Employees are the real stars of the business show. The best business ideas remain only that – ideas – in the absence of a talented team to carry out a business’ vision. This sentiment is shared by Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, who believes that Starbucks employees, and not their famed coffee, is the primary reason for their global success. A lack of business success, although attributable to various situation-specific factors, is often underpinned by unproductive and unmotivated staff (see study by Dobre, 2013). This creates the incentive for business executives to ensure that employees are sufficiently motivated to contribute to the success of the organization they work for – but where to start? Consider the following three aspects of employee motivation the next time you review your business strategy. Employees are motivated by:
Talented people also need to keep their skill sets honed and up to date to ensure that they and the organization they work for stay competitive in the industry. People who feel competent in their work roles feel more confident in the work they produce and are consequently more productive and motivated than their counterparts. Blended learning has shown the most promising results and is enhanced by executives who are willing to provide on-the-job mentoring and/or coaching to up-and-coming employees.
Employees feel valued when they feel heard and supported by their organizational superiors. This could include experiences of being heard in terms of their needs related to their work and their inputs during meetings, and receiving adequate compensation, sufficient work-related resources and praise for a job done well. Employees who feel valued tend to have greater loyalty towards their employers and are more motivated to work hard and make an active contribution to their work teams.
Having key work performance goals in place are important, but it may be wise to also focus on employees’ personal goals and to support them in achieving these (such as advancing in their career, learning a new skill or completing a degree related to their work, successfully managing their own project, attending conferences, etc.); this goes a long way in not only fostering employee loyalty and work-satisfaction but also serves as a powerful incentive to consistently perform well and to go the extra mile.
Although this is by no means and exhaustive list of possible ways to motivate one’s staff, it is a great point of departure on the road to business success. Visit the Coggno website for excellent safety training courses that cater to learners from various business levels and wide-ranging skills needs.