“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager” – Bob Nelson. Simply put, good managers are great motivators and motivated employees are highly productive. According to a recent survey by Gallup, 51% of employees are disengaged with low motivation. Employees with low motivation will only produce mediocre results and will cost you valuable time and resources in the long run.
Over the years, researchers and scientists have found data that exposes a mismatch between the science and the business application of employee motivation. The general misconception is that extrinsic motivators, such as monetary rewards, are the best way to motivate employees. Although extrinsic motivators are useful in the short term and can produce results, a more effective approach to employee motivation is intrinsic. This means that the individual’s motivational stimuli come from within. For instance, intrinsically motivated employees will perform tasks because they believe in their work and find purpose in it. Such motivation is far stronger and long-lasting than that generated by monetary rewards. Google, for instance, allows their engineers to work on any desired task for 20% of their time with full autonomy. Over half their new products, including Gmail, AdSense, Google Talk, and Google News have been birthed during this time.
Intrinsic motivation results in the “dopamine effect” in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical released by neurons to different parts of the brain for different activities. In the case of motivation, dopamine takes the mesolimbic pathway, which originates in the middle of the brain and then branches out into various places such as the cerebral cortex. When you positively reinforce your employees regarding a task, the resulting release of dopamine will automatically motivate them to do an excellent job on the task.
Here are some practical tips to help keep your employees motivated:
1. Positive Feedback
Your employees should constantly receive good, reinforcing feedback, along with constructive feedback. This lets them know that their work is valued and important to the organization.
2. What do your employees want?
Don’t try and guess what is most important to your employees. Talk to them and find out what they value and what they really want. This information will help you motivate them accordingly.
3. Recognize Achievements
Everyone desires appreciation and recognition. If an employee has been putting in a lot of time and effort into a project, do not hesitate to appreciate them. If people feel that their efforts are appreciated, they will want to continue with their efforts. But if they feel like their long hours and personal sacrifices are going unnoticed, it’s unlikely that they will go out of their way in the future.
Making sure that your team is motivated is important and it may involve bringing about change to the culture of the organization. Your organization will begin to see a difference when you put your employees first and ensure that they are happy and engaged. Ergos Mind specializes in inside-out transformational workshops that will help your employees and organization grow.