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Motivate staff with rewarding work

Focus on the job itself—not just pay, benefits

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

You want to motivate your team, so you think of new ways to pay them, reduce their travel and expand their benefits. While employees may appreciate your effort, you won’t necessarily produce the most bang for your buck.

The best way to motivate staffers is to concentrate on the work itself. Inject excitement into what they actually do. Examples include giving them more responsibility, improving the quality of interaction between you and your employees and revamping procedures so that they can operate more productively.

Motivate better by addressing these “intrinsic job factors” or the duties and activities that actually make up your employees’ jobs:

Variety. Banish boring routines from your employees’ day. Rotate them through a range of projects so they’re exposed to many challenges. One of the most motivating aspects of any job is when individuals say, “Every day is different.”

Freedom. Give employees the autonomy to experiment and function at least somewhat independently. If you micromanage their every move, you’ll deaden their willingness to go the extra mile.

Collaboration. Treat your employees like in-house experts and ask them for advice. This will instantly motivate them, because they’ll enjoy the chance to offer their opinions and see that you take them seriously. Also give them plenty of chances to brainstorm and contribute ideas to enhance their results.

Reinforce team effort and show interest in everyone’s work. Encourage individuals to work together and praise group accomplishments.

Versatility. Even the most brilliant specialist will eventually tire of making the same narrow contribution day in and day out. Use training and cross-functional teams to broaden everyone’s understanding of how the entire business runs and where they fit in. Motivate employees by helping them see how they’re not just cogs in a wheel but critical players who help complete a vital process.

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