MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES – A CARROT OR STICK

The same concept also applies at a different level throughout our life.

Talking about the workplace scenario, the practice of motivating employees in real-life situations maybe far more challenging. As leaders of teams we may seek to understand what motivates each of our team members and engage them accordingly.  Doing so is not easy and leaders need to put in a lot of time and effort in order to be successful.

On the other hand, leaders may also be tempted to try the carrot versus stick approach of motivation, using the carrot as a reward for conformity and obedience and the stick as a consequence for defiance and insubordination. But times have changed; the new generations dominating the workplace are looking for more. Jobs in the 21st century have become more complex and self directed.

Keeping this in mind, remember that the tech-savy generation of today is the future. They are the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. They are ready to sell their skills to the highest bidder and are not as loyal as earlier generations. In fact they are ready to move from company to company looking for what they want.  

You can motivate them by providing skills trainings, a feedback culture, mentoring, work-life balance and engagement. The better they feel about the work and organization, the more motivated they will remain. So instead of just doing good work the more employees feel great about their work, the more motivated they will remain. So move away from the traditional approach of carrot or stick and engage them about the work.

Here’s how you can do so :

PROVIDE RELEVANCE – Employees are motivated to do their work if they have an understanding that their work matters and is relevant to employees or the business. So in order to involve them and motivate them, share the context of the work they do, individually and as a member of your team. Explain what is the impact of the work on the organization, who benefits from it and how does it contribute to the success of the team.

APPRECIATE AND VALUE – In order to sustain the level of motivation, use the powerful tools of recognizing and acknowledging the contributions made by your employees or teams. Employees feel appreciated and valued by their managers and organization when they are acknowledged for the efforts they put in and this leads to bring forth an employee’s best efforts. Most leaders are not aware of the power of acknowledgement to motivate employees to bring forth their best efforts. Recognizing employee contributions is a strong motivator which improves employee engagement.

FORESEE AND FACILITATE – If you are assigning a new project or other significant work to your team, there will no doubt arise barriers and obstructions plus challenges which need to be overcome in order to succeed. If the challenges are insurmountable this can have a material impact on the motivation level of the team. So it is up to the team leader to be proactive in addressing and helping to resolve them. Being involved, helping to ease the burden and resolving issues so that the road to success is clear is a very pivotal role expected of leaders and managers these days. This helps to motivate employees and they can progress without any undue burdens to reach their goals.

ASSESS OWN MOTIVATION – In order to motivate be motivated yourself. That is the bottom line. An employee is very much in sync to their leader. If the leader is not engaged, does not have a genuine and deep rooted connection to their work and the company, they will not be a good motivator of the team. The level of team involvement and engagement will also not be high and their energy and enthusiasm will be lower as well. Employees are only motivated when they are led by a motivated manager.  

So, it turns out that it is the intrinsic factors which really motivate the current generation. These employees are looking for interesting work which challenges their abilities, increasing levels of responsibility and autonomy to direct their own work and lives. It is also these factors which hold them to an organization and the implications these hold for leaders is very significant as they need to take action and make the organizational and relationship changes to be successful.        

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s