Motivation can be self-induced or delivered by a third party from interaction on a conscious and unconscious level and is geared at intensifying a desire for workers to become better at the duties they are performing. Perhaps the most honest form of motivation comes from within an individual. While staff motivation is tried because that is what is expected of management, it may get results in the short term, but in the long run it is difficult to keep fresh and productive. Here are some motivation tactics which are used by companies that on paper seem to work, but, as HR directors learn through their masters degree program in human resources as well as in the real world, are not particularly effective.
For large companies, one of the biggest headaches is that they have large amounts of employees and motivation has to be aimed at the majority rather than at individuals. Meetings where everyone is gathered together and told how “awesome” they are doing but that they need to do better; where they regurgitate the same old speeches about how the company’s success depends on their efforts, may work the first time but as a long term motivation technique, these meetings are not effective.
Pushing the company philosophy
When a company tries to motivate its staff by making its product seem more valuable than it genuinely is, an atmosphere of dishonesty is promoted down the company line and is false motivation. Yes, it would be fantastic for an employee to think that the company he works for is making the world a better place with its products, but the cold reality is that most people work to pay bills. By making them pretend that they care more than they do is a useless motivational technique that just does not work. By asking questions of staff that force fake responses that they “believe” in the company serves no purpose.
Motivation using codes of practice
It is drummed into every workforce to look busy when the boss is around. The company is expecting its employees to look busy even when they are not, so the employees just pretend. Having rules about codes of dress, and work ethics under the definition of motivation are designed to stimulate desire and energy in the workforce. In fact, a more relaxed employee in jeans with a coffee and sandwich in his hand would not necessarily do a worse job, than the worker in a suit who is pretending he is working to impress his superior.
Motivation by fear
It is the view of some supervisors and managers that getting the best out of their workforce can be achieved by being aggressive with them and producing an atmosphere of fear in the workplace. Even though there may be some significant results that are achieved in the short term by this almost negative motivational methodology, this will probably result in the staff focusing just on keeping their job rather than being skilled at it. By setting targets that are not realistic, a negative impact on the workforce is created since no matter how hard they work they will never be successful, which will in the end lead to de-motivation.
Team building games try to establish the idea of being able to rely on your co-workers, and the exercises used are largely based on ‘bonding’ within a group. Closing your eyes and falling backwards, or foraging in the country for food and literally building a bridge or a boat from logs are all part of the team building theory. Millions are spent every year bringing in specialists who come up with ideas. Whilst team building tactics may be a brilliant idea to get a group of complete strangers get to know each other, the fact that your workforce may be competing against each other in an alien environment instead of learning to become interdependent be more detrimental than advantageous.
Probably the easiest form of motivation is the simplest, and that is to promote understanding of the aim of the firm, and make sure that the line managers support their staff in achieving those aims. Motivation should be aimed at reducing workforce stress and increasing their self-confidence.