Operations

How To Motivate Your Employees To Go The Extra Mile

Lexi Tucker
Posted on January 19, 2020

When employees feel like they're part of a team they enjoy working with, they're more likely to continue working with that team at that company. (Photo via Pexels user fauxels)

When employees feel like they're part of a team they enjoy working with, they're more likely to continue working with that team at that company. (Photo via Pexels user fauxels)

What drives employees to not only do their jobs, but do them exceedingly well? In a Dec. 11 webinar presented by Christina Davis, director of human resources for LMC people, a division of the LMC Groups, titled, “Driving Success: The Secrets of Employee Motivation,” she divulged some not-so-secret tips to help operators encourage their staff to boost performance.

The webinar was co-hosted by the executive director of the Global Ground Transportation Institute (GGTI), Sarah Gazi. GGTI webinars make it easy to stay up to date on key industry issues and emerging trends. On-demand access to the webinar archive is free for GGTI members, so be sure to sign up today for the full-length presentation with even more information than this wrap-up provides.

Two Types Of Motivators

Over the years, employee desires and needs in the workplace have evolved. All one must do is simply Google “how to keep employees motivated,” and you’ll be bombarded with tips, ideas, and suggestions on how to make them happy. But when trying to attract and retain your workforce, which is a major issue amid low unemployment, it’s important to fully understand what motivates them so they're willing to, want to, and do perform at their highest levels.

Motivation is defined as the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way or the general desire or a willingness of someone to do something. There are two types of motivators: Intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic Motivators

Intrinsic motivators are defined as motivation that comes from doing something because it's personally rewarding. Extrinsic motivators are involved in doing something because you're looking to earn a reward or avoid punishment.

There are four types of intrinsic motivators:

Achievement: Driven to achieve goals

Competence: Driven to be good at something or takes pride in problem-solving and their skills and creativity

Power: Driven by the power to influence other people

Attitude: Driven by him or herself from within on self-confidence and belief in him or herself

Extrinsic Motivators

Christina Davis, director of human resources for LMC people, a division of the LMC Groups

Christina Davis, director of human resources for LMC people, a division of the LMC Groups

These are factors you as a business owner can control and was the focus of the overall presentation. “External rewards serve as a good source of feedback. They allow people to know when their performance has achieved a level that deserves acknowledgment. But you want to be careful not to provide too many external rewards, because if somebody already finds it intrinsically rewarding and you give them a lot of rewards for doing it, studies have shown that can actually lead to a reduction in the intrinsic motivation because now they're just doing it for the actual reward or non-punishment,” Davis said.

There are two types of extrinsic motivators:

Affiliation: Driven by compliments for his or her attitude and cooperation

Incentive: Driven by a material reward

Recipe For Rewards

Davis went over eight different segments to focus on during the webinar:

1. Creating a positive and interactive work environment

When your employees wake up in the morning, do they know they’re walking into a creative and open space? This will motivate them, increase their energy, and get them ready for the day. An open office design removes barriers between staff and management, and nurtures collaboration. It makes management accessible, which makes employees feel involved. Having the manager work in the same area as the employees creates an open-door policy. With low lights and poor-quality furniture, employees can feel undervalued and therefore demotivated; make sure you provide the tools they need to do their jobs properly.

2. Acknowledging and rewarding employees' accomplishments

When your employees wake up in the morning, do they know they’re walking into a creative and open space? (Photo via Pexels user Cadeau Maestro)

When your employees wake up in the morning, do they know they’re walking into a creative and open space? (Photo via Pexels user Cadeau Maestro)

Studies have shown employees who are singled out for going the extra mile are more productive, fulfilled, and show greater loyalty. Acknowledgments that come from executives or the leaders of a company are more powerful than those coming from their direct manager, but only if used in moderation. Create a recurring calendar reminder for yourself to find someone each month to acknowledge. Other ideas for accomplishments include a company-wide email or shout out in a meeting. Giving them a plaque or trophy is another option.

If rewards don't follow extra efforts, then employees lose their enthusiasm and may realize there is no payoff. A bag, briefcase, logoed apparel, and of course, the obvious pay increase or bonus are great ways to show you care. Taking that employee out to lunch or maybe giving them an extra day off or a few hours on Friday are other good ideas.

3. Positive communication

Make sure you schedule a time for one-on-one communication. Show your employees you care about them, their opinions, and their feedback. Ask them about life outside the office like how their weekend went. This builds trust and loyalty. Be transparent with them because the more knowledge you can share, the more open the line of communication will be. Show interest in an issue they are having a hard time with. Offer some solutions and encourage your employees to give you input.

4. Offering appropriate compensation

Compensation is much more than just a salary. It includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and benefits and perks. A great compensation package that includes a comprehensive and creative benefits package has a huge effect on employees’ motivation and in turn their overall performance. It shows them you value them both as an employee and a human being. Overall company morale increases and people are excited to come to work and do a good job. Additionally, when employees know there are bonuses or commissions, they're increasingly motivated to deliver grander results.

Compensation is much more than just a salary. (Photo via Pexels user Lukas)

Compensation is much more than just a salary. (Photo via Pexels user
Lukas)

Many companies offer the same benefits; try to set yourself apart from the norm. Offering a certain dollar amount reimbursement for gym memberships or discounts to certain restaurants in your area are good ideas. Draw a name once a month and give away a family packet of tickets to a local sporting event. Ask your employees what's important to them.

5. Being a leader worth following

A job title alone does not make a leader worth following. Being a leader in your company has a direct correlation with how motivated your employees are. It goes beyond managing a group or project. Leadership includes motivating and leading the way so others will follow. Be a person others choose to follow. Act upon your statements. A successful leader provides vision and inspiration for the future and makes other people feel important and appreciated. Be trustworthy. Employees look up to a person who tells the truth, who tries to do the right things, and who does their best.

6. Encouraging creativity

This takes some planning and will take some time for your employees to embrace it. Brainstorm with others and remember no idea is a bad idea. Encourage everyone to throw out ideas for a problem, issue, or new procedure you're doing. This lets employees know how important it is to you to hear their ideas. Send them a topic before you have a brainstorming meeting because some people need a little bit more time to come up with ideas than others do. Make sure you're creating goals that can be posted and tracked where everyone can see them. Ask your employees to help you with creating those goals. People are more excited about meeting goals they've had a hand in creating.

7. Encouraging teamwork

Brainstorm with others and remember no idea is a bad idea. (Photo via Pexels user fauxels)

Brainstorm with others and remember no idea is a bad idea. (Photo via Pexels user fauxels)

Achieving team goals increases a sense of accomplishment. Support from coworkers can motivate, too; it's not just leaders. When employees are isolated, it's hard to find motivation. Having team goals can encourage employees to work harder to ensure they don't let others down. A big piece of teamwork is pulling your own weight. Teamwork also helps with retention. When employees feel like they're part of a team they enjoy working with, they're more likely to continue working with that team at that company.

8. Giving your team autonomy

Autonomy is the right or condition to self-govern. In some companies, it means allowing employees to set their own schedules; in others, it means allowing employees to decide how their work will be accomplished. No matter what the kind of autonomy, higher levels have been linked to higher job satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher motivation. Studies online are showing results-only work environments are on the rise. In these, employees are allowed to complete their work however they want and wherever they want as long as it gets finished to set expectations.

You do need to remember there are some personality types who work better with a close hand of management. They need constant feedback. Too much autonomy could backfire for that employee. They may feel neglected or ignored. Too little direction could be confusing instead of freeing, and you'll only know that if you ask your team.

The Global Ground Transportation Institute serves as a global community and source of education for all segments of ground transportation. If you have not yet joined GGTI, now is the time. Over the coming months, the group will be unveiling valuable content available to only GGTI members. Click here to learn more about registering.

Related Topics: employee benefits, employee management, employee perks, employee recruitment, employee retention, Global Ground Transportation Institute, hiring, human resources, office equipment, offices, staff management, The LMC Group, webinar

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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