Markets shift, economies surge and ebb, and leadership changes. But basic human needs haven't changed. These are what motivate and drive employees to perform at their highest level, impacting everything from self-reported job satisfaction to workforce productivity.
What are these motivators?
Why do they matter?
What effect does motivation have on the short and long-term success of an organization?
The following are some thought-provoking ideas to increase employee engagement.
Lead, DO NOT Manage
Management was a very popular movement during the period from 1890 to 1940. During this period American manufacturing focused on scientific industrial management which included time and motion studies.
This leadership movement transitioned into Command and Control which has its roots in the World War II American Military.
This worked effectively for large companies, but during the 1980s, entrepreneurship accelerated. Individuals were again recognized for their intellectual ability to solve problems and initiate developments.
The movement today is towards Leadership instead of Management. Workers no longer want to be managed, they want to be led.
Antecedents > Behaviors > Consequences
The above heading is from organizational behaviorists. They have stated for years that organizations begin with antecedents that lead to behaviors and thereby result in consequences (good or bad).
An interpretation that applies to this topic would be an effective, employee-focused company culture enforced by leadership will lead to high employee engagement and a sustainable organization. Peter Drucker has stated that the outcome of every organization is directly tied to its culture.
Screen for Skill, Hire for Attitude
Human capital is important, but what type? Skills can be taught, but attitudes are difficult to change. Employee engagement breeds in a harmonious workplace and languishes in a toxic workplace.
Hiring optimistic people with positive energy is extremely important to raising engagement levels.
Effective Systems and Processes are Critical
Clearly defined systems and processes increase accuracy, reduce labor costs, contribute to workplace harmony and lessen the need for “people” managers. Leaders can then become coaches and guide staff to reach their self-actualization or best possible performance.
There are two critical components that are usually not considered as systems and processes
- Financial Transparency – The Great Game of Business is the single most effective and impactful system for financial transparency. No other method is as successful in involving people in “ownership” than understanding “business”.
- Internal Communication – When done properly, this communication is peer-to-peer, from the ground up as well as top down. Everyone has a need to know, and will think they know, but do they know the truth? Staff eventually turns off top- down communication.
I am Somebody!
Reward and recognition is more powerful than most “perks” and far less expensive. Over time, perks become expected. Public rewards and recognition bring personal pride to the forefront of human emotion.
There are few greater feelings of accomplishment than to be recognized by your peers for your achievements, and there is no great motivator to continue than recognition.
Rewards do not have to be monetary to be effective. Sometimes monetary rewards are the least effective.
Implementing and improving these tools will result in high levels of employee engagement, lower levels of employee dis-engagement (the drones of an organization) and a drastic decrease of active employee dis-engagement (toxic destroyers).
And, as the culture becomes embedded with the organization, empowerment and innovation will naturally emerge resulting in sustainable growth.
Looking for more on how to increase employee engagement? Join us for our next workshop focusing on Implementation + Strategic Planning.
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