The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The success of your business can depend on how much effort you into motivating your employees. If you think that people will give everything they have and will put extra effort and energy in their work just because you pay them, you are not going to be successful in having a well-motivated and productive team. Don’t worry, I am here to tell you how to motivate your workers and ensure they are more dedicated to their jobs than the employees of your competitors.
I know, I know, I gave you the impression that money is not a serious motivator. You didn’t understand me correctly – I said that money alone can’t be a potent enough motivator. Let me explain. Money is a complex incentive. That is to say that money can be a motivator sometimes but it’s really not as simple as that. What most employers seem to think is that the following logic applies – when you pay, people work. However, it’s not that simple. You see, paying people is enough to get people to work for you. Even so, that isn’t to say that they will be making the best of effort. If you want that, you will have to make additional effort but more about that later. Let me first tell you how money motivates.
A recent study shows that people will be more motivated from money if they are doing manual labor. Subjects were offered different sums of money to accomplish the same physical task. The study shows that the people who were paid more performed better. No surprises there. However, when they asked to perform a mental task, the results were surprising – people who were paid more performed in the same level (in some cases even worse due to stress) as the ones who were paid less. This means that when we are talking about mental work, more money doesn’t mean more motivation if stress is involved.
Once again I will say, it’s not that simple, though. If you want your people to be truly motivated, you need to pay them enough in order for them to be able to live comfortably. Most big software companies know this and fund their employees handsomely. The programmers can focus all their creativity on work instead of thinking about paying the bills. As you can see, even though after some point money is not an additional motivator, there is still a minimum that has to be covered. If your employees are constantly worried about money, that will definitely hinder their performance. So if you want to motivate people, pay them well enough.
Let’s say you’re paying your employees more than enough for them to be free of any financial worries. Good for you. The next step, especially if you want to work with creative people, is to make sure they have a good environment to work in and as much freedom as possible. Take a look at Google, for example. They are one of the most desired companies on the job market – people would just love to work there. Why? A few reasons. One, the pay is great. We established that’s good but it’s not enough. Two, the offices are casual, the cafeteria is well-equipped and people have leisure rooms in the office. This is why they work with little to no stress. They are not worried about money and they are not distressed about schedules, and look where this brought Google. And reason number three is because they let their engineers work on their own projects 20% of the time, with many of Google’s most successful products being released in that time period.
Make them feel appreciated
If you want people to be motivated to work for you, you have acknowledge the fact that they are people and not robots. They need to be appreciated for their work. Make sure you let them know that they are doing a good job (if they are, of course). Big companies give out bonuses. Even if you don’t have the money to afford giving out positive stimuli like this, the least you can do is tell your employees you are pleased with their performance. Nothing is more demotivating than feeling unappreciated.
That’s it. That’s all you need to do in order to motivate your workers. Pay them enough, give them as much freedom and stress-free environment as possible and make sure they know you appreciate they are investing their time working for you. Remember, you may be paying them, but time is more valuable than money. If you’re making money on their backs, make sure they know you’re grateful. And also, be sincere. If you manage to do that, you will have a team of motivated, creative and loyal employees who will feel privileged working for you. You don’t have to be Google to make it happen.
Morgan Johnes is a businessman who knows how to motivate his employees. He is a manager of EndOfTenancyCleaners in London. Morgan has a lot of knowledge to share with his readers.
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