Motivation of employees can be defined as raising their morale and creating enthusiasm towards their work. Building a self-motivated team in a firm is a desire of many managers.  There are countless advantages of motivating one’s staff but, basically, it is a proven fact that the level of production increases with the increased motivation. Motivation also improves the level of efficiency of the staff. It also leads to the achievement of the firm’s goals. The objectives of an enterprise are achieved only when several factors are in place. These factors are: best possible utilization of human resource, presence of a co-operative work environment, and the staff being goal-directed and acting in a purposive manner. These objectives are met only if co-ordination and co-operation occurs simultaneously. This is done effectively through motivation.  Such self-motivation, however, does not come easy. It is achieved through a combination of many policies whose interests are staff driven. Many big firms, for instance, encourage their employees to buy shares in their companies. They do this by offering them the shares at a price slightly lower than the market price and also by availing them credit to buy such shares. This makes the employees have a sense of ownership towards the company. This increases their level of motivation and extends their productivity. The limitation of this kind of motivation is that it is only applicable to the staff of larger firms whose shares have been floated in the stock market and for firms which run projects that are not periodic. However, there are ways of motivating employee that are applicable to all firms regardless of their size and nature of business. Such ways include the following:

Setting a good example. When the top management of a firm exhibits loyalty towards the firm, shows dedication to duty and works hard, they encourage the junior staff to do so themselves. Co-operation among the top management also makes the other employees feel secure as they know the firm is well run. It also improves the co-ordination between the junior employees.

Encouraging workers to voice their concerns and complaints is another effective way of motivating employees. Their concerns should be addressed within the shortest time possible and, if possible, in their favor. There should be no stigmatization of workers who raise complaints. This boosts the employees’ morale and makes them feel appreciated by the firm. It also decreases dissatisfaction among the employees. The presence of a senior employee in larger firms or a department whose work is to address the complaints of employees is very important. It ensures that employees’ concerns are addressed fast and effectively.

Showing of appreciation for extra efforts and outstanding performance is another important is another important way of motivating employees. This takes many forms. On-the-Spot Praise is often ignored but very effective method of recognition. The time factor is key. This is because everybody can remember the achievement as it is still fresh on their minds. It is important to make such praise in the presence of other employees. This way, the outstanding performer feels appreciated for his/her efforts. Monetary incentives can also be used to reward measurable outstanding performance. The amount of incentive should increase with an increase in performance. Non-monetary incentives can also be used to motivate ones’ employees. These incentives can be presented to the employees in a special occasion for the same or in the firm’s normal social events. Non-monetary incentives can also be in kind. For example, leadershiproles can be given to outstanding performer. Giving employees promotion opportunities is another way of motivating them. The opportunities should be based on the performance and the addition of professional qualifications such as training. This enables the worker to feel that he/she grows as the firm grows. There should also be a reward for the most outstanding performer at the end of the project using easily observable parameters. This will keep all the employees on their toes especially if it is open to employees at all levels. On the same note, disincentives should be put in place for inefficient employees.

Holding regular social gatherings also motivates employees. The gatheringsincreasesbonding between the employees and makes them feel as members of a family. These gatherings can be held in many forms such as a party or even a sports day. The gatherings act as perfect time for socialization of the employees in all levels of the firm. It also breaks any tension between the employees and bridges the gap between higher ranking employees and the junior staff. Most importantly, the employees feel appreciated by the firm, and this motivates them. Such gatherings can be scheduled every three months.

Timely remuneration is a key factor to motivating ones’ employees. Late salaries and wages sometimes create crises in employees’ personal lives. When such cases occur, the employees feel let down by the employer. Paying employees in time proves to them that the employer has their interests at heart since he has kept his part of the bargain. This encourages the employees to work harder with the knowledge that when pay time arrives, their pay will be ready. Salary increase and allowances should be made at the stipulated time to prevent inconvenience to the employee.  The reward for work done overtime is also vital.

Giving training to employees especially sponsoring them to be trained new technology, skills or systems not only helps the firm to incorporate such technology in their firm but also greatly motivates the employee as they feel that the firm has enough faith in them to invest in them. It also increases the employees’ possibility of moving up the career path. It also makes the employee feel recognized for his efforts in the enterprise. The training may take as little time as a week every three months. The training may also be internal led by the manager or a supervisor. Either way, the training achieves the objective of motivating employees. 

For maximum output from the employees, they must be motivated. These measures can effectively motivate them. At the end of the project, it is good to review the employees’ output both as a team and individually and determine how effective each motivational measure was. This data can be used as a reference for another such project.

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