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Motivation is a key aspect of a manager’s workplace skill set. Knowing how to motivate employees to do their daily jobs can be challenging enough. When a manager must downsize in the department, motivating employees can become exceptionally challenging. Motivation is necessary to have a higher level of performance and productivity, especially during higher stress times like downsizing. Each employee is different and may need a different form of motivation than others so it is imperative that the manager recognizes this so that there equal amounts of motivation for employees. This paper will cover three motivation methods managers can apply and theoretical concepts supporting the motivational methods. Successful workplaces are the product of supportive and productive work environments.
These work environments are not instantly established when a managers takes over the staff. A successful work environment is created, molded by the hard work and the attentiveness of management to recognize the employees. Staying connected, jumping in and helping staff, and being available are ways to back up the building process of a good workplace. Hands on involvement in the daily movements of the staff show an ability and willingness to get dirty when the need is present. Perhaps staffing is short, there is a patient crisis, or an extra set of eyes on a lingering problem can present the manager the opportunity to assist the staff.
Training employees is a motivational method used to give employees the opportunity to expand on the skill set they already have or to learn a job in preparation for job advancement. Training may be as easy as shadowing another employee to very involved when the employee is asked to attend a seminar to further the employees knowledge. Seminars can be training outside the organization or development training within the organization. Learning new skills that the employee can bring back to the workplace and implement with other employees is a valuable asset to give to employees. When employees receive training within the organization, they can self-manage because they understand the ideas the organization wants to grow and implement. “Ask the employee to train other employees with the information learned at a seminar or training session. Offer the time at a department meeting or lunch to discuss the information or present the information learned to others” (Heathfield, 2013, p. 1).
Make the staff training part of the package so the employee understands the expectations before they embark on the new training. Empowering the trained employee to give other employees direction also enables the decision-making process within the workplace. Trained employees can understand the necessity of the information they have learned and the benefits it will give the staff. The responsibility of training staff and the ability to become part of the decision-making empowers the employee to do their job to a higher level. This new importance can lead to other opportunities for the employee to have access to other important information or meetings that align with the new responsibilities. Creating this development within the employees also allows some delegation of tasks to the employee freeing up the manager for other important tasks. Goal-Setting Theory
The goal-setting theory supports training motivation in the workplace. Employees who are given the opportunity to train for specific tasks within the organization can be given a goal of returning to train other employees. Goals and expectations need to be established and understood so that both the managers and the employee’s expectations are understood. This will help achieve the desired outcome.
Recognizing employees for the outstanding way they complete his or her jobs is a motivational method managers can use. Creating examples of good work ethic within the workplace is a good way to build employee morale. When employees have someone they can see doing a task and learn from that individual they will strive to a higher level in his or her own job because he or she see the rewards given to others. Movie tickets are a good example of recognition for a job well done. Movie tickets are easily given in private or in a staff meeting to show all the staff that excellence is rewarded. Verbal recognition is always in need. When employees know that they are appreciated with positive praise for tasks they normally do or for achievements made along the way they are motivated to perform at a higher level.
This praise can be a simple “good job” or being the recipient of a small award in a staff meeting. “People crave positive feedback, recognition they put in extra effort, acknowledgement of leaders and peers, the glow that comes with knowing an achievement has been seen, appreciated and celebrated” (Biro, 2013, p. 1). Silence in the workplace creates a negative undertone and brings down the morale of the staff. Creating positive words between the staff and the management fosters a positive work environment. Reinforcement Theory
Positive results from employees come when managers use positive reinforcement. When employees receive positive recognition they give back positive outcomes in their work and attitude toward their jobs. This positive reinforcement will be paid forward when employees have a positive outlook and can help others in the area they received the positive recognition.
Monetary incentives are another option to motivate employees but this options is not as popular in health care because the organization has to authorize the monetary reward where budgets are already stretched thin. In organizations which monetary incentives are given the incentive can be in the form of scheduled bonuses, performance bonuses, and stock options. “Bonus pay and other means of special financial compensation are excellent ways to recognize good employees” (“Employee Recognition,” n.d., p. 1) Giving monetary incentives to employees can lead to increased production, less absenteeism, and increased motivation to continue working at the higher level the employee has achieved. Employees like money. Receiving a monetary incentive increases morale and encourages the employees to maintain their work performance. Equity Theory
The equity theory supports the use of monetary recognition. Employees can apply a negative connotation when they see other employees receiving monetary awards, and they have not received a bonus. The ramifications can be decreased work effort toward the negative side if an award was not received. To the positive side the employee who receives the bonus can give increased work effort.
There are several ways for employees to be motivated to do a better job for management and the organization. A good manager understands that employees are all different and that they may need to use different motivational methods. In addition, a good manager should have an understanding of why they would need to use a certain method for a specific situation. Managers need to create a successful workplace supportive of its employees and their need for recognition.
Biro, M. M. (2013). 5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2013/01/13/5-ways-leaders-rock-employee-recognition/ Employee Recognition. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.foxlawson.com/employee-recognition.cfm Heathfield, S. M. (2013). Training and Development Options for Employee Motivation and Retention Help Employees Continue to Grow Their Skills. Retrieved from http://humanresources.about.com/od/training/a/training_dev.htm