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Motivating Staff - Mar 2012

Motivating Staff - Mar 2012

Have you got any good tips on how to motivate staff?

By Vicki Crowe

When you Google "How to Motivate Staff" you'll find there are 20 best ways, 10 steps, three scientific steps and a plethora of fun and inspirational team building activities.

So, which one would you choose for your staff?

Motivating employees was traditionally linked to pay for performance.

This theory was found to be very unsuccessful because it followed the extrinsic motivation model or, in other words, motivating by offering external rewards.

Not everyone is motivated by money. Today, companies are looking at individual internal or intrinsic motivators that take a bit more effort to define but the results are well worth the effort.

To give you a recent example, last year I conducted an employee satisfaction survey for a company with 50 staff.

The survey results revealed that every employee interviewed had their own ideal motivator and some didn't want to be included in any motivational activities.

When it comes to motivating individuals, one person's poison is another's medicine.

You need to take into account that each of your staff will be pre-disposed to enjoying particular tasks and as a result will be self-motivated to perform at their peak.

On the flip side, the tasks they don't enjoy, that don't come naturally, will cause staff to become de- motivated and they will often avoid completing them.

Here are some sample questions:

  • What tasks give you the greatest pleasure/satisfaction in your job?
  • What tasks would you prefer to avoid if you could?
  • What tasks really energise you?
  • If the company invests in some training or other motivational activities, what would interest you the most?

Companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter understand that their thousands of employees all have different motivators.

They lead the corporate world by offering an extensive range of motivational activities, rewards, training, and flexible work hours to keep their staff fired up.

You don't have to have their budget, you just need to get smart and take a leaf out of their book.

Vicki Crowe founded Cannon Recruitment in 1994 and Enneagram Australasia in 2004. Over the past 17 years she has consulted to government, national and global organisations on HR and leadership.

Ask Vicki or any other StartupSmart Mentor a question here.