Motivation Magic: Breaking Down What Good Looks Like

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Korsen

With current surges in the global pandemic and the fact that recently or soon-to-be- approved vaccines are not yet ready for widespread distribution, working remotely remains the norm. Most physical offices are still closed, and research points to the lack of social interaction negatively affecting employee drive. How can employers identify what good work looks like  in this remote workforce era? The answer may be as simple as prioritizing and measuring employee motivation. Why employee motivation? It’s a direct correlation to employee engagement. Engaged employees are happier and more productive, which limits company turnover and increases workplace satisfaction. And so, to reveal this “motivation magic ,” employers need to understand and utilize motivators. Below are a few motivators that employers can leverage within their organizations.

Recognition. Employees find satisfaction in being recognized for their accomplishments; a simple “thank you” or “you’re doing a great job” can positively change employees’ outlook, motivating them to forge ahead. For this reason, creating a recognition framework can boost employee work ethic. For example, employers can use a virtual platform to identify and recognize employee accomplishments. There is also power in peer-nominated recognition. Even remotely, peers often see things that managers and leaders do not. By encouraging employees to recognize their co-worker’s accomplishments, employers can also create a stronger team comradery.

20% Project. The 20% project carves out 20% of an employee’s work week which is dedicated to brainstorming projects that are beneficial to the organization. Research shows that innovative entities like Google adopted this strategy and validated that employees can be creative and still meet standards and deliverables. The results show employees are more engaged when they can tap into this type of creative outlet, leading to increased productivity and work ethic.

Growth. One of the biggest drivers of employee engagement is the potential to become better and excel within an organization. Employers can encourage personal growth by assigning new and challenging tasks to employees. In addition, dedicating time to discuss employee growth and career objectives motivates employees to continue to strive within their current position. Working with your employee to identify a career path shows that you care about their success, which will energize your workforce.

Feedback Matters – now more than ever. Preserving or setting aside time to discuss individual employee performance shows that you care. Providing positive and constructive feedback to employees not only helps them better perform, but it also lets them know you see and appreciate their strengths and accomplishments. Perhaps employees have developed a new skill during the pandemic? Perhaps they have demonstrated resilience or leadership? These are notable examples of employees staying engaged and adapting to the circumstances. By dedicating time to give feedback to your workforce, employees will become more productive and value the extra time you invest in their personal development.

Compensation. Financial compensation has always been a top motivator. However, employers don’t have to spend top dollar to show gratitude. Creating friendly competition, such as contests to encourage collaboration, can motivate employees to exceed expectations. Even handing out snacks, gift cards, or greeting cards to recognize accomplishments is a small gesture that can make all the difference.

In addition to leveraging the motivators identified above, employers can tap into employee feedback to identify other things that drive motivation. Consider some of the many ways to collect their insights:

  • create employee surveys
  • put an employee engagement platform in place to acquire feedback electronically
  • conduct one-on-one chat sessions to discuss and ask questions about their level of motivation.

Once perspectives have been collected, employers can determine which ideas to implement to improve employee engagement.

After diving-in and better understanding employee motivation, the motivation magic has been revealed. Employees will be satisfied, happier, and much more fulfilled when it comes to their careers and their future. We have learned that when employers promote and understand these motivators, their workforce can change for the better!