Why do I care about employee motivation?

Why do I care about employee motivation?
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“Why would I care about employee motivation?”

People can only motivate themselves. Besides they are professionals, adults, and need to deal with their own issues.

Okay. This attitude believes that people are well adjusted, always in control and always rational beings looking out for you, their boss, and the company.
What meds are you on?
The truth is people want to do their best, be part of a great team doing something special. They have good days and bad days. They hear-see-feel then react. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes not.
It is true employees ultimately motivate themselves. If employees want to become motivated they will, if they don’t want to be motivated, they won’t be.
Keep in mind, that even individual contributors are leaders. To be effective, company leadership and individuals must motivate those around them to accomplish what they want.

Leadership directly impacts employee motivation

Now, consider that leadership can directly affect motivation in employees. There are lots of articles written on this topic. There are studies on leadership, employee motivation, employee engagement. These studies tie results of employee motivation directly to profits, value produced for owners and customers, productivity among other business metrics.
Employees ask themselves: Would I tell other talented people I’m proud to work here? Am I satisfied with the organization as a place to work? Would I recommend my friends to work here? Should I look for another job?
What do you think? Aren’t you a little curious to know the answers to these questions?

What is your plan as the leader in the organization to affect employee motivation? Do you know what employees think?

How do you affect employee motivation?

As a leader, it’s your job to positively affect employee motivation to the degree you can. Whether you know it or not. It is part of the job.

Employees look to leadership when things get tough. They look for guidance on how to handle situations. They look to alignment between what is said and what actions are taken. From research paper by John Wiley.

Employees look to leadership when things are going well too. They look for honest communication from leadership which instills loyalty and organization pride. From research paper by John Wiley.

This results in getting and keeping top talent.

Did you know that on average companies with higher employee motivation as measured through employee engagement produces higher margins and more company valuation according to Gallup research on employee engagement.

Some crazy stats about employee motivation

Making money through employee motivation.Gallup research across 192 organizations and 49 industries is summarized in the Gallup article Effects of Employee Engagement on business performance.

If you have 9 engaged employees for each disengaged employee your company is more likely to produce 1.5 x more profit than competitors.

If you have 3 engaged employees for every 1 disengaged employee your company is likely to produce 2% lower profit than competitors.

Business stats for companies with higher employee motivation and employee engagement (top quartile compared to lowest quartile of companies in the study).

  • Profitability is 22% higher
  • Productivity is 21% higher
  • Customer rating is 10% higher
  • Absenteeism is 37% lower
  • Shrinkage is 28% lower
  • Safety incidents are 48% lower
  • Quality defects are 41% lower

Let’s say all this is true. What can you do as a leader?

  1. Create and communicate a clear picture of the future of the company. Where’s the company going? Have a vision, a direction to lead the company.
  2. Show leadership and teamwork in handling challenges. Understand yourself, your values, your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest about them. Communicate them. Align your actions with your statements.
  3. Be committed to providing high-quality products and services. Know why you are in “this” business. “To make money” is good, but it is not good enough.
  4. Demonstrate belief (and believe) that employees are important to company success…not just resources to be exploited. Do you believe you have untapped potential? In yourself, your team, your organization, your company as a whole? Do you value your employees?
  5. Inspire confidence in employees. Set goals that point to vision and align with your values.

What happens along the way in leadership?

If you are in business, you know the process that happens.
There’s nothing new here.
What happens to leadership along the way in business?
Maybe you’ve grown your company to a new level or want to grow it. Or maybe you’ve taken on a new leadership position. You are in charge and optimistic. Great. Eventually, stuff will happen. What attitudes, skills, knowledge will get you through it?
The question becomes, “is your leadership up to the task?”
Do you have the …

  • Attitudes of leader worth following?
  • Skills (enough tools in the toolbox for these situations)?he knowledge about best practices? What works? You don’t re-invent the wheel do you?
  • Goals articulated and measurable? Are they SMART?
  • Know-how for your job as a leader?

Do you go it alone, with no help? (yes, we’ve all read business books, taken courses. Books and courses are good but are not partners to rely on through your leadership journey.)

What kind of leader are you? Where are you today?

Know where you stand as a leader since it means the success of your business.
Know what kind of leader you are. Where you stand as a leader.
Armed with self knowledge about your status as a leader, next step is to tackle your effectiveness as a leader.

Are you effective as a leader?

I know you want the very best for your company. To do the very best you can.
No matter where you are today…you can always do better.
Ask yourself, “How effective am I as a leader?” Test yourself >>
If motivation is a challenge, then dive a little deeper into what lies behind the motivations or lack of motivation.  Ask questions about the team and the environment.
How effective are you as a leader? What do you do to motivate employees?

An interesting side note

Gallup also has found that they can predict success 94% of the time in professions and marriage based on John Gottman’s research about Positive to Negative Reactions (PNR).

  • When your reaction to someone is positive 5 times to each negative reaction employee engagement goes up dramatically.
  • If you react 2 times positively or less to each negative reaction employee engagement and employee motivation goes down.
  • 13 or more times positive to each negative is too much and no one believes you.


Get a plan for employee motivation and engagement

  • Be ready to work “on” yourself and “on” your company. Take time out of working “in” the company.
  • Carry out self, employee, and company evaluations to know for sure where you stand. Learn more >>
  • Do regular and frequent planning.
  • Hold regular and frequent action meetings.
  • Communicate more than you ever have. Then communicate more.
  • Understand your company, your employees, their motivations.
  • Stick with it.

Then, you can reap the rewards of employee motivation and employee engagement.

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