important. Don't feel that you should hand out praise only for big accomplishments. Compliment people on little things: their appearance, the way they do their routine work, their ideas, and their loyal efforts. Praise by writing personal notes, complementing people on their achievements. Don't waste time or mental energy trying to classify people as "very important persons," "important persons," or "unimportant persons". Make no exceptions. A person, whether he is garbage collector or company vice president, is important to you. Treating someone as second-class never gets you first class results.
* Practice calling people by their names: People like to be called by their names. It gives everyone a boost to be addressed by his name. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and the most important sound in any language. * Think right towards people: The rule is: success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between 'you' and 'what' you want to be' is the support of others. But today remember, a person either supports you willingly or he doesn't support you at all. You depend on others in order to achieve success you want. But what must you do to get your employees to support you? The answer, in one phrase is, think right towards people and they will support you.
* Don't criticize, condemn or complain: Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's prestigious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
* Give honest and sincere appreciation: The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and animals. It was this desire for a feeling of importance that led an uneducated, poverty-stricken grocery clerk to study some law books he found in the bottom of household clutter which he had bought for fifty cents. You have probably heard of this grocery clerk. His name was Lincoln. Remember, praise is power. Invest the praise. Pass praise down to your subordinates where it will encourage still greater performance. When you share praise, your subordinates know, you sincerely appreciate their value. Here's a daily exercise that pays off surprisingly well. Ask yourself every day, "What can I do today to make my employees happy?" This may seem almost too simple, but it is amazingly effective.
One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation. Honest appreciation gets results where criticism and ridicule fail. Let's try to figure out the person's good points. Give honest sincere appreciation. Be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise," and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime - repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people," said Schwab, "the greatest asset I posses, and the way to develop the best that is in a person, is by appreciation and encouragement.
* Smile: Treat those who come to you with complaints or grievances in a cheerful manner. You should smile as you listen to them and you will find solutions are found much easier. A smile lets others know, you notice them and feel kindly towards them.
* Be a good listener: Encourage others to talk about themselves. Become genuinely interested in other people. If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own. Talk in terms of the other person's interests. This will help to let your employees know that you understand their concerns. Amazingly, it can also prevent some costly mistakes by you, if the decisions are taken in haste without much of thinking and listening.
* Motivating employees starts with motivating yourself: It's amazing, if you hate your job, it seems like everyone else does the same. If you are very stressed out, it seems like everyone else is also stressed out. Similar is the case with enthusiasm, which is contagious in nature. If you're enthusiastic about your job, it's much easier for others to be enthusiastic. Also, if you are doing a good job of taking care of yourself and your own job, you'll have much clearer perspective of how others are doing in theirs.
A great place to start learning about motivation is to start understanding your own motivation. The key to helping to motivate your employees is to understand what motivates them. So what motivates you? Consider, for example, time with family, recognition, a job well done, service, learning etc. What can you do to better motivate yourself?
* Always work to align goals of the organization with goals of employees: Employees can be all fired up about their work and be working very hard. However, if the results of their work don't contribute to the goals of the organization, then the organization will not achieve its goals. Therefore, it's critical that managers and supervisors know what they want from their employees. These preferences should be worded in terms of goals for the organization. Identifying the goals for the organization is usually done during strategic planning. Whatever steps you take to support the motivation of your employees (various steps are suggested below), ensure that employees have strong input to identifying their goals and that these goals are aligned with goals of the organization.
* Key to supporting the motivation of your employees is understanding what motivates each of them: Each person is motivated by different things. Whatever steps you take to support the motivation of your employees, they should fist include finding out what it is that really motivates each of your employees. You can find this out by asking them, listening to them and observing them.
* Recognize that supporting employee motivation is a process, not a task: Organizations change all the time, as do people. Indeed, it is an ongoing process to sustain an environment where each employee can strongly motivate himself. If you look at sustaining employee motivation as an ongoing process, then you'll be much more fulfilled and motivated yourself. * Support employee motivation by using organizational systems - don't just count on good intentions: Don't just count on cultivating strong interpersonal relationships with employees to help motivate them. The nature of these relationships can change greatly, for example, during times of stress. Instead, use reliable and comprehensive systems in the workplace to help motivate employees. For example, establish compensation systems, employee performance systems, organizational policies and procedures, etc., to support employee motivation. Also, establishing various systems and structures helps ensure clear understanding and equitable treatment of employees.
Steps you can take to motivate
The following specific steps can help you go a long way toward supporting your employees to motivate them in your organization.
* Briefly write down the motivational factors that sustain you and what you can do to sustain them: This little bit of "motivating planning" can give you strong perspective on how to think about supporting the motivations of your employees. * Make a list of three to five things that motivate each of your employees: Interact regularly with your employees to know what motivates them the most.
* Have one-on-one meetings with each employee: Employee are motivated more by your care and concern for them. Get to know your employees, their families etc.
* Reward it soon after you see it: Rewarding employees for their accomplishments should be timely. Often, the shorter the time between an employee's action and your reward for the action, the clearer it is to the employee that you highly prefer that action.
* Growth and development: Everyone needs to continue to grow and develop personally and professionally on the job. When there are limited opportunities for growth and development, motivation dies. Some strategies for encouraging employees to grow and develop include the following.
* Special training leaves.
* Keeping staff informed about current issues and new techniques
*Encouraging creativity and innovation among staff.
* Recognition: Recognition is acknowledgement of an individual's and group's efforts. There are many ways we can recognize the efforts of our employees, including the following:
* Give awards and certificates for specific accomplishment. These are very inexpensive and miraculously result in loyal and productive employees.
* Highlight employee's contribution in the meetings.
* Promote employees or encourage them to earn promotion.
* Responsibility: When employees feel responsible and accountable for their own work, their job satisfaction increases. Strategies for enhancing responsibility and accountability include:
* Increasing employees autonomy as they gain expertise.
* Identify the decisions that the employees can make alone and the decisions that they can be involved in making.
* Asking an experienced employee to be incharge when the supervisor is away from the office.
* Portraying an image of "we are in this together" by effectively delegating different tasks to your employees.
* Provide good working conditions: Good working conditions are a must. Good employees expect their employer to be making constant improvements so the workplace is not only safe but pleasant too. Thus, it is quite clear that understanding nature of employees is the first step towards motivated employees. It is well-established fact that "organizations need people and people need organizations". In the present scenario, it is the mutuality of interests that can be the guiding principle leading to win-win situation where there need not be any losers. The management should try to develop not only a better employee but a better person.
A holistic view of an employee should be adopted, which demands that an employee should be considered a whole person, where separation of personal and work life is not possible. One affects the other. Emotions of the employees have to be taken care of. The efforts should be made to enhance the self-esteem of the employees. Moreover, in this age, when higher turnover rates lead to declining production and increasing costs for employees, it makes good business sense to keep current employees satisfied and motivated. Only then we can have motivated employees who will do better for us, always.....… 14th August 2007 From India, Ahmadabad