The Challenge and Need to Motivate Employees in the Workplace Today

In todays complex and challenging business world, motivating employees in the workplace has been an ongoing challenge and study, motivation is directly associated with an organization’s success. The Chief Executive Max Messmer of Robert Half International Inc states businesses that excel invests in their people, create a dynamic corporate culture and foster an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration. To motivate is defined as, stimulating active interest in some study through appeal to associated interest or by special deVices (Websters). Motivating employees in the workplace is less challenging than most managers believe. Motivation is a key factor in organizational success, and it can be accomplished by using four simple yet effective steps such as: increasing confidence, providing trust, bringing a sense of satisfaction to each individual employee, and maintaining discipline.

However, when going about these steps, managers have to first analyze the problems associated with their employees, and their organization. Also as Elizabeth Kirkland reports, you have to encourage your employees to do what you actually want them to do (Mississippi Business Journal). The four most common problems directly associated with employee motivation are lack of confidence shortage of trust, deficiency in self-satisfaction, and lack of discipline in a work environment. Thad Green mentions that, the bottom line is: Managers pay a heavy price when employees have a motivational problem (155). Confidence is a big issue in motivation because it is the hardest to recognize out of the other two motivational issues Roxanne Emmerich reports that, Denial is the natural response when things get rough, but many leaders never move beyond that (Business Credit Magazine).

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This is largely associated With employees being passive about their lack of confidence for a given project. This is mainly because of fear of the task being handed to a different employee if they can’t accomplish the task handed to them. As the Food Service Director magazine reports that employees think, it doesn’t matter what I do I may have done everything right but I didn’t do one thing quite right. or exactly the way my boss wanted and, I get nailed to the wall for one thing. I never hear about what I do right, only what I do wrong (Food Servrce Director MagaZine). When employees have the mindset of believing that they cant perform a task, they usually tend to give up. In addition, at their best employees only put in half the effort that would be needed to get the task accomplished as stated by Thad Green, Motivational problems happen because performance expectations are unrealistic, workloads are impossibly high and training fails to keep pace with employee needs.

In contrast, there are three main methods to be followed in improving employee confidence: recognition, giving employees responsibility or empowerment, guidance, and mentoring. In order to achieve a sense of recognition with organization employees, the organization has to respect their employees, evaluate and reward their employees, and celebrate their achievements. Recognition could be as simple as knowing your employees by face, or better yet by name, Knowing employees personally could bring a sense of respect to each individual employee. Works Management magazine states that by giving recognition for contributions makes people feel valued. If they dont feel appreciated, their motivation tails off rapidly. In order for employees to feel recognized, managers have to give their employees respect a recent survey of small business owners by Washington, D.C.rbased advocate National Small Business United found that simply respecting and valuing employees were the best ways to keep employees happy outranking health benefits, Job security, and equity (Crains Small Business).

Roxanne Emmerich states: Show Respect: Managers too often treat employees like children employees should be given the latitude to solve problems, along with guidance and a clear picture of what outcomes are expected. Recognition doesnt necessarily mean you have to give your employees a pay increase, a simple but sincere note, or recognition at the next staff meeting can go along way to show that management values their contributions. Another such way to recognize your employees in the workplace is to have their peers evaluate their efforts. This is very effective because employees have a first-hand perspective at each others involved in the workplace Gregory Smith states. Employees are in the best position to catch people doing the right thing. In addition, evaluations and rewards are another way to recognize employees within an organization evaluations could be as simple as weekly, monthly or yearly reviews of individual employees.

However. continuous evaluations are very important included in continuous evaluations according to Gregory Smith. The measurement of attitude, morale, and turnover and motivation of the Workforce. Rewards are extremely imponant in motivating the Workforce as Well Rewards also known as incentives come in many different forms. When considering rewards for your employees advertising Ages Business Marketing magazine states, employers have to consider the WOW factor or the residual effects of a merchandise reward when designing employee incentive programs. When considering the WOW factor, some bonuses and payouts to consider with a high WOW factor can take several forms including, cash, dinner, and gift certificates. When questions about money over merchandise as incentives are brought up, advertising ages Business Marketing magazine said, Merchandise Rewards always Win over money rewards.

There are four different types of awards, each with strengths and weaknesses as reported by Advertising Ages Business Marketing: Cash has universal appeal especially when its a large amount. It’s easy to handle but small cash prizes lack glamour and pizzazz, once its spent it’s gone: theres no trophy value. Travel is the most glamorous and promotable award because of its fantasy building properties. However, travel is costly and not everyone Wins in addition, travel programs are a challenge to plan and administer. Merchandise may be the best incentive award because its highly promotable and has a high- perceived value it also becomes a tangible lasting symbol of the participant’s achievement. Recognition awards like plagues, and pins rings, even a simple letter of commendation are usually the least expensive awards in the promotion, Celebration is another key factor in the steps in recognizing your employees, Celebration generates energy for future endeavors fuels high performance, and increases the likelihood of even more success.

In order to achieve organizational success, companies need to celebrate the efforts of their employees Carol Lavin Bernick states. If you want something to grow, pour champagne on it. There is a difference between celebrations and rewards, celebrations aren’t awards programs-theyre more spontaneous or event-driven. Thank you card, public recognition or praise can be a simple way to celebrate employee motivation. When a group does something significant, celebrate the accomplishment before moving on. Do it now! Praise deferred is praise diminished Celebration may not seem like it has an effect on motivation, however Diane Domeyer reports. The impact of showing appreciation for ajob well done is tremendous. Since we all know money is not a prime motivator, sometimes a simple Attaboy! or Anagirl! can make a significant impact on an employee’s performance and motivation.

The second step in increasing employee confidence is in giving them empowerment and responsibility. Employee motivation should consist of empowerment‘ because being empowered gives a sense of freedom to make choices, and control ones environment. This also creates, a tactic agreement between employer and employee Abraham Maslow also wrote about independence in the work environment. In 1954 his basrc premise was that, as one becomes more self-actualized and transcendent, one develops Wisdom and automatically knows. What to do in a variety of situations employees are given responsibilities, which allows them to make their own decisions. The third step in increasing employee confidence is by guiding and mentoring employees in the right direction. Elaine Beaubien states: Be a mentor, a coach, and a teacher, share you knowledge and experience, and encourage other to do so. Fight for resources ensure the team has the time, information, and space equipment, and training to complete assigned tasks.

The mastermind behind G.E.s success Jack Welch says, some managers muddle business decisions with pointless complexity and detail mangers should guide employees with the path to be taken, and they should also share their knowledge and experience with employees as well. Ed Rigsbee mentions that managers should help employees by sharing their successes and failures. By guiding and mentoring employees, organizations give them the confidence needed to take charge of their job. According to this perspective, if a job pides a sense of responsibility, a sense of significance and information concerning performance, the employees Will be internally motivated to high levels of performance. Using this method also allows the employees to feel productive, and feel as if they have more of a part in the organization. Diane Domeyer suggests that by mentoring and guiding your employees they Will feel like productive, valuable members of the department, while their mentors Will gain satisfaction from sharing their knowledge and experience.

Jack Welch does not agree with the idea of managing he too thinks that managers stand over employees’ shoulders and control every movement the employees make. Jack Welch says: They equate [managing] with sophistication. With sounding smarter than anyone else they inspire no one I dislike the traits that have come to be associated with managing controlling, stifling people keeping them in the dark, and waiting their time on trivia and reports. Breathing down their necks you cant manage self-confidence into people. In addition, managers need to listen to their employees in order to be able to mentor and guide them. As reported by Travel Weekly, when those on your team tell you what motivates them to action, be sure to listen, for this information Will help your company succeed. Along With listening, managers also need to give their employees positive feed back as a pose to negative feed back more often, AS in food and Director Magazine: Too many managers and employees hear about the negative. and rarely about the positive.

As a result, they aren’t motivated to do a good job, much less a great job, they tend to leave. or do whatever is the minimum they can to get along. Moving on. trust is another issue haunting employee motivation in the workplace the main problem with trust is that it takes very little to break trust. However, it takes a long time to build trust thad Green suggests, employees face a major motivational roadblock when they believe, outcomes are not tied to my performance I Will not get what my performance deserves (156). Employees need to have trust in their organization, otherwise there will be a strain placed on motivation. However, how does an organization build trust amongst its employees? In order to build employee trust you have to give the employees what their performance deserves, and you have to give it on a timely manner.

When trust is lacking, the processes tend toward control, whereas when trust is high, they tend toward supporting people in getting the job done. Another step in gaining trust is being patient since trust is not gained in a short time scale, patience is the key in gaining employee trust. In order to gain trust you also have to treat each employee as an individual. Also, each individual has to be treated equally, and just paying for performance is not fair if a star performer’s incentives have low ceiling. However, even though an organization should give better incentives to the star performer organization need not forget the employees who are trying to achieve the status of a star performer. As Thad Green reports: It is like a parent who tells two children they can have ice cream if they clean their rooms, then lets both have the reward when only one completes the chore. This teaches both children that they do not have to perform to get what they want, the third step in achieving a high level of employee motivation is satisfaction, Incentives in Industry magazine, reports.

There’s no question that satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers in order for employees to be satisfied With their work, the first two steps (Confidence. and trust) mentioned earlier have to be met. As Thad Green states people may believe they can do the job (confidence) and that outcomes Will be tied to performance (trust), but they will not be motivated if they believe the outcomes will be dissatisfying. However, all employees are different, and since no two employees are the same, the same things Will not satisfy all employees. Managers should not believe that if the three, big outcomes-money, advancement, and rob security- are fulfilled, then all employees Will be satisfied. Other employees prefer, praise, recognition, openness or honesty, and those might be more of a motivating factor to other employees. In contrast, to some employees fulfillment and job satisfaction come from performing well. However in order to achieve job satisfaction, organizations also need to take into consideration the Maslow hierarchy theory of needs, feature Human Resources magazine states Maslow’s theory as such: Physiological. hunger, thirst, and bodily comfort.

Safety and security belonging and love: to be affiliated with others, and be accepted esteem: to achieve, be competent and gain approval and recognition. Cognitive: to know, understand and explore aesthetic: symmetry, order and beauty. Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize ones potential. Transcendence: to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential. Finally, rewarding not only brings employees a sense of recognition it also brings them a sense of satisfaction in their work. Rewarding employees for work well done increases their satisfaction and productivity. However, another form of rewards is incentives, incentives differ from awards because employees expect incentives, and rewards are a bonus. Even though money is not a prime motivator, motivation will be negatively affected if employees do not get a timely or fair raise. Dori Dzikowski reports, Surveys demonstrate that employees give only 60 percent effort it they see the difference between a satisfied and an outstanding employee means only a percentage or two annual increases in salary.

Some examples of incentives as reported by Products Finishings magazine: Health and dental insurance 401k Regular pay increases, and Disability plans. Job Security advancement Opportunities. The final step in improving employee motivation is discipline. Discipline also ties in directly with confidence, trust, and satisfaction by using appropriate disciplinary measures, employers are sending a message to errant employees that their performance must improve to avoid serious consequences. Credit Union Management magazine reports that, a planned, consistent approach to employee discipline supported by coaching and compassion, can make bad situations better faster, and easier. In order to have discipline you some times need KITR some employees need more than just confidence, trust, or satisfaction. Some employees tend to be lazy at time, and the only way to motivate them is by the KITR approach.

As stated in Safety Management magazine, KITR is a kick in the rear. and it has been around for a long time; it is also known as the now hear this approach to motivation. There are several discipline options managers could use however, there are two effective discipline methods that are common amongst management today. However, all the effective discipline models today share three common elements they include: coaching, communicating: and decision-making. The first step is known as the Positive discipline approach, this discipline approach encourages employees to monitor their own behavior and assume at least some responsibility for their corrective actions. As reported by Credit Union Management magazine the steps in going about the positive discipline approach might be as follows: Verbal warnings Written warnings Suspension, and, Discharge.

In this process in solving employee irresponsibility employees and supervisors sit down and discuss the problem. and work out the problem in point fashion. Rather than the supervisor constantly punishing employees and not putting forth the effort in resolving the problem. The second step in the effective discipline approach is the Positive-Progressive Approach. This approach brings coaching to the counseling strategy. In this step employees monitor their own behavior, and actions they are assumed full responsibility of their actions and correcting undesirable behaviors. and to bring the standards expected of all workers. As reported by Credit Union Management magazine. this approach uses a series of management interventions: Warning step given periodic meetings are held in which the supervisors counsel the employee. Coaching and encouragement were given by the direct supervisor and counseling sessions are reduced or eliminated as the associate progresses.

The focus is on the future of the employees. and goals are set within the periodic meetings. Instead of punishing the supervisor uses coaching as a tool in helping to develop responsibility, commitment, loyalty, and a sense of excitement about coming to work the employee. The solution to many motivational problems in organizations may be as simple as four steps known as motivational management. At first managers should help their employees develop and maintain the confidence that is needed in getting the job done. Second organizations have to build and maintain trust by giving what the employee’s performance deserves. Third organizations have to find ways to gain employee satisfaction in their jobs. And finally use successful methods in the discipline where the employees are not punished. rather coached in becoming more responsible and dedicated and performing employees. When these four steps are followed and all conditions within these steps are met employee motivation will rise to a boiling point and performance will follow!

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The Challenge and Need to Motivate Employees in the Workplace Today. (2023, Jan 21). Retrieved from