Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 1 February 2015





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Employee motivation, the ultimate management challenge

Employee motivation has always been a central problem for leaders and managers. Demotivated employees take little or no interest in their job, avoid the workplace as much as possible, exit the organisation if given the opportunity and produce low-quality work.

On the other hand, employees who feel motivated to work will be persistent, creative and productive, turning out high quality work that they willingly undertake.

Why it is that every employee of a company does not perform at his best. Many things can be said as an answer to this question.

The reality is that employees are motivated in various ways. Employers need to know their employees well and use various methods to motivate each of them based on their personal beliefs and attitudes.

Leaders should have clear goals to accomplish and enable their followers to achieve it with him. The word motivation suggests energetic behaviour directed towards some goal that leads to maximum output.

Sustainability is the next question. Pushing solutions on to your employees is unsustainable and also creates a sense of dictatorship. You may be the cause of your employee's lack of motivation. Instead of pushing solutions on people with the force of your argument, pull solutions out of them.

Employee motivation is perhaps the ultimate management challenge at the same time motivation is what gives you the best results.

Modern management

What does it take to motivate difficult employees? The answer is difficult for most management professionals to understand. Managers cannot motivate problem employees, but rather they must motivate themselves.

The role of the manager is to create an environment in which their natural motivation is freed and used to achieve goals.

Most employees respond to spiritual calls and the spiritual mind set neutralises ill feelings and creates openness in difficult employees.

Until recently, mentioning spirituality in the context of work, management or leadership sounded like an attempt at converting the workplace to a religious domain.

Yet, the notion of spirituality - not the same thing as religion - is today penetrating various aspects of our life. Among these is the accelerating call for spirituality in the workplace since it reflects a universal human need.

There is a new openness in management and leadership to the recognition of our spiritual nature. Leaders are becoming more concerned about integrating spirituality in their work, realising that such integration leads to positive changes in their relationships and effectiveness.

Spirituality has to be distinguished from religion. Religion includes beliefs, rules, structures, institutions and traditions. Spirituality is about the inner journey, it is a highly personal experience.

There is an experience of a force greater and beyond the individual.

In the workplace, spirituality is expressed as a set of shared values, attitudes and behaviour within an organisation.

But there is no adherence to a particular religion or institution. Rather it empowers and facilitates one's spiritual growth in everyday life. Ultimately, it fosters higher levels of organisational commitment and productivity.


In practice, how does all this apply to leadership at the personal, group, organisational and society level? Encourage employees to see their work as a spiritual path, an opportunity to grow personally and to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Help them develop integrity, , authenticity and to live their values more fully in the workplace.

Know yourself. Self-awareness helps you reflect on your leadership style, to examine your decisions and actions and to assess your behaviour in terms of your deepest held values. Be congruent and authentic.

Be yourself and don't just play a role. Let your employees see the more human, vulnerable part of you without fear of losing your power. Let your employees feel free to express their feelings and ideas.

This task will be achieved not simply by offering special courses to acquire knowledge, nor merely by learning to practise certain leadership skills or techniques, but through an internal personal transformation, a conversion of the heart, and a radical change in one's attitudes, values and style.

Although motivation is an important driver of individual performance, it is not the only factor. Such variables as knowledge, ability, experience, and environment also influence performance.

Ensure that those fundamentals are in place to derive the maximum benefit out of your motivational initiatives. Recruit personnel and give them solid training on the objectives to be attained.

Motivate and inspire followers giving them a sense of direction. Develop good interpersonal relations, and your employees will then certainly take risks in being a creative innovator and agent of change.


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