How to Motivate Workers in an Organization

Motivating workers requires creativity and an understanding of the areas where employee performance exceeds your company’s expectations. Motivation also may come from addressing areas for improvement before they become major problems. Both strategies convey the message that your human capital is valuable and that the company is genuinely interested in helping employees achieve excellence.

Step 1
Observe employee performance throughout an evaluation period — don’t wait until performance appraisal season to review how employees do their jobs. Compare employees’ job descriptions to the duties they actually perform. In many cases, employees perform duties and tasks that aren’t reflected on their formal job descriptions.

Step 2
Give employees regular feedback. Use positive strokes to commend them for doing their jobs well and provide candid, constructive feedback for performance issues. Addressing performance issues sooner rather than later can lead to immediate improvement, instead of letting deficiencies grow to the point that they require disciplinary action.

Step 3
Schedule public announcements to recognize employee. For example, at staff meetings recognize employees whose performance exceeds expectations. Employee recognition is a tremendous motivator, according to management consultant and professor Frederick W. Herzberg, who advocated the use of employee recognition in his two-factor theory on what employees need for job satisfaction.

Step 4
Promote employees with performance records that consistently exceed the company’s expectations. Again, Herzberg believed that non-monetary employee recognition is an effective method for motivation. Promoting employees to leadership roles allows them to showcase their talents and further improve their skills. Motivating employees also can improve employee retention, which reduces an organization’s cost to replace workers due to turnover.

Step 5
Ask employees to volunteer for roles where they can demonstrate their capabilities. For instance, if your organization conducts formal orientation for new employees, ask current employees if they would like to become presenters at orientation sessions. Engaging employees in organization-wide projects motivates them by showing confidence that they can perform challenging tasks.

Step 6
Obtain employee opinions using regularly scheduled surveys, usually once a year. Employees who realize their opinions matter generally are happier and more satisfied employees. These, in turn, are fully engaged employees who care about their jobs and who take pride in the quality of their work.

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