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Work Desk

HOW TO MOTIVATE EMPLOYEES: UNLOCKING THE SECRET TO EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION

Motivated employees perform 20% better, generate 18% more sales and are 87% less likely to leave.  

Imagine that you work in an unclean and dingy office, with countless tasks flooding your to-do list, no opportunities for promotion, no rewards, and an austere boss breathing down your neck. Sounds like your worst nightmare, right? How would it change things for you if your office was clean, well-organized, and pleasant, your boss was approachable and understanding and had realistic expectations from you, and your coworkers were friendly and helpful? That automatically sounds like a much better place to work at, maybe even the kind of work you would look forward to on a Monday morning. 

 

Does it help you to now understand why motivation plays such a key role in employee performance, engagement, turnover, and ultimately the company’s sales and success? Motivated employees perform 20% better, generate 18% more sales and are 87% less likely to leave.  

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Now you know that motivated employees are the key to a successful business. But how can employee motivation be achieved? 

 

What are some ideas that instantly come to mind when you think of motivating your employees? Raising their pay, increasing some benefits, adding rewards or punishments? While money and benefits are indeed important, they’re not the only factors. More money may sound attractive and like the ultimate motivating factor, but it has no sustained impact on employee motivation or employee commitment. In fact, a recent study found that the most motivational factors for employees are a good work-life balance (21%), peer motivation (20%) and an encouraging boss (15%).

 

So how do you decide what motivating factors should be undertaken? The key lies in understanding what kind of motivation you need in the first place. 

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Extrinsic Motivation Vs Intrinsic Motivation

 

Let’s talk about a boy, Adam. He’s thirteen and hates going to school because he finds it dull and boring, doesn’t have many friends and sees no reason behind studying. But he still goes to school almost every day of the week. Why? Because if he doesn’t fulfil the criterion of 75% attendance, he won’t be allowed to sit for the exams and his parents will ground him. In this case, it can be said that Adam is extrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation makes you do something because you have to, and not because you want to. In the world of business, Adam can be working a 9 to 5 job, and be extrinsically motivated by factors such as a bonus or an inevitable deadline. Extrinsic motivation lasts a shorter time and does not guarantee employee commitment and engagement. Employees are not motivated enough to give their best and take on creative and innovative approaches to their work. 

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In a different scenario, Adam is determined to be a doctor. He has a well-thought-out plan and knows that getting straight A’s in school will pave his way to Johns Hopkins. He still goes to school every day, and even excels in his studies. What is different now? Adam is intrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivation makes you do something because you want to, and not because you have to. The secret to having employees who are committed to giving their best is motivating them intrinsically. To know more about how to motivate employees intrinsically, read our blog How to Achieve Intrinsic Motivation of Employees: 8 Things You Can Start Doing Right Now. 

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