|Students in the Nov. 3 Motivating Others class were told that creating an environment that makes people feel like they belong is an important factor in motivating them. The class was offered by Human Resources Development. Photo by Bob Kalmbach|
Those courtesies, so simple we sometimes forget to utilize them, can do much for office morale and can motivate staff to go the extra mile.
But how do you foster a welcoming environment, and how do you create motivated staff members?
We sometimes forget the power of simple courtesies, Barbara Mulay told a Human Resource Development (HRD) class on Motivating Others earlier this month.
A few things to keep in mind when thinking about how to recognize and reward staff members:
Tops on the employees list was interesting work, followed by appreciation of work, a feeling of being in on things, job security and good wages.
Employers thought good wages, job security, promotion/growth, good working conditions and interesting work were most important to their staff.
It also is a good idea to think about where people are in their careers when thinking about rewards and recognition. Pay incentives might be appealing to young workers, while professional development opportunities might interest mid-career folks. Long-term employees might feel better about their job if they are included in policy and strategic planning discussions, giving them a chance to share the experiences they have had over the years.
Easily overlooked but also important, Mulay noted, is attitude. Attitude is contagious. If a supervisor or team leader approaches the workplace with a positive, upbeat attitude about the projects being worked on, that enthusiasm will transfer to other staff, making for a more comfortable work environment all around.
Leaders and supervisors who are serious about maintaining a productive environment and motivating staff to do their best need to talk with the staff to find out what is important to them, said Mulay, who is a staff development associate at HRD. Shy people, for example, may not appreciate public forms of recognition, while others might be boosted by an e-mail recognizing their efforts that is sent to all their colleagues.
You cant do the same thing again and again to motivate people, Mulay noted, indicating that taking the individual into consideration is important. Does the person prefer public or private recognition? Is the individual task-focused or relationship-focused?
Public recognition can take such forms as a mention at a staff meeting or in a department newsletter, presentation of a trophy, or a gift of flowers at the office.
Private recognition could be a gift certificate for a favorite store, acknowledging the accomplishment in a written evaluation, sending flowers to the persons home or taking the person to lunch.
Task-oriented individuals may appreciate being given more challenging projects or being asked for their input, while relationship-focused people may respond to a thank you at the end of the day or having colleagues provide extra support during bad times.
Those at the late end of their careers might appreciate being given mentoring responsibilities or more control of their work environment, while mid-career staff members might appreciate flexible scheduling options and professional development opportunities. Those early in their career might need immediate praise to boost their confidence. They benefit from a variety of work experiences and usually appreciate the opportunity to test new ideas.
For more ideas on recognizing staff, contact Human Resources/Affirmative Action for a free copy of the brochure 101 Ways to Celebrate People. The brochure is part of the UMatter Staff Recognition Program, which provides a means to acknowledge the contributions staff make to the University. For a copy of the brochure, contact Donna Weyher, 763-1284 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See the Web at www.umich.edu/~hraa/umatter/index.html for information on UMatter.
Are you motivating your staff? Use this checklist to find out.
Motivating Others, Human Resource Development, November 1999
|Employees Rank||Item||Employers Rank|
|2||Appreciation of work||8|
|3||Feeling in on things||10|
|7||Good working conditions||4|
|10||Sympathetic help with problems||9|
Kenneth Kovach, Employee Motivation: Addressing a Crucial Factor in Your Organizations Performance, School of Business Administration, George Mason University