Expertise

Best Ways To Improve Motivation In Your Team

By Dmitry Ostroga
Published: Dec 28, 2023

More and more managers are facing a period of so-called «stagnation» in the team, not knowing how to find a common language with colleagues and believing that employees can only be motivated financially.

An individual approach to employees, as well as to clients, is important – everyone has their own unfulfilled needs, interests, and often bonuses do not solve all problems. The effectiveness of bonuses is temporary; a permanent effect can be achieved only by using methods of material and non-material motivation in combination.

The effectiveness of a company’s motivational system is also influenced by its size – in small companies it is easier for managers to establish contact with employees and show a personal approach than in large organizations.

In his book «Drive: What Really Motivates Us», Daniel Pink discusses the essence of motivation and what really inspires people to achieve extraordinary results. Pink proposes a theory according to which motivation can be broken down into three main components – autonomy, mastery and determination.

Staff motivation is the ways and incentives that help people feel more interested, energetic and committed to their work. In simple terms, it is what inspires and motivates people to do their jobs well, feel satisfied with their achievements, and be more productive in the work environment.

Successful motivation systems examples

  1. Google’s 20% Time
    “We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they believe will most benefit Google,” founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wrote in their IPO letter. “It gives them the opportunity to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances [such as AdSense and Google News] happened this way.”
  2. Salesforce’s Volunteer Time Off
    Salesforce provides paid volunteer time to its employees. It is a way to promote a sense of social responsibility and create positive thinking both within and outside the organization.
  3. Microsoft’s OneWeek Hackathon
    Microsoft organizes an annual hackathon where employees can propose ideas and work on innovative projects. It is a way to encourage creativity and team collaboration.
  4. Regular employee feedback checks: Microsoft sends out a “Daily Pulse” survey to gauge how employees are feeling every day.
  5. Improving Employee Health: Salesforce Inc. offers employees $100 per month towards wellness activities such as fitness classes, nutrition, therapy and more.
  6. Intel’s Employee Share Program
    Intel provides its employees with the opportunity to participate in a program to purchase company shares at a reduced price. This encourages a sense of ownership and ownership of the company’s success.
  7. Amazon’s Career Choice Program
    Amazon offers a Career Choice program that covers training costs for employees in areas that can help them grow and build their careers.

12 main trends in employee motivation:
*based on HeadHunter and Gallup reports

Ways to increase employee motivation

  • Employees perform 20% better when they are motivated
  • Highly engaged teams increase business profitability by 21%
  • Engaged and motivated employees reduce absenteeism by 41%
  • Motivated employees are 87% less likely to quit
  • More than 42% of employees pay attention to incentive programs when they are looking for a job
  • 2/3 of staff are motivated to stay in their jobs by the presence of an employee motivation program
  • Employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform at their best.
  • 87% of employees expect their employer to help them find a balance between work and personal commitments
  • Less than half of employees are well aware of the company’s strategy and goals for motivating employees
  • When choosing an employer, in addition to a decent salary paid on time, job seekers are interested in career growth opportunities, a convenient workplace and overtime pay.
  • 88% of job seekers are willing to work overtime if the employer took maximum care of employees

Dedicated and motivated employees create a cumulative effect for the company – resulting in real and significant differences in profits. Attracting new employees is much more labor-intensive and expensive for the company than introducing a sustainable system of staff motivation.

What motivates employees the most?

Employee motivation statistics shows that many employees are motivated by financial benefits, opportunities for career growth and advancement, training and development prospects, flexible working conditions or additional paid leave. Others work toward goals and feel like they are contributing to something larger than themselves.

In the competition for talent, money is not everything. Many candidates choose companies with a wide range of intangible benefits. Thanks to the benefits, employees feel supported by their employer in matters of health, leisure and well-being.

Most often, a symbiosis of material and non-material motivation tools is needed. For example, an employee has a good salary, but he stays late at the office every day, although he dreams of spending the evenings with his children. Then no amount of money will keep him in such a job for long.

In addition, it is dangerous to build a motivation system only on finances. People quickly get used to good things. Having received a salary increase, the employee will be motivated at first. But in a couple of months his standard of living will increase, the bonus will disappear into the general budget, and the effect will end. To motivate a specialist again, you will have to increase his salary again.

The most dangerous trap that managers fall into is the belief that nothing motivates employees better than money. In fact, there are very few people for whom finances evoke a lasting and vivid emotional response. Typically, such people work in areas where they can directly influence their income, such as sales.

Why employee motivation is important?

Every leader would agree that employee engagement is important. But why is employee motivation so beneficial? What real-time results can you expect?

Non-material motivation helps:

  • increase employee efficiency;
  • retain valuable specialists;
  • increase team loyalty and engagement;
  • strengthen material motivation;
  • increase the attractiveness of the company.

Types, tools and methods of non-material motivation

I identify 6 types of non-material motivation:

  • working conditions,
  • career and self-realization,
  • psychological factors,
  • involvement,
  • social conditions,
  • influence and power.

Each type is implemented using specific methods and methods, which can be collectively called tools. It is impossible to give an exhaustive list of tools – all depends on the budget and imagination of the employer.

As an example, here are several incentive options for each type of motivation:

  • working conditions – clean office, office interior, comfortable workplaces, high-quality equipment, lounge zone
  • career and self-realization – free access to educational platforms, employee development programs, tuition fees
  • psychological factors – respectful relationships between colleagues, praise and recognition,maintaining a balance between work and personal life, communication with managers is not difficult
  • involvement – meetings with manager to sum up results, participation in social oriented events
  • social conditions – voluntary health insurance, New Year’s gifts for children, free lunches, payment for fitness
  • influence and power – granting additional powers, promotion

Factors of employee motivation

When do you need to change the motivation system or how to understand that the existing system is not working? Answer the following questions and assess the state of the motivation system in your company:

  • Does the employee understand his/her role?
  • Do employees have all the resources they need to succeed?
  • Are the processes in the company optimized?
  • Are the relationships in the team adequate?
  • Do employees have the freedom to make decisions within the scope of their position?
  • Are there opportunities for employees to grow within their role?
  • Does the company offer training and development opportunities to employees as part of their role?
  • Are the company’s mission/goals clear and are employees aware of them?

How to motivate remote employees

  1. Help them feel like part of a team
    It’s easier for remote employees to feel forgotten and disconnected from the team, so your job is to make sure that company remembers them and is committed to providing the same conditions for everyone.
  2. Add events for remote workers
    Many remote workers are interested in attending corporate English lessons, participating in thematic discussions online and expressing their opinions. An employee’s location does not make him less important and your job is to give him confidence in this.
  3. Organize calls
    Not everyone likes frequent attention and it may seem intrusive, but if the employee is comfortable, you can arrange 10-minute calls to find out about each other’s well-being, plans, mood and just to cheer them up.
  4. Separate work and personal time of remote employees
    Remote workers find it difficult to switch from home mode to work mode. As a result, some begin to be lazy and miss deadlines, while others, on the contrary, constantly increase their time for work and end up sitting at the computer from morning to night. To solve this problem, define a work schedule and clear time frames for specific processes.

HR expert Rebecca Ahmed talks more about creating a thoughtful corporate culture and the importance of creating clear and resonant company values in the minds of employees at TED Talks. A very useful video that uses simple examples to show how an accessible and effective company culture increases candidate interest in the company, increases employee engagement and motivation, and helps establish vertical communication.

Today, almost all companies use non-material motivation, but they are faced with a situation where it turns out that it does not work. It is very important for a manager to understand the needs of his employees, and direct conversation is important for this. Arrange quarterly check-ups to check your team’s satisfaction level and you can learn more about how to motivate your colleagues.

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