/ / Employee Motivation: Why It Matters & How To Not Screw It Up
/ / Employee Motivation: Why It Matters & How To Not Screw It Up

Employee Motivation: Why It Matters & How To Not Screw It Up

At what point in your employee’s careers are they the most motivated? When your organization hits a big milestone? When they get promoted? No and no. It’s the day they start. Why? Because they haven’t had the passion and excitement beaten out of them yet by bad managers. Say you don’t care about your employee’s personal happiness and well-being (to which, I would say: you absolutely should) consider the impact of poor morale and motivation on your business. Bad managers lead to high staff turnover, increased sick leave, and damaged company perception. One study suggests the cost of an unmotivated workforce is $300 billion. You don’t have to go to business school to know that’s not optimal for your success. So, how do you avoid being a terrible manager? It turns out it’s pretty simple. Here are the top 3 things to keep in mind for a motivated culture at your company. 

3 Tips For Maintaining A Culture of Motivation 

If you’re looking for data and stats, I am sorry to disappoint you; for the most part, the best strategy for creating a motivating culture for your employees comes down to being a human being. 

1. Focus On What Employees Do Well

Are you good at everything? Or do you shine in certain areas, bringing considerable talent, experience, and skill to those sectors? If you’re like the rest of humanity, it’s the second one. The same goes for your employees. Great leaders don’t try to make everyone be like them – or make one employee like another. They celebrate differences and unleash each person’s individual talents to work for the company.

Put people where they can shine and grow. Stop focusing on what you perceive as their flaws or weaknesses. This way, you’ll be encouraging the behavior you want – not discouraging what you don’t like. 

2. Be Curious About What Motivates Them (Or What Doesn’t)

Employees lose motivation for a variety of reasons, from mismatched values to a lack of self-efficacy, disruptive emotions, and the inability to attribute the reason they’re struggling to the right cause. One thing is certain: your attempts to motivate or assist an employee who is feeling unmotivated need to be unique to them. Not everyone cares about Pizza Tuesday or profit-sharing. A good manager recognizes the incredible power they have to positively impact their employees and the consequences that impact has on the health of their organization. It’s your job to consider what elements of the workflow at your organization could cause your employees to lose motivation or become disengaged and eliminate them.

3. Specifically: Think Outside The Paycheck

They say money isn’t everything. Is that true? For employees, the answer is yes. Over ⅓ of employees do not feel appreciated at work and 75% of employees state they would work harder if they were better recognized. That recognition overwhelmingly is not strictly monetary. 25% of employees want to feel they are serving the organization’s mission and want clarity around what the organization needs them to do – and why. From more opportunities to career development and flexible job conditions, employees listed a variety of ways employers could better connect with them and improve their motivation – and none of them was a financial raise. 

Being A Leader Doesn’t Make You An Effective Manager

Just because you’re in charge of your organization, doesn’t guarantee you’re a good manager. And, I’d argue, being a bad manager can be one of the most costly business mistakes you can make. The startup world is hard enough – you need to know your team is behind you, all rowing in the same direction. When it comes to funding, angel investors and VCs are going to want to see that you have a motivated, talented workforce who believe in your vision – it’s likely one of the most important considerations to whether they buy in. Are you proud of your dynamic, passionate, and motivated team? Reach out, I’d like to hear about them. 

Enjoy the ride.