The employees may be motivated by acknowledging their social needs and recognizing their importance in the organization. Management tries to motivate employees with the hope of getting better work from them.
Some of the methods adopted for motivating employees are:- 1. Reducing Working Hours 2. Spiralling Wages 3. Human Relations Training.
Some of the techniques adopted for motivating employees are:- 1. Motivation by Leadership 2. Motivation by Participation 3. Motivation by Goals 4. Motivation by Empathy 5. Motivation by Competition 6. Motivation by Challenge 7. Motivation by Attention 8. Motivation by Change.
Some of the elements of employee motivation are:- 1. Promotion 2. Transfer 3. Demotion 4. Compensation and Rewards.
How to Motivate Employees? – Methods, Steps, Techniques and Elements
How to Motivate Employees – Techniques Adopted by Managers to Motivate Employees
Successful managers have been able to accomplish the motivation of their men by using the following techniques which have been identified:
1. Motivation by Leadership:
Each manager follows the leadership of his superior and himself gives leadership to his subordinates. He is a follower as well as the leader of his men. Leadership in the final analysis is the ability to motivate men to perform. All great leaders might not have always been ideally good men, but they all had the ability to motivate, e.g., Napolean, Hitler, Shivaji, Buddha, Gandhi and Nehru.
All these leaders were themselves inspired men, and in turn inspired their followers towards great goals. Not all of the goals of leaders like Hitler and Napolean can be considered as laudable, but the fact is that they motivated their followers.
2. Motivation by Participation:
Participation is the process of giving, taking or sharing advice, experience, information, ideas, etc., as well as action. People like to be consulted especially in the matters that affect them. Participation provides a psychological satisfaction that money cannot buy.
3. Motivation by Goals:
A goal is like a target. To hit it, people must know where it is, its distance and direction, and knowledge of elements which tend to be obstructive or conducive. The manager can sense both personal and organizational goals through counsel, guidance and follow-up.
4. Motivation by Empathy:
All individuals are human beings first and foremost. It is the “whole man” who comes to work. To understand him adequately, the manager has to ‘tune in’ and find out. Empathy means seeing things from the point of view of the other fellow. It comes from interaction of men in a group. Interaction can be creative (empathetic) or violent (hostile).
Motivation, like measles, is infectious; but one must be in contact to catch it. Encouraging upward communication is a great help, for it must be noted that the missing link in communication is “listening”, which is often neglected by the superior.
5. Motivation by Competition:
The spirit of competition, as in sports, makes for better performance in group endeavour. Even the driving force of competition within the manager himself can be a motivating force for beating his own previous records. However, there are dangers in pitching employees against one another. Motivation by competition has to be kept objective without any inkling of favouritism. It requires skill to keep the man on race and maintain the spirit of sportsmanship at the same time.
6. Motivation by Challenge:
It is a known fact that most men do not work to their full potential. They have tremendous internal capabilities and resources and can rise to unexpected and unprecedented performance if there is enthusiasm, encouragement, coaching and support along the way.
There will always be new things to reach for and challenge men at work. Before the challenge can be accepted, there must be the following conditions – freedom to experiment, to be creative, to think differently and imaginatively, and promise of rewarding accomplishment.
7. Motivation by Attention:
People like to feel important and they do so as they get attention of others socially, physically, emotionally and in other manners. It pays off on-the-job.
8. Motivation by Change:
To change the attitude of a person the manager has to change his own attitude towards that person. So long as mutual attitudes remain unchanged, the relationships are likely to remain unchanged. One of the two persons, superior or subordinate, has to unfreeze first. All managers are in a position of “change agents”, continuously bringing about change in others. Change is inevitable, but the manager must be aware of the direction of change and the effect he has on others, that is; to cause least emotional disturbance in the employee.
Successful business managers foster and maintain team-play and cooperation among their subordinate groups. They recognise individual differences in people and make them feel important. They employ tactful questions to know the deepened feelings of others and avoid arguments. They are good listeners. They persuade rather than command. They practice participative management while giving adequate guidance and providing effective supervision.
They recognise that most people are acquisitive in as much as people want their rightful share, and therefore, work out a balanced pattern of financial rewards. They practice motivation through consistent practice of these cardinal guidelines.
Motivation is not the tactful manipulation of employees. The difference has to be kept in mind. Manipulation infers the process of deceiving the employee into making him act against his best interest, whereas motivation implies that the manager is’ all the while helping the employee serve a mutual interest he shares with the company.
How to Motivate Employees – Steps and Rules in Motivation Process according to Jucius
According to Jucius the following steps be adopted in motivation process:
1. Sizing up situations requiring motivation – Every individual has motivational needs. But they very individual to individual. This steps involves ascertaining or determining the motivational needs of individuals. All employees need motivation but of various kinds and in varying degrees.
2. Preparing a set of motivating tools – There are so many tools of motivation. Different nuts can be tightened by proper spanner, the same way every individual needs a motivation tool that benefits him. Thus the management has to enlist such motivational tools with a view to make them available needed.
3. Selection and application of appropriate motivation – The manager has to select, the types of motivation required for different types of personnel. He has to take decision to apply the same after selection. Every manager has to consider where and when motivation is to be provided. The place, time and the purpose of selecting and providing motivation are of ultimate importance.
4. Feedback – After selecting and providing motivation the manager has to see whether the individual is motivated or not. If not, the manager has to think for another suitable device and its application.
Jucius suggested certain rules, for guidance of the executives while establishing the steps in motivation:
i. Variability – The methods, tools and techniques of motivation should not be static, but they should change according to circumstances as well as personnel. A singular type may not be effective for all the personnel, for all the times and in all circumstances. Same way a type of motivation may motivate an individual once but one cannot be assured that the same type will motivate the same individual again. Thus there should be variability in motivation types. This entails enlistment of various types i.e. tools.
ii. Self-interest and Motivation – Human being by nature is self-centered when a person realises that his own interest is best served by the attainment of organisations goals, he is likely to be automatically motivated.
iii. Attainability of goals – Only the attainable organisational goals are required to be established. Workers will be motivated only by the attainable goals. Unattainable goals generally frustrate the workers.
iv. Participation – The desire of participation of those to be motivated ensures their co-operation. This ensures the success of manager’s motivational aims.
v. Proportionate rewards – Motivation in the form of reward should be made in proportion to the efforts made by the personnel.
vi. The human element – Motivation directly appeals to the emotions of the human beings. A manager can be successful as a motivator if he can trace the emotions, feelings of the workers and skilfully deals with them for motivation.
vii. Individual group relationships – Motivation must be based on group as well as individual. Every worker must be motivated individually as well as in a group too.
viii. Situational application – Different motivational devices should be used in different situations. Motivation must be based on a sound managerial theory.
How to Motivate Employees – Methods that are Practised by Managers to Instill Motivation: Reducing Working Hours, Spiralling Wages and Human Relations Training
Though extensive research has been carried out to understand what motivates a person, in practise many managers still have certain illusions about motivation. A bold attempt has been made by Hertzberg to shatter these illusions.
He examines the following methods that are extensively practised by managers to instill “motivation”-
This is perceived by managers as a marvelous way to motivate people to work. However, the fact is that a motivated person would seek more hours of work and not fewer.
(b) Spiralling Wages:
One wonders whether an increase in wage has really motivated people. Hertzberg says “yes”, it has motivated people not to work but to seek the next wage increase.
(c) Human Relations Training:
(1) Herzberg- The real and lasting motivations arc achievement, recognition, responsibility, the nature of the work itself, advancement. Other factors such as good physical working conditions, good technical supervision, etc., annoy us when they are absent but do not really offend us when they are present. Money as a motivator depends upon the economic condition of the individual.
(2) Blake- Involvement and participation of those responsible for it in work plans and their execution makes for committed people. Commitment comes from having a stake in the outcome through goal setting.
(3) Maslow- People’s motivational targets change but generally follow a certain sequence of needs physiological, security, affiliation, distinction, self-fulfilment. A need once satisfied ceases to be a motivator.
(4) McClelland- We have three basic social needs- affiliation, power and achievement. Achievement motivation can be developed by reinforcing the attractiveness of achievement goals by perspective exercises and systematic goal-setting procedure. A climate for achievement can be created in an organisation by seeing that organisational rewards go to organisational achievers.
(5) McGregor- He stresses man’s need for work, responsibility and involvement in serious endeavour, the workforce is a reservoir of untapped imagination, intelligence and commitment.
(6) Likert- Organisations are not a set of relationships among people as depicted in the typical organisation chart, but rather they are relationships among a set of interlocking and interdependent groups. Particular importance, therefore, of influence of linking pins, i.e., persons who belong to several groups.
(7) Schein- He stresses the complexity and variety of human nature. Man’s response differs according to his motivation, abilities and nature of his work. All this must be taken into consideration to see what would make for productive involvement.
The result of various researches that have been conducted to study human motivation have made it amply clear that every individual constantly looks forward to a sincere secure and supportive relationship that exceeds a personal warmth and gives him a sense of personal worth.
The work group is an important group with which he comes to this face-to-face relationship. Thus, if the work group is hostile, he tries to develop the informal group. It is, therefore, important from managerial standpoint that the manager creates a face-to-face work-group in which the individuals enjoy a supportive relationship.
Advanced human relations training has failed to motivate people, largely because the manager himself is not psychologically true to himself in the practise of interpersonal decency.
The question, therefore, managers ask is “how to motivate?” Though there is no one short answer to this question or no simple formula as to how to motivate people, if one looks at the emphasis of the behavioural scientists who have been studying motivation one finds a surprising degree of agreement.
How to Motivate Employees – Elements Involved in Motivating Employees: Promotion, Transfer, Demotion, Compensation and Rewards
Money is the most important constituent of motivation for most of the individuals; however, the importance of recognition and encouragement cannot be ruled out. A pat on the back can bring a smile on the face! There are four board reinforcement elements that motivate people to improve their performance.
These elements can be either positive or negative, which are highlighted as follows:
4. Compensation and Rewards.
Promotion, transfer, and demotion are used as positive or negative reinforcements. Promotion is a positive reinforcement since it encourages good performance; while demotion is a negative reinforcement, as it encourages good performance by discouraging bad performance. Positive reinforcement refers to a way by which one is motivated to do a particular thing while negative reinforcement works the opposite way. However, negative reinforcement is different from punishment. For example, termination of an employee is a punishment, whereas the demotion of an employee is a negative reinforcement.
The advancement of an employee from one position to another higher one is known as promotion. It results in an increase in salary, designation, responsibilities, and decision-making authority. In other words, promotion includes more than mere shifting of an employee from one job to another, and is characterized by a better location and a pleasant working environment.
In addition, it brings increased responsibilities and enhanced pay for the employee. For instance, the HR generalist may be promoted as HR manager; HR manager may be promoted as Senior HR manager; then Senior HR manager may be promoted as HR Director, depending on the hierarchy of the organization. Employees are given promotions to higher posts and positions as and when vacancies arise or new posts are created at the higher levels.
Promotion of an employee is beneficial for both the employee and the organization.
Promotion provides the following benefits:
i. Motivates the employees by filling job positions from inside rather than opting for external sources of recruitment
ii. Recognizes and rewards an employee’s performance
iii. Avoids the disruption of organizational activities and work as existing employees take less time to adjust and socialize if vacant positions are filled through internal promotions
iv. Reduces the discontent, unrest, and fear of uncertainty among employees
v. Increases job satisfaction and job security
vi. Makes the employees more loyal and committed towards the organization
vii. Develops the competitive spirit among employees for producing better results
viii. Develops a sense of belonging among the employees towards the organization, where employees feel themselves as an important member of the organization
ix. Motivates and encourages the employees towards taking up challenging and innovative work assignments and giving their best to the organization
x. Increases an employee’s effectiveness and places them in a position where they are more valuable to the organization.
Basis of Promotion – Merit or Seniority:
Different organizations adopt different policies for promotion depending on their nature, size, and management. Specifically, two well-established promotional policies that can be followed by the organizations are seniority or merit.
These policies are explained as follows:
i. Seniority-Based Promotion:
Involves promoting the employees who have the longest length of service. It is the oldest and most widely used basis of promotion, especially in government owned organizations and industrial establishments.
a. Seniority-based promotion helps the employees to know their place in the promotion list and the time when they would be promoted to a higher rank. It avoids the disputes, dissatisfaction, and favoritism regarding promotion, as normally everyone gets promoted depending upon the duration of service they have offered to the organization. This results in peace and harmony in the organization and creates a sense of security; thus there is less scope for grievances and conflicts among employees towards the organization.
b. Nevertheless, promotion based on seniority has certain limitations, such as employees with longest service duration may not always be competent enough to be promoted, due to which young, ambitious, and capable employees may get frustrated and leave the organization. This hampers the development of capable employees who have the aptitude to improve their performance. Seniority as a basis of promotion fails to differentiate between efficient and inefficient employees. Thus, because of these disadvantages, generally organizations follow merit-based promotion method.
ii. Merit-Based Promotion:
Encourages, recognizes, and rewards extra knowledge, skills, and competence of employees, which in turn, motivates the employees to work even harder. It helps in retaining capable employees and results in maximum utilization of the available human resource. Overall, this results in better profitability and productivity for an organization.
The main demerit of this method is that merit-based promotion takes into account only ability and skills, but ignores experience, which an employee acquires over a period of time. Moreover, judging an employee’s merit can be a biased decision, as one rater may rate an employee good, but the other may underrate the same employee. In addition, personal prejudices; halo effects, and union pressures may affect the judgment of the management. This may lead to favoritism and a feeling of discontentment among loyal and senior employees and create unnecessary conflicts in the organization.
Promotion is an important tool in motivating an employee for better performance. However, promotions, if not handled properly, can lead to absenteeism, employee resentment, and employee turnover. There may be a feeling of discontentment and jealousy among employees who are not promoted and in that case, retaining employees who are otherwise valuable to the organization would become a big problem.
As it is rightly said that a happy workforce is a productive workforce, so if employees are happy, they would positively contribute towards organization’s goals and objectives. The retention/maintenance of employees is necessary as it helps in making employees loyal towards the organization and more devoted towards their work.
If employees are not retained, it may create problems, as the organization will have to fill its vacancies through external sources of recruitment, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. Moreover, the newly joined employees take time to adjust within the organizational culture and working environment.
With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organizations need to become more adaptive, customer focused, and employee oriented in order to succeed. An HR manager has to act as a mentor, friend, and guide within the organization. Thus, every attempt has to be made to keep the diverse workforce happy and satisfied. Therefore, development of an adequate promotion system is necessary as it one of the strongest motivational factors for employees.
Every organization should have its promotion policy clearly laid down by the HR department. A sound promotion policy means a policy that is fair, impartial, and consistent. It ensures that the path to promotion is clearly laid down and easily communicated to the employees. This clarity would leave no doubts in the minds of the employees.
A promotion policy should use performance appraisal reports of employees to know whether they have met the job standards efficiently or not. Performance expected from the employees should be clearly communicated to them and the results of appraisal should be discussed with the respective employees. A promotion policy should clearly give the basis for promotion, whether based on seniority or ability (merit). An ideal promotion policy is a blend of the two methods, ability as well as seniority.
Factors such as co-operative attitude; innovative ideas; quality output; readiness to accept change and higher responsibility; degree of honesty, loyalty, devotion and reliability should also be considered for the evaluation of performance of an individual for promotion.
A well-defined promotion policy provides an incentive to the employees to work more productively towards the goals of the organization and increases their job satisfaction level. In addition, if employees are rewarded for the work they have done through means of promotions, it leads to greater job satisfaction as well as greater employee loyalty towards their organization.
Promotion policy should not be rigid; instead, it should encourage employees who bring valuable ideas and suggestions for the organization. Employees inside the organization should get a fair chance of being promoted, before the vacancy is filled from outside sources. This practice provides numerous benefits to the organization as it saves time, effort, and money. Moreover, the existing employees would not require training regarding organization’s rules, culture, and working environment.
There are some issues, such as avoidance of frequent promotions, which an organization needs to consider while making promotion policies. This is neither beneficial for the organization nor the employees. Frequent promotions mean higher compensation, fringe benefits, and perks, which increase the organization’s cost. On the other hand, frequent promotions for employees mean continuous change in the nature of their work and assignments, which would prevent stability and learning as well.
The promotion policy should be handled very carefully; otherwise, it can become a source of criticism, frustration, and discontentment for employees. If carefully handled and communicated to employees, it would result in greater job satisfaction and organizational efficiency.
Transfer refers to the movement of an employee from one job to another with no change in salary, status, and responsibilities. It means shifting an employee from one department to another, one location to another or one plant to another. Since transfer involves no considerable increase in an employee’s status and responsibilities, the status of the new job is the same as that of the previous job.
Transfers may be either employee-initiated or organization-initiated. The main objective of transfer is to make adjustments in work and location for the employee. Employees seek transfers for various reasons, such as personal growth, greater convenience, more challenging and interesting work, and better location. On the other hand, organizations transfer employees to vacate a-position where they are not needed and place them to a job suitable for them within the organization or shift the surplus workforce of a department to the other department where there is a shortage of work force.
The main difference between transfer and promotion is that the former involves no increase in an employee’s duties, responsibilities, status, and salary; whereas the latter involves an increase in compensation, status, and work responsibilities.
The reasons for transfer differ from organization to organization and from employee to employee.
The main objectives behind the transfer of employees include:
i. Preparing the organization to manage the changes in the volume of production; technology; product mix, market fluctuations, and production schedules. Surplus employees in one department may be transferred to other department where there is a shortage of employees.
ii. Fulfilling the demand of employees regarding career growth, preferred location, flexible working hours, and challenging and creative job assignments. Transfers can also be made because of family-related issues, such as marriage.
iii. Making better utilization of employees’ services, by transferring the employees to another place where management feels that their services can be utilized more efficiently.
iv. Breaking the monotony associated with a particular job; thus, increasing the productivity of the employees. This helps an employee to gain knowledge of different jobs.
v. Rectifying the faulty placement and selection of an employee. For instance, if an employee is found unsuitable for a particular work; they may be shifted to some other department where their capacities are effectively used.
vi. Acting as a punitive measure to penalize employees if they have failed to abide by the code of conduct or have indulged in some indiscipline. In olden days, government employees who were found guilty of disruptive behavior used to be transferred to the remote branches or far-flung areas.
vii. Correcting the incompatibilities between an employee and their colleagues or bosses. For instance, if employees find it difficult to get along with their colleagues or bosses, they can be transferred to other departments.
viii. Giving relief to employees who are overburdened or perform hazardous jobs for long periods. In such circumstances, they may request transfer to another place, on health grounds.
Types of Transfer:
There could be many types of transfers depending on the purpose behind it. Transfers can be broadly classified into seven types, based on their objectives.
The seven types of transfers can be explained as follows:
i. Production Transfer:
Refers to the transfers of employees from one department to the other where there is a shortage of employees. It helps to stabilize employment situation in the organization, by shifting surplus employees to other departments. It also prevents layoffs from overstaffed departments.
ii. Remedial Transfer:
Refers to the transfers made to rectify the wrong selection and placement of employees. The reasons for such type of transfers are that the employee’s health might have gone down or they might have developed frictions with their colleagues or bosses. This measure helps an employee to adjust to the suitable job as per their requirements and qualifications.
iii. Versatility Transfer:
Refers to the transfers made to make an employee versatile and competent. It is also known as job rotation or rotation transfer. An employee is shifted to other departments to gain exposure and understanding of other jobs. This helps the employee in gaining a broader experience of work and is used as a device to train them for higher promotions. Employees trained in various jobs can help to overcome difficulties arising in case of sudden absenteeism or separation of an employee from work.
iv. Shift Transfer:
Refers to the transfers that involve shifting of employees from one shift to another. These types of transfers are common in industrial establishments where work is carried out in multi-shifts. The employees demand shift transfer due to personal reasons such as marriage, relocation, commuting problem, old parents, infant care, or part time job. The organizations introduce shift transfer to meet the workforce requirements arising due to excessive absenteeism and high labor turnover. Employees may be shifted from one shift to the other; for instance, day shift to night shift and vice-a-versa.
v. Replacement Transfer:
Refers to the transfers aimed to prevent forthcoming layoffs, specifically of senior employees. Replacement transfer is designed to sustain promising, valuable, and competent employees as long as possible.
vi. Inter-Plant Transfer:
Refers to the transfer made from one plant to the other. This may be done either as a punitive measure to punish an employee or as a reward measure by moving a worker to the plant of their own choice.
vii. Penal Transfer:
Refers to the transfers used to punish employees for their in disciplinary behavior.
As you know, transfers mean the movement of employees from one job or department to the other, without any significant increase in their duties and salaries. If the transfer is organization-initiated, there are chances that the employee is not willing to move to a particular job or place, because of various factors, such as promotional opportunities or familiar work environment that prevail in the current workplace. Moreover, since transfer does not involve any increase in an employee’s grade and compensation, so it cannot be used as a motivational tool to encourage them to work harder.
Employees transferred to different locations/areas/departments take time to adjust and cope up with the new environment. Therefore, care should be taken that employees feel comfortable in adjusting themselves to the new environment. Otherwise, it will lead to problems, such as employee dissatisfaction, employee turnover, decreased productivity, and higher absenteeism.
Every organization must have a sound, fair, unambiguous, and clear transfer policy. It should clearly indicate the types and circumstances under which a transfer will be made. Transfers should not be made too frequently, as it takes time for an employee to adjust and learn a job.
When the employee has acquired sufficient knowledge and understanding of a particular job, only then he/she should be moved to other job, otherwise performance is bound to suffer. A sound transfer policy requires that if a person is unfit for a job, he/she should not be discharged, but transferred to the job for which he/she is best suitable. Transfers may motivate and encourage employees, if handled properly.
The transfer policy should be clearly communicated to and understood by the employees. It should state the frequency of transfers and minimum time-period between the two consecutive transfers. It should also indicate the basis or criteria for transfer. The timely communication of the transfer decision should also be there, so that the employee becomes mentally prepared and can make all required arrangements well in time.
The transfer policy must also state that who is responsible for initiating and approving transfers. It should also specify the areas, units, or departments of the organization where transfers can be made. Management should try to use transfers as a tool in rectifying wrong selection and placement of employees.
The clarity in the transfer policy would avoid confusions in the minds of the employees; thus, reduce conflicts and unrest in the organization.
In simple words, demotion is the opposite of promotion. It is a change in role and responsibilities of an employee, together with a decrease in the pay level. It is a negative reinforcement, where any negligence or incompetence by an employee is discouraged by placing them down the hierarchy level. In demotion, an employee has to accept a lower level of position with lesser responsibility, where their pay could be reduced as well. Merger can also be a reason for demotion, if the existing employees are transferred to far-flung areas or offered a post below their current positions.
Money is a motivating factor for individuals and when given as an encouragement, it is termed as a reward. The reward and recognition strategies should be such that they help in employee retention.
A number of ways have emerged to reward and compensate employees, some of which are as follows:
i. Skill-Based Pay – Refers to the method of compensation that depends not on the job, but on the employee. In this type of compensation method, employees get a raise as and when they acquire more skills.
ii. Team-Based Pay – Refers to the remuneration method followed in teams where a group of people work together. In teams, a common objective is specified; therefore, the reward or remuneration is given to the whole team rather than individual members of the team.
iii. Variable Pay – Refers to the remuneration that is based on performance. An important type of variable pay is called add-on pay that refers to additional sum of money. These are often termed as increments.
iv. Broad Banding – Refers to a method of pay that tries to establish equity. In broad banding, people at the same level of the hierarchy are paid similarly within a particular pay-band. However, there is a wide difference between people at one position in the same pay band and those at a different position in a different pay band.