Employee Engagement: Three Ways to Manage by Motivating

Motivation is what drives us to set and attain goals, it is our desire to do things.

Motivation is fundamental to employee engagement. The goal of employee engagement is to get employees to expend discretionary effort and the best way to do that is with proper motivation. When you know how to motivate, you have the keys to being a manager with a team of engaged employees.

Motivation comes in two flavors: Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is derived from internal desires. The drive to do things that make you happy, that create meaning — that produce internal rewards that are mentally satisfying. By contrast, extrinsic motivation is what drives the desire to gain external rewards or avoid punishment. Oftentimes, the two motivations are intertwined, for instance the desire to win can be motivated by both the desire for the cash prize, (extrinsic), and the desire to feel a sense of accomplishment, (intrinsic).

Be A Super Hero Manager: Three Ways To to Motivate Employees

1. Competition

Devising a friendly competition among employees is a great way to encourage task performance and behavior. It also serves to motivate both intrinsically and extrinsically; employees are driven to win to receive the reward and for the feeling of triumph. For instance, you might assign points to the completion of certain tasks or behaviors, (submitting reports on time, filling out survey questions etc.), at the end of the designated time period, the person with the most points wins.

2.  Awards And Recognition

The problem with Employee of the Month awards is that they single out one person and disregard the contributions of others. Instead of a singular employee award, consider creating multiple awards to recognize employee efforts. The award categories and criteria should be clearly displayed so that employees understand what they are working towards and how to achieve the goal. These awards are a great way to give employees company-wide recognition which endows them with a sense of achievement and the physical reward of a certificate.

3.  Negative Reinforcement

A common misconception of negative reinforcement is that it means doing something adverse. In actuality, negative reinforcement is where you take something away, stop something or avoid an adverse outcome or stimulus (as opposed to giving something as in positive reinforcement). Negative reinforcement is intrinsically motivating because a person is compelled to perform or behave in a certain way in order to avoid or stop something from happening or because the action will result in something being removed. For instance, if an employee knows that if they complete something without mistake, they won’t have to do it again, then they are being driven by the desire to avoid the unfavorable consequence.

These are just some of the ways that managers can motivate their employees by taking advantage of their intrinsic and extrinsic drivers. Motivation is central to employee engagement and when you know how to employ the right motivation you can get the best performance out of your employees.

Image: bigstockphoto.com

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