It’s the holiday season—time to deck the halls, wander the malls (and, perhaps, even bang your head on the walls) as you attempt to pick the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Different people appreciate different things. You wouldn’t give your four-year-old niece a coffee maker, right? A gourmet espresso machine might be just the thing to delight your spouse, but your niece would, no doubt, prefer a toy.
Similarly, your employees have different preferences and values. Have you considered the uniqueness of the people in your workplace? What motivates one may not motivate another. An exceptional manager takes the time to learn the interests, and aversions, of each employee.
Just like parents may need to learn new techniques to effectively lead and discipline their individual children, managers must learn to alter their approach as needed. Getting to know your employees will help you “speak their language”. When you invest in learning what motivates each individual on your team, your return will come in the form of employee retention.
Determining a Person’s Motivation
How do you find out what motivates people? Just ask! Smart managers begin asking about motivators as early as the interview process. You can simply ask, “What are some of the things that motivate you at work?” Or conversely, “What kinds of things turn you off at work?” You can learn a lot about people just by asking.
Additionally, a keen manager will use observation to determine what motivates their employees. What tends to make them work harder? What frustrates them? Are they motivated more by praise or by challenges? Take notes on the motivations of each of your employees, and review these notes when considering how to approach an individual whose performance needs improvement.
Assessment tools can also provide tremendous insights into the motivations of a job candidate or employee. Behavioral surveys like PDP® ProScan provide personalized results to help managers understand the unique ways each person on their team contributes, communicates, and interacts—what makes them tick.
Three Types of Motivational Groups
At the positive end of the spectrum are the self-starters. This group of self-motivated people is generally easy to manage. They may be motivated by a desire to do the right thing, the pleasure of performing a task well, the thrill of tackling a challenge, or the respect of their boss and peers. As long as they are working for the goals of the organization, self-starters do not require a lot of maintenance.
On the other end of the spectrum, you find the unmotivated. No matter what you say or do, these people do not want to perform their work as instructed. If all attempts to motivate fail, using both rewards and discipline, then the manager must let this type of employee go.
The good news is that most people do respond to proper motivators. The majority of employees want to do a good job, but may need external motivation to perform their best. Positive motivators could include praise from the boss, recognition among peers, and movement towards positions of responsibility. Additionally, people feel more motivated when they are assigned to tasks they like to do. An exceptional manager will learn what motivates individual employees and act accordingly.
The Bottom Line on Employee Motivation
When you start treating people as the individuals they are, it sets in motion a positive chain of events: Better morale leads to higher performance, which leads to pride in a job well done, and ultimately, to increased loyalty to the organization.
Retaining good employees starts with getting to know them as individuals. Only exceptional managers will invest the mental energy it takes to figure out what motivates each person. Are you ready to make this investment? Brink Results can help.
Contact Brink Results to schedule an appointment today to discuss our services! (239) 334-1050.