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This site and the internet in general are full of ideas.
However, most important is choosing the right idea, and this is where the difficulty comes in.
To ensure the maximum result for the best cost, you first have to engage the workforce for them to buy into the scheme. Ask them... simple as that. Ask them what motivates them; you will be surprised at the answers.
When we carried out this exercise, the answers included money; job satisfaction; material products; career prospects and family (particularly children). Based on these answers, we created a number of motivators and not just one. We also noticed that just by carrying out the exercise, motivated the employees.
However, you must remember that as you are giving to the employees, they must give something in return; be it increased productivity or an increase in targets. That way the reward does not become the norm over time.
Good Luck and have fun, whilst doing this project.
PS, please do share your end results with the community.
It is a myth that incentives alone motivate a person completely. Money may motivate a person to stay but it may not motivate to give his/her best.
What is motivation? Motivation is willingness to expand one's capacities or willingness to spend one's energies. There is famous proverb "you can take the horse to the water but you cannot make it drink". A motivated horse, starts drinking water on its own and does not require external stimulation.
Employee motivation depends on so many factors. It is quite complex and output of several factors. Prominent among them are:
a) Nature of the job or challenges in the job
b) Suitability between job and personality of the person
c) Organisation's culture (progressive, bureaucratic, open, puritanical etc)
d) Rewards for performance
e) Promotion avenues or opportunities for career advancement. In some companies, people keep on doing same job for the years together.
f) Interpersonal environment in the company
g) Brand image of the company, growth of the company or position of the company in the industry
h) Leadership at the top. Are they obsessed with "making money" or giving innovative product or services to the customers
i) Whether manager is role model, managerial competencies of manager
j) Training given to the employees
k) Upgraded technology in the company (in many companies Office 2003 is still in vogue)
l) Equal treatment to all the departments and there are no "blue-eyed boys" in the company.
m) Ethical business practices. For the sake of cost cutting, management should not encourage bribing or use of pirated software.
n) Quality of the vendors or suppliers. Remember what Jack Welch use to say: "if you want to be the best then deal with the best".
o) Your financial well-being is completely tied to your customer. Customer is "big daddy" in the market and you are just a small fry.
p) Manpower is too less. Management wants to keep the manpower "lean" and in the bargain there is no room for people to take earned leave.
q) Too much of attrition.
r) No remuneration as per market standards. This fosters wrong brand image in the job market and company is unable to attract quality candidates. Managers often rue that "our management wants us to gallop but they want us to ride asses!"
s) Management has clique at the top. They listen or believe only to the "inner circle" that comprises people from their caste, creed, religion etc
t) No empowerment to speak of. The only person who calls the shots is "top boss".
I recommend you studying the above work conditions and bring the change. At the end of the day a motivated employee says "this happens in my company or this will never happen in my company!". He says it without batting an eyelid. That's the sign of motivated employee!
Dinesh V Divekar
As it is rightly said by Harsh Shukla you can ask for their requirements, expectations from Management and render them accordingly.
When you call for a meeting and have discussion with them ( though workers or staff ) there itself they are satisfied by the feeling of belongingness which is one of the factor of Indirect motivation.
Also you can try something different to compete in the competitive market. for eg. you can try different motivational factors which none of the companies might have opted for to retain them. You can also try with a family meet of workers every weekends or once in fortnight.
All the best for some more new ideas to pop-up with.
AM-HR. Textile Mills.
Pl do share your results with us.
As rightly explained by Mr. Dinesh Divakar,
there are numerous factors to design an engagement and motivational program.
It should be different for different firms for the reasons emphasized by Dineshji.
Further I would like to mention something very startling that I observed in my current firm -
We have every month awards - Employee of the Month and Star of the Month.
Honestly, the money given as a token is only a meager amount, but it is very much engaging and motivating for foll reasons -
1. CEO himself comes out and distributes the awards.
2. He highlights the work of the achiever and mentions why the person deserves the tile. This is very very rare practice. We all know what our team mates are doing but when we are asked to quantify and measure and rate it, we are dumbfolded.
3. He mentions company's progress and his plans to invest in them.
4. Mentions about the upcoming meeting with big clients and how it would benefit the company.
5. Every month he not only talks of company's progress but gives due credit to all those who have contributed and as I said earlier quantifies everything....
This is something I saw for the very first time. Last month I recieved the award and honestly when he talked about the work I did, it not only made me feel proud of whatever I was doing, but also brought tears into my eyes for the very fact that - My work is being recognized and valued.
HR and Labour Law Advisor
I spent my first 12 years of managing trying to do exactly what you want to do. The performance gap between my best people and my worst was large. The gap between my middle level to the top performers was also considerable. I was using the traditional command and control model, controlling my people with orders, policies, rules, goals, targets, and the like. None of that significantly reduced the gap.
Then I tried a new method. I switched from command and control to listening and responding to employees to their satisfaction or better. Their performance started to rise and the more I did that the more their performance rose. It eventually rose to a level at least twice as high as I had thought humanly possible. Wow! Later, I added the technique of converting followers into non-followers and their performance doubled to a level at least four times higher than I had thought humanly possible.
In the process, I learned that I had been causing the poor performance by how I managed my people. In listening to my people and analyzing what I heard over years, I came understand the science of people. There is a science to everything in the universe and people are no exception and that science tells us why certain actions disengage people while other actions create a fully engaged workforce.
For an overview of the process of creating engaged, motivated employees take a look at the video about that on my website. If I can be of help, just ask.
Best regards, Ben Simonton
Leadership is a science and so is engagement
Motivation begins by letting 'others' know that they take 1st place even if you are THE CEO. When this happens THE CEO becomes a ceo - who now exhibits an extreme sense of care, concern and comfort for them. He is now not 'compelling' them to perform but rather 'impelling' them outperform by galvanizing them to move to the hub, rather keeping them at the periphery.The procedures, policies, plans move from the text to the actual practice and a sense of learning while delivering becomes evident everywhere.
I may sound too lax -- but when the so called individuals - ofttimes considered merge cogs -- are recognized first for their presence, then for their performance, then provided the 'playground' (opportunities for training & development) the citadel rises.
Obviously, suggestions galore, on the net, and from friends on the thread, merit consideration,too..
There are classic theories on Motivation. I would urge to rely on two fundamental theories (Maslow & Herzberg's hygiene factors) to design and develop your list of motivators.
Remember all the employees are not at the same level as such the motivators would differ for different category of persons.
Two areas which I feel you need to focus are as below :
One needs to understand and appreciate the fact that when dealing with employees/subordinates, is that basically we all are human beings and would like to be treated as human beings at first place. Although, people claim many things, do we really treat our employees in the manner we would like to be treated. Simply said, do we recognize and appreciate the works nicely done. I have observed this on many occasions and most of the persons have a feeling of having received bricks (for doing something even unintentionally or not meeting other's expectations) more often than bouquets for the jobs done well.
More importantly, as a leader, one needs to accept the fact that success is dependent on success of the team/group being led by him/her. As such, working in team calls for effective handling and building upon the individuals strengths to achieve the overall objective. Like a football game, individually, we all may be very good in respective areas but what counts in the end is how the individuals played their respective roles to WIN. What is therefore needed is to develop the interest in individuals to act towards achievement of common goal and work in a team as a cohesive unit.
Remember : Engagement, Empowerment and building up of excitement are three important ingredients for motivating the team.