The Science of Motivating Employees : 4 Methodologies
After publishing my 1st article about “Motivating Employees” a few weeks ago, I have decided to add another masterpiece to PositiveInLife so to further provide motivational tips to employers, leaders, bosses on how they can better motivate their employees.
As health insurance escalates, businesses around the globe are struggling to patch up their need to counterbalance the increasing cost of employees’ benefits with the thirst to attract and retain talent.
Companies are now in an arms race of sorts, unreasonably trying to match the benefits their competitors provide and millions of dollars is at stake in the process. Yet such benefits often fall short to reflect the main objective of a company or preferences of employees.
The natural impulse could be that people should pocket higher paychecks to innovate effectively. But research has proven otherwise. It seems that, even though with teeming output, the area of motivating employees has failed bring considerable successful change programs.
In our findings, we have identified a few insights into how various organizations have, either through conscious awareness or plain luck, prevail over or leveraged counterintuitive areas of worker behavioral activity in motivating employees.
Building a Convincing Story to Motivating Employees
The science of motivating employees philosophy eulogizes the virtues of building a convincing change story, sharing it with employees, and following it up with current discussions and participation. Of course, it’s a good reference, but in real-world practice there are few setbacks to pull off that desired impact.
a)Your employees are not necessarily motivated by what motivates you…
Let’s look at the common motivational lines normally conveyed in organizations:
There’s the motivation of “good to great”: in the lines of, “Our customary advantage has been scoured by deep competition and shifting consumer needs; we can only reclaim our authority if we change.”
Then, there’s the turnaround motivational story: “Our performance is currently below industry standard, we must change drastically to survive.”
Such common lines seem intuitively balanced, yet they have also often failed to impact real motivation. Research carried by one of the leading thinkers in social sciences, and author of The Quantum Society, Danah Zohar, shows that when executives and employees are often asked what motivates them in their work place – they are evenly split between four structures of impact:
- Customer impact (for instance, improved service provision)
- Society impact (for instance, community building and stewarding resources)
- Organizational, shareholder impact (for instance, creating a compassionate environment)
- Impact on personal level “me” (my growth, pay, and bonus)
This discovery has profound effect on those at the top level. What employees take great interest on (and on average bases at least 80% of communication to others on) does not hit into nearly 80% of the workforce’s principal motivators for driving more energy into motivating employees.
It’s not only of higher value that change-leaders communicate a change story that wraps up all four structures that motivate employees, but they will be certain of unleashed incredible amounts of energy within an organization.
b) It’s imprudent for leaders to believe that they are already the change…
Still leaders identify with and commonly buy into Gandhi’s saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” They dedicate themselves to individually role modeling the preferred behaviors – but in practice, it’s not really to that effect.
The reason behind this is that leaders normally don’t see themselves as the ones who really need to change. For example, most employees when asked in private if they are customer focused, the response would be profoundly “no” and boldly “yes” if they are asked whether they are bureaucrats.
Right, human beings persistently believe they are much smarter than what they are—an observable fact known in psychology as a self-serving prejudice. While conventional change-management attitudes conclude that leadership role modeling is simply a matter of will or expertise; the reality though, that lies behind the obstacle to role modeling is identifying what to change at an individual level.
c) Compensation is the most costly approach to motivate employees...
Organizations linking the purpose of motivational programs with financial incentives find it hardly the driving force for change to the desired standards.
Vast majority of organizations are exceedingly finding it difficult to include a significant link to change program within reparation systems –based on enormous range of metrics. Besides, several sources of studies indicate that human beings gratification equals perception minus hope.
d) Employees are simply what they feel, think and believe in.
As attempt to drive performance is at its peek, executives often overlook the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs of employees which, in turn, propel behavior.
Consider a financial institution that went through benchmarking exercise found its sales per banker could not match those of the competition. Just to realize later, employees spent far less time with customers and dedicated much of their time on paperwork.
The bank resolved to reengineer loan-commencing processes so as to exploit customer-facing time. Regrettably, seven months later, the bank noticed the levels of progress were way less than anticipated. In focus to the bank’s employees thinking, investigations revealed that they purely found customer physical communication uncomfortable and consequently favored paperwork.
This reaction was propelled by a recipe of reserved personalities, very poor interpersonal skills, and that feeling of inferiority/inadequacy when dealing with bank customers who (more often than not) are wealthy and their educational levels are way beyond compared to bank employees.
Now more than ever equipped with these root-cause elements, bankers’ training was stretched to include insights related to behavior types, emotional intelligence, and occupational identity (remodeling “sales” as the more decent quest of “assisting customers discover and accomplish their silent needs”). This fortification did not only bring the program back on course but ultimately brought sustainable sales increase above the initial targets.
(Special thanks to Dennis, a new friend of mine for sharing this information. If you intend to share your motivation to our readers, do drop me an email at Contact Us. )