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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.