The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
So, are you certain you really know what motivates your staff? Well, most managers today have heard that money isn’t the key motivator for most people. And even if you think your people are different, consider this… After you get a raise, even if it is what you really want (like a new car), pretty soon that new salary (or car) is no longer a motivator – it is the new ‘normal’, the way things are ‘now’. Learn More
In many companies, salary increases happen at certain times of the year and are given to every employee, regardless of their performance.
If salary increases actually do improve employee morale, you would expect to see performance and productivity go up in line with the increases, wouldn’t you? Mmm. Well, you probably know the answer to that one.
Frederick Hertzberg took a look at the factors that bring job satisfaction and dis-satisfaction. He identifies two sets or groups of factors that affected employee motivation, and called them hygiene factors and motivators. Hygiene factors included things like working conditions, pay, status and security. When these are poor, work is dis-satisfying, said Hertzberg. When they are acceptable, work is not dis-satisfying. Adding more hygiene factors does not increase employee motivation.
However, the motivators are things that influence employee satisfaction based on the fulfilment of intrinsic, or higher-level, needs. These needs include opportunities for growth, recognition, achievement, and the quality of the work itself. Motivators, says Hertzberg, improve worker satisfaction and motivation much more than hygiene factors alone ever could.
Top performance employees want to be appreciated for the quality of the work done and recognised for the efforts and abilities that they show. It’s only the poor performers who think that extra pay will produce actual motivation. Actually, I believe the extra pay only attempts to make up for the poor opportunities or the boring work they have to continually carry out. It mutes the pain for a while, until the effect wears off and the money loses its meaning.
So our second myth is “Employees are Motivated by Salary Increases”
If you have increased salaries recently and expected an improvement in performance or productivity and it didn’t materialise, Hertzberg explains why.
Increased pay will never deal with intrinsic motivation. Recognising what specifically motivates people working for you, and tapping into their motivational instincts, are the only ways that you are going to get to the real essence of what makes people turn themselves on at work.
Managers know that they need to keep their employees’ motivation high, or else there may be performance problems. But many people ask me how they can motivate the de-motivated. And they also ask why there is still poor motivation even though they have tried all the motivation theories taught out there.
There are, however, challenges when it comes to motivating others, and many managers make common mistakes when they try to motivate. Are you making some of these motivation mistakes?
1) Thinking that everyone is motivated by the same things that motivate you. You may be driven by achieving targets, hitting objectives or attaining goals, but these are company goals and many people, when you ask them, deep down care for many other things before they think of the company.
2) Thinking that offering money as an incentive should motivate people. Extra money may be a motivator in the short term, but most team members will view it as a reward for work already completed, rather than an incentive for future performance.
3) Thinking that everyone should be motivated by the same thing. You may offer a reward for the whole team for achieving a performance goal. Then you may be puzzled because some really go for it and some don’t. The truth is that motivation is individual, and a team goal may be good for some, while others feel they they need something else to drive them forward
4) Thinking that external motivators should work all the time. Actually, it’s the internal drivers (or intrinsic motivators) that persuade someone to carry out a task. External motivators (e.g. money, responsibility, recognition, status, better company car, promotion) may work for some, for some time, but it’s the internal motivators (e.g. pride in the job, achievement, growth) that really drive a person to do something because they really want to.
Motivation has to be dealt with on a personal basis, and no two people will have the same drive for motivation, simply because no two people have the same conditioning, responsibilities, resources, needs, desires, background or life circumstances outside of work. Keep you eyes open for what motivates a team member and then supply more of it, if you can.