As we embark on a new year full of gloomy predictions and worrying economic statistics, many managers will be wondering how on earth they will be able to keep teams motivated and engaged in 2012.
The latest CIPD survey on employee attitudes to pay reinforces that this will be a key challenge for managers. When employees were asked if they felt valued, the net satisfaction score was +4 (compared to +33 in 2008). Over the same period net satisfaction scores have fallen for: 'I am proud to work for this organisation' (+50 to +32); 'I feel motivated to perform well' (+46 to +24); and 'my organisation communicates well with me' (+25 to -6). http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2012/01/employees-discontented-over-pay-shows-cipd-research.htm
What these results clearly show is that it is not all about the money. Most of us recognise the reality of this tough economic climate – but that doesn’t mean that we can’t feel motivated at work.
Research shows time and time again that it is the “intrinsic” factors that really make the difference to how happy and motivated someone is at work – in other words how valued they feel, whether they are recognised for the effort they put in, whether their contribution is noticed, whether they are trusted and whether they have opportunity to take on more responsibility or more challenging tasks. Money can be a good short term motivator, but is no substitute for these other factors.
The good news then is that line managers can make a real difference to how happy and motivated someone is. They may not be able to give them a pay rise, but they have direct control over how much they recognise effort and praise results. They have direct control over how valued they make their team member feel and it is down to them to decide what to delegate and whether to develop someone’s skills by trusting them to take on something new.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to review your management skills, so start by asking yourself these questions…
• How clear are your people about the goals for the company/ team this year?
• Are you and all your managers motivated and committed to the organisation?
• How clear are your team members about what is expected of them?
• How much do you and your managers understand about what your employees want from work?
• Do you ensure decisions are clearly communicated with the reasons behind them?
• Do you and your managers show appreciation and offer regular feedback?
• Do you give time to your people – get to know them as individuals?
• Do you ensure your employees feel listened to?
These are the things that will make the biggest difference to how motivated your people are – and ensure that you are equipped to weather another tough year with a happy and loyal team.