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19/3/2018: Motivating your workforce

Most companies think that what motivates employees, most, is money. Well, they're just wrong. Numerous surveys have shown that "a better wage" doesn't even rank among the top 3 motivators.  

Appreciating and publicly recognising an employee's, or a team's, work is fundamental in a healthy corporate culture. In fact, a team's success almost always ranks among the top motivators; it's often referred to as "peer motivation." In order to blossom this requires an open, non-criticising, culture. Engagement, loyalty, and employee happiness score high in such companies.

To be successful, and ultimately receive recognition, an employee must first be empowered. A micromanaged team will rarely operate at its full potential as none of the individuals' creativity will be present. Allowing people to control their work is key. The benefits include, again, higher engagement, but also increased productivity, and a trust-based morale boost. This process will also allow for the employees' problem-solving and leadership skills to evolve.

Lastly, on this top down list, and for employees to use their skills successfully, we have communication. People expect to have clear objectives and goals. A culture in which problems don't travel up the leadership ladder and strategy down, will fail.  It's no surprise that several studies list communication as the top skill for a manager. It must be the base of any successful company culture, especially where high diversity is present. 

In a nutshell, what truly motivates an employee is a company culture based on communication, empowerment, and recognition. In that order.

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