Employee motivation is a concept that many employers integrate into their employee benefits packages to promote a better working environment for the company as a whole. Motivational techniques can provide benefits to both the employees and the employer, but there are also some disadvantages that should be taken into consideration before embarking on any motivational approach.
There are many myths surrounding employee motivational techniques. The belief that money is a big motivational factor is one of these myths. Money motivates, but not in the sense that most people think. Too small of an amount is miniscule, yet too large of an amount is a waste for the company. According to Fortune (2010), monetary rewards are appreciated the same when the amount given ranges from $110 and above. If an organization chooses to use money as a motivational technique, the amount needs to be considered very carefully.
Another myth is the implication that fear is a motivational technique to persuade employees to do well. While fear might motivate an employee enough to keep their job, it’s not likely enough of a motivational technique to push an employee to have superior performance.
The benefits to employers of implementing motivational techniques for their employees are plenty. Increased productivity can help get more work done in the day. It can also produce a higher quality of work, which in turn will produce a higher quality product and/or service to the customer. (McNamara, n.d.)
Creating a motivational workplace will also generate higher employee retention rates. When employees are satisfied with their employer, they are more likely to remain with that employer. This lowers the costs involved with hiring replacement employees, which is also another benefit to implementing motivational techniques. (McNamara, n.d.)
When employers apply motivational techniques, it also produces and maintains an elevated company appearance. This demonstrates to potential employees that the company is a wonderful and rewarding place to work, and provides the company with a higher quality selection of potential job candidates. (McNamara, n.d.)
Motivational techniques are not without their disadvantages. Once motivational techniques are implemented, it is almost impossible to terminate them. Employees come to expect these rewards for the work that they are doing, even if it is part of their typical daily assignments and duties. (Kelly, & Novak, 2000)
The expense involved in determining and implementing new motivational techniques should be a major consideration for many employers. If a company decides they want to execute some motivational techniques for their employees, they will need to hire an outside consultant or provide a current employee time to come up with some suggestions to motivate employees. Either way, this is an expensive benefit to provide to the company’s employees.
A company may also have some employees that will be required to implement these new motivational techniques who may not appreciate the change. There could be an employee who sees these new motivational techniques as an unnecessary crutch for the employees. Employees will strive for better performance with the possibility of getting an additional reward, when they should have been doing their best in the first place. (Cohen, 2009)
There are many motivational techniques that have been studied and applied in the workplace to motivate employees. Creating a positive work environment is one of the most common, and possibly the easiest technique to implement. Creating an enjoyable workplace will result in fewer unexcused absences and tardiness, improving productivity, which will in turn save the company money.
Receiving a verbal praise immediately after the good deed has been done is motivational to many employees, as is receiving an announced praise in a company meeting or ceremony. These types of motivational techniques are free to the company, but are a monumental reward to the employees receiving them. (Kelly, & Novak, 2000)
In cases where a group or team achieves a monumental goal, an office party or another type of celebration to honor the group would be a motivational technique that an employer could implement. This shows members of the team that their hard work has been appreciated and did not go unnoticed. (Kelly, & Novak, 2000)
Another type of motivational technique that an employer can provide is extra time off for hard work or an outstanding performance. Employees appreciate when their hard work is acknowledged and rewarded, and being allowed some extra free time is a nice surprise when it occurs. (“Rewarding Employees = Loyalty”, 2010)
Stimulating assignments can also be motivational to many employees. When an employee receives a daring task they are encouraged by the implication that their employer believes in their ability to get the assignment completed. Sometimes a little encouragement and conviction can go a long way towards motivating an employee. (“Rewarding Employees = Loyalty”, 2010)
Techniques are not the only consideration taken into account when motivating employees. The time frames in which to offer rewards and put motivational techniques into action also needs to be considered. If motivational techniques are implemented and rewards are presented at the wrong or inappropriate times they may not be as effective, therefore becoming a waste of time and money to the company.
According to Demos (2010), “about 80% to 90% of employees should get some reward every year”. This motivational technique allows the vast majority of the workplace to get some type of reward and see, first-hand, that their work is appreciated. Even the employees that aren’t getting rewarded see the rewards that their coworkers are receiving which motivates them to try and achieve the same performance capable of being rewarded.
Presenting rewards on a weekly basis allows them to be remembered. Employees will strive to achieve the requirements needed to possibly acquire one of the rewards without losing sight of them. Larger rewards given less frequently can slip employee’s minds, which isn’t a very beneficial motivational technique for anyone. (Demos, 2010) Motivating employees is a monumental leap for many companies. The benefits and disadvantages need to be looked over by the employer before implementing any motivational techniques or rewards to ensure the best possible benefits to the company and its employees. By weighing the benefits and disadvantages of employee motivation, an employer can make an educated decision about the type of method, if any, that is right for their organization.
(2010). Rewarding Employees = Loyalty. Westchester County Business Journal, 49(7), 14. Retrieved from Regional Business News database.
Cohen, C. (2009). Management myths. CA Magazine, 142(5), 57-58. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
Demos, T. (2010). Motivate Without Spending Millions. Fortune, 161(5), 37. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Kelly, S., & Novak, M. (2000, July 31). Supporting strong initiative. Slovak Spectator, p. 5. Retrieved from Newspaper Source database.
McNamara, C. (n.d.). Employee training and development: reasons and benefits. Retrieved from http://managementhelp.org/trng_dev/basics/reasons.htm.