Need to Motivate Your Employees?
I have worked with managers throughout my career who were responsible for maximizing the performance of their employees. They have asked for my counsel and guidance. One major issue that seems to jump out in our conversations relates to the motivation of employees. Many employees have little or no motivation to perform to the expectation level of their supervisor.
Through the years, I have attempted to use a variety of techniques and strategies to motivate employees. Doing so represents both an art and a science. The first element I think about when attempting to motivate an employee is to see if they are self-motivated in the first place.
Entrepreneur notes that science has found that the source of motivation comes from the part of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens. It is in the small section of the brain where neurotransmitters send chemical messages to the rest of your body. The neurotransmitters keep us alert, focused and propels dopamine to make us stay active. It is an extremely complicated process.
To develop self-motivation, look for solutions that you choose or want to accomplish. Have a results-driven focus that helps motivate you to complete their work. Think about how your work is going to positively affect others. Note that your diet, actions and expectations can also affect your ability to motivate yourself. Take steps to self-motivate as it is especially important.
Lifehack indicates that having the right attitude is a powerful starter for self-motivation. Other elements needed to motivate oneself over time include starting simple by having motivational indicators around you, keeping good company with positive people, keep learning as it promotes confidence, see the good in bad, stop thinking and start doing, know yourself and when you can turn on the motivation, track your progress for ongoing projects, and help friends get motivated. Strive to create and learn skills and abilities that become motivational habits.
HuffPost believes happy workers are productive workers. It suggested ways to keep your employees motivated, leading to productivity, which include communication through face-to-face frequency, making sure they know they are valued, empowering your employees by having them work toward something, involving them in training and expanding workforce opportunities so they can grow. These can be financial and non-financial in scope.
6Q notes that motivation occurs if the work environment is friendly, employers acknowledge employee achievement, communication is positive, competition is encouraged but friendly, goals are meaningful, employees have an organizational career path, employees have leadership that is positive, creativity is encouraged, teamwork is promoted, all ideas are welcomed and steps are taken to alleviate employee boredom. Remember that an employee who enjoys coming to work is a worthy investment.
A blog by Brigette Hyacinth notes that an unappreciated employee will not go the extra mile for an organization. To boost productivity and improve employee morale, according to Hyacinth, strive to connect with your team, sincerely care about their well-being, be fair and neutral, be a staff advocate, empower your employees, have honest two-way communication, champion team building activities, reward and recognize employees, promote training opportunities, and encourage employee development. It is important that a leader be seen and visible. Walk around the office and get to know your staff as individuals. Tell them that you appreciate their contributions to the team effort.
According to Sumac, the key to motivating nonprofit employees is showing them organizational passion and purpose. Determine if your employees like individual public praise and attention or private praise and attention. Give employees the ability to feed their views upward. Keep them informed, show dedication and fairness. Show your employees you trust them. Let them lead and set small weekly goals. Create a retention plan using best of class methods. Keep the motivation of employees high on the organizational priority list. It is not always about motivational financial rewards with nonprofit employees.
If you need to motivate your employees, no problem. Make sure you hire well, provide thorough orientation, train effectively and seek to understand how to motivate each individual employee. Every organization and employee is different. As a leader, your job focus should be to create a positive work environment, promote team spirit and generate excellent organizational results, plus learn to create and maintain motivation between your employees.
That said, motivation begins at home. You cannot completely motivate someone that does not have self-motivation as a part of their personality. Determine what factors are needed to succeed, and implement them. You need to positively motivate yourself first and show that motivation to others!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.