How to Motivate Your Employees without Fear or Money

Category: Management/Leadership
Posted: 04-22-2011 11:47 PM
Views: 4259
Synopsis:

For many years in the workplace it was thought the best way to motivate employees was with money and fear. Excellent performers were rewarded with more pay and promotions and bad performers were fired or demoted. Family and life outside of work took a backseat to the job and it was universally thought that if the job required time that cut into an employee's life, then the job always won.

For many years in the workplace it was thought the best way to motivate employees was with money and fear. Excellent performers were rewarded with more pay and promotions and bad performers were fired or demoted. Family and life outside of work took a backseat to the job and it was universally thought that if the job required time that cut into an employee's life, then the job always won.

Money is still very important to employees but there is a limit to its importance. The baby boomer generation was an extremely hard working group with a huge focus on time spent at work. They were willing to sacrifice time outside of work to get ahead. The military top-down style of leadership was popular and prevailing thought was the only way to show your worth was through long hard hours.

Generation X and the generations after see the world different that their predecessors and though they are a hard-working group, they value life away from work and are not willing to sacrifice time with their families and after work activities. They want to make more money, but at a certain point the time becomes more valuable than the money. Employees from these generations value a workplace that is flexible and are more motivated by having options like flex-time and working from home. They are more likely to want to work for an organization that recognizes that family is the most important thing and if time-off is needed for family then it is granted. If these needs aren't meant than employees are likely to move on to another workplace.

A company that is flexible with work schedules will retain their good employees. If an employee wants to take a Friday afternoon off to watch his son play in an out of town Basketball game, he wants to know he can do it and make the time up on the weekend or the evenings. If an employee has a sick parent or child, she wants to know that she can work at home for a week until the relative is better. If an employee wants to coach a soccer team, they want to know that they can work from 6AM - 2PM during the season so he can make it to practice on time. This flexibility is EXTREMELY important to employees.

On-site daycare is another option that employers are using to make their organizations more employee-friendly. Childcare saves employees time, money and makes the workplace more comfortable. It's been shown that parents work more productively knowing that their children are within access. Even if they don't see them at all during the day.

While money may continue to motivate employees, the workplace needs to adjust to the continually changing needs of their workers. Employees are still hardworking but they need the flexibility to attend to their personal lives. This flexibility trumps money in many cases and if they don't get it, employers will lose valuable members of their staff.

Charlie Bentson King is a writer and producer for TrainingABC - a distributor of motivational training videos like Celebrate What's Right with the World and Give em the Pickle

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