Often, when I’m meeting with a business owner, they complain about how hard it is to get their employees to actually work. I recognized long ago that most business owners simply haven’t been taught basic motivation strategies. Which is to say that most business owners don’t understand that different people are motivated by different things. In order to be a successful manager, the owner must understand and leverage the 5 main motivators to ensure that their employees yield the best possible results.
Workers have to know there will be consequences for poor performance and bad behavior. They’ll rise to a higher standard if they are held to one.
Good managers use people to motivate each other. Bad workers are elevated by good ones. Good workers are dragged down by bad ones. By being mindful of the “negativity saturation”, a manager can drown out the negativity of an individual with a team of positive individuals.
Most people want to feel proud of their work and themselves. If a manager creates a work place that gives their employees a reason to feel proud of their job (and themselves), those employees will perform better.
It’s human nature to want to be recognized for your efforts. Effective managers express genuine appreciation for an employee’s abilities and output. I’m not saying that everyone should get a pat on the back for everything that they do, rather show them that you see when they are doing good work.
Employees say they’ll work harder for more money, rarely is it true. I consider money to be the least effective of the motivators. It should only be used in combination with the above. If you frequently use monetary motivation, the employees will come to expect it and might even resent not receiving it.
How do you tell what an individual is motivated by?
Pay attention to what they say, what they do and what they care about. For example, if they dress really sharp and faun over their car then pride is likely a primary motivator for them. If they talk about being the boss and taking charge they are likely power and control people, so recognition will be effective. If they talk about friends and social situations, peer pressure is likely to be a valuable tool. Please keep in mind that none of this is 100%, you should always use your best judgement when interacting with employees. If you are unsure about how to best motivate your employees, then you may wish to seek outside help.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop working on new ways to improve your business and neither should you. Don’t miss some of our other posts that you may find helpful: