Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Next steps, part of Motivating and Engaging Employees.
- In this course we've talked about many aspects of motivation, but there's one additional point to make that's very important. Congratulating someone, recognizing someone, or launching a new motivation program is just the beginning. Keeping your employee base motivated is a process that must be attended to fairly continuously over time. Let's talk about two ways to take a long term perspective about your team's motivation. The first concerns hiring. Hiring new employees correctly just might be the strongest tool at your disposal, in terms of managing motivation.
First, it's vital to ensure the person fits with the group to maintain or improve group chemistry. That's why all interview processes should involve lots of folks from the team, not just one hiring manager. Second, seriously consider the traits on display when you interview someone. I'm not talking about their technical track record, but their personality. Look for signs of self-motivation, passion, and a positive perspective. More your team is stocked with those traits, the easier it will be to keep them motivated.
Aside from hiring, the talent pool changes for other reasons as well. People are let go, some leave for other opportunities, groups merge, and so on. The point is over time, as the talent pool changes, your approach to motivation might need to change as well. That's why every couple of years, you need to audit all of your efforts to motivate the team. Start by thinking in terms of metrics. The main metrics to consider are employee engagement, turnover data, and productivity data. For all three, the goal is to collect high quality data, establish credible base lines, and then find opportunities to tweak the work environment to act on opportunities to improve.
For engagement data, there are many high quality tools available on the market. Purchase only well known and scientifically validated tools. Otherwise, you can collect bad data and you don't want to make decisions based on bad data. It might also be wise to hire professionals who understand how to properly administer surveys. Employees need to feel involved in the process and they need to feel confident the process gives them confidentiality and anonymity. Whether you use a well known instrument, for example: the Gallup Organization's Q12 survey or some other instrument, they all ask similar questions.
Do you know what is expected of you? Have you been properly recognized for your work? Do you feel like your opinions count? And, do you have opportunities to learn and advance? Another metric to watch closely is turnover. Companies with dissatisfied workers should experience a higher turnover rate. Any significant deviation from your recent internal benchmarks, is a red flag for executives. Any number in excess of industry norms is also a red flag.
Turnovers expensive, so be sure to create and use good exit interviews to help you better understand the causes of turnover. Finally, keep a close eye on productivity. Measures of motivation have a strong link to employee productivity. After changing aspects of your motivation efforts, watch for changes, up or down, in productivity measures. They often represent great signals that what you're doing is spot-on or in need of adjustment. Aside from the topical coverage offered in your engagement survey, an occasional questionnaire, focus group, or town hall meeting aimed at other aspects of work life might be useful, too.
These tools can provide quick feedback about employee attitudes and preferences. In addition, workers appreciate being kept in the loop and afforded opportunities to speak up and have input. You might use these vehicles to talk about work schedules, company policies, specific types of rewards, or any other issues that need to be discussed. In the end, the types of efforts we just discussed will help you keep your finger on the pulse of employee motivation. There are many things worth measuring, but don't forget the most important motivator is you, the boss.
Remember, the attitudes, behaviors, and words you show, every day, provide the biggest source of employee motivation.
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- Assessing employee engagement
- Providing autonomy
- Building a transparent culture
- Modeling desired behavior
- Using monetary and nonmonetary motivators
- Fostering accountability
- Developing career paths for employees<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.