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Why Employee Motivation is Important

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 21 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
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Employee motivation should be at the forefront of all company owners’ and managers’ work strategies. This is because you’ll want to marry the goals of the company with the goals of your employees to ensure maximum productivity and to make the workplace run as efficiently as possible.

How To Motivate Employees

In order to understand what’s required to motivate your employees, it’s important that you get to understand what drives your workforce. Naturally, some kind of employee incentives scheme with a rewards based employee motivation programme is one way of achieving the kind of results you desire.

However, it’s also important to remember that employees are not solely motivated by money or other financial incentives. There is another article contained in this section entitled ‘Ways To Reward Employees’ which will give you more information about the various different types of employee motivation schemes you may wish to introduce.

Why Employee Motivation Is Important

Firstly, as a company owner, it’s not necessarily going to be the case that all of your workers are going to be as motivated as you are. That’s only natural. You have far more to gain (and to lose) by owning the company. However, if there is little or no employee motivation, you can never hope to achieve the desired results for your company.

Whilst there will be some workers who are naturally motivated, there will be others who require some kind of stimulus if you’re ever going to get them to be as productive as you want them to be. Remember the old adage – “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

The Areas Which You Should Consider

Employee motivation doesn’t just rely on there being some kind of employee motivation scheme in place. You’ll need to look at all areas which can affect motivation in general. An effective employee motivation programme can include:

  • Effective discipline
  • Treating the workforce fairly and equally
  • Satisfying workers’ needs
  • Setting achievable goals that are related to the tasks to be completed
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Providing rewards and employee incentives

Myths About Motivation

Some companies have their own preferred methods for trying to encourage employee motivation. The trouble is many of the strategies they adopt are either outdated or are as a result of misguided opinions. These include companies who think that by instilling fear into employees and ruling with an iron rod that this will force the employees into doing things the way the company wants.

This only ever works in the extreme short term as the worker will inevitably look for another job if they feel they’re being mistreated.

Bosses who think that whatever they find motivating must also motivate the workforce are also misguided. A lot of the time, therefore, a boss will introduce an employee motivation scheme with a large emphasis on financial incentives as it’s often the pursuit of profit that a boss is interested in.

However, what they sometimes fail to remember is that workers are motivated by very different things. For some, it’s the possibility of career development and promotion. For others, it may be a better work/life balance with, perhaps, the possibility of working flexitime or from home occasionally.

Ultimately, it’s a case of getting to understand the needs of your workforce and what motivates them both individually and collectively if you want your company to thrive and prosper. The reason it’s important, therefore, lies in the fact that an unmotivated workforce will inevitably result in lower productivity, lower staff retention and more sickness absence – all of which can cost a company a lot of money.

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