Using Motivation to Manage Employees

motivating your employees

1. Why do people need motivation?
Motivation is the will to act. What we call “motives” are the reasons why people act in certain ways. Today’s increasingly competitive business world needs a highly motivated workforce for any organization seeking to achieve good results. It is only through the efforts of the workforce that a company’s objectives can be achieved. That’s why a manager should be aware of what these motivational forces are.

In a recent article on video e-learning, one of the primary factors of successful learning is motivation.

2. What does a manager need to know?
Research in human behavior has suggested that people are motivated by a number of different needs, at work and in their personal life. Recognizing and satisfying these needs will help a manager get the best from people. A manager or supervisor must make an attempt to know something about each of his/her subordinates. For example:

Money is one big motivating force. It may ultimately result in a better performance.

Job satisfaction is another one. People get motivated when they feel that their skills and efforts are being recognized and appreciated by the management.

Some are at their best when they are given field jobs, others, desk jobs. Both categories of employees work best in their preferred work situation.

3. What are motivators?
“Motivators” are what a manager should aim to provide in order to maintain a satisfied workforce. How much a person enjoys achievement depends on its recognition. The ability to achieve, in turn, depends on having an enjoyable job and responsibility. The greater that responsibility, the more that individual will feel the satisfaction of advancement. Motivators are built around obtaining growth and self-actualization from tasks. A manager can raise motivation in his staff by increasing their responsibility, thereby enriching their jobs.

4. How can a manager motivate?
Create a positive environment: An essential foundation for motivation is a positive environment created by the manager. Employees have the right to expect fair treatment and understanding. They also expect professional competence, part of which includes delegating tasks in order to increase staff members’ self-management and participation. A manager should establish a system that is constructive – not obstructive – in which people can perform at their best.

Establish a two-way communication system: There must be a two-way communication within a company. All employees must be regularly informed about matters which affect them. The ideal approach when providing information is that everybody should know about everything that concerns them directly or indirectly, in full and accurate detail, as soon as possible.

Ensure a sense of job security: A manager must ensure that subordinates have a sense of job security. Threats of dismissal or any other punitive action may induce better benefits in the short term, but they are not recommended in modern management as they are likely to result in a dissatisfied workforce. Subordinates want to be looked upon as human beings and not as mere tools of performance. They expect a fair and unbiased approach from their manager who must, therefore, demonstrate the right leadership qualities.

Demonstrate a positive attitude: managers must understand the fact that free or easy-to-supply incentives are a simple way to motivate subordinates and get their cooperation. For example, they may start by thanking people for a job well done, and follow this up with a written acknowledgment. They must be friendly and polite at all times – bad manners de-motivate – and deal sympathetically with personal requests, such as time off for special purposes. Such actions on the part of a manager will ensure that the subordinates will feel loyal to their manager and ready to work well and willingly.

About the author: Manmohan Joshi is a Consultant & Training Facilitator for employment-related training. He is also an author of books on management and has published “Human Resource Management” and 3 further eBooks on

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