A wise man once said, “Management is nothing more than motivating other people.” (Lee Iacocca) and even though we do not advise such extreme, the importance of motivation in an organization cannot be undermined. Most organizations today have well established motivation programs and practices. Nonetheless, one comes across unsuccessful and ineffective motivation programs a little too often for comfort. In spite of the availability of a myriad of theories and practices, sometimes, it just doesn’t work!! In part, this is because different people get motivated due to different things and same programs do not work for all.
Most organizations today incentivize the goal, thereby offering extrinsic motivation. The problem with this approach is that it usually works well only in the short run. Another view to employee motivation involves understanding intrinsic motivation and its nature. Each human is uniquely hard-wired in terms of work patterns, methodologies and interests that are innate to that person and if tapped, can be a source of intense work ethic. Allowing an employee to work in sync with his/her natural fit leads to deep-seated motivation that sustains over time.
But besides the text book knowledge, the bottom line remains “why does motivation program fail to motivate?” Here is a quick check list of items, where managers may falter at motivating employees and thereby impacting productivity.
Money Motivates: Of course, monetary benefits are effective until a certain point, but studies have shown that money does not fuel motivation infinitely. In fact, within 6 months of receiving a bonus, most employees will have a hard time recalling it. So do play with monetary benefits, but keep in mind, it is effective only for short-lived results.
Keep them Happy: Many organizations invest considerable resources in keeping their employees happy by providing them with various facilities (like games room, leisure hours, etc.) The notion here is that if the employees remain happy they will be more productive. However, sometimes this approach may backfire as employees may instead look forward to t heir happy hour and not feel motivated to work. Therefore managers must be careful to keep their employee happy while they work as well.
Ignore Conflict: An extension of the above mentioned point is that managers sometimes are too concerned about being liked by their employees and fail to fulfill their responsibilities to catch problems quickly. Not addressing an employee’s problematic behavior doesn’t help anyone.
Intelligent employees don’t need to be motivated: Everybody needs motivation. In fact, smart people get bored more easily and require a variety in their work. So to retain the top talent in your organization, try techniques like job enlargement, job enlargement, autonomy and creative freedom in your organization.
Are you also committing some of these mistakes every day? Leave them behind with TriggerU. In this issue, we bring you a host of articles and presentations on employee motivation to help you paint the color of motivation in your organization.