Every company around the world grapples with one of the most pertinent question when it comes to people management – what motivates employees beyond money? It is believed that a company with a high attrition index is bound to suffer from a low motivation level. Most companies emphasize on large pay checks and a big bowl of perks, which is at the face a significant reason for sustaining happy employees.
However, what these companies fail to observe is that there can be under currents of disappointment among the employees in a company that stems from the feeling that they have not got what they ‘fairly deserve’. If expectations are met, money loses the function of being the sole and the biggest motivator for an employee. Corporates have, however, woken up to the fact that their focus cannot be only on the riches but need to acknowledge an employee’s career advancement.
Building trust & responsibility:
Defining specialized roles and transparency in distribution weave an effective team and create super-leaders. In my company every employee is ‘self-managed’ where they are responsible for their job role and empower them to be responsible to get the job done. This approach of trusting the employee has meant the chance of failure is fairly less since they feel they own the job and not merely being forced on them.
Second, in the list is the aspect around comfort zone. Have you ever inhaled the air of contentment when you accomplish a task you dreaded? Some individuals are constantly looking for change while some are not able to touch their point of excellence because of lack of opportunities.
Corporates have now started experimenting around internal job postings as a channel for effectively shifting roles of an employee within different teams or functions. This system allows internal eligible employees to apply for a vacant position, who then go through a series of interview rounds and ultimately get an opportunity to work for a role of their choice. This means employees who think they will do better at some other function get a chance to switch roles and for the more enterprising ones an opportunity to try their hands on something new.
Mapping out incentives:
The incentive plan for every company needs to be well thought out and should be in sync with what the business it performs. For example for a travel and tourism IT company, we incentivize performance through three methods- our sales and account management teams are given a set percentage which is directly proportional to the target hit. Engineering and other teams up to a specific salary and above have a variable package in their CTC which is known as the performance linked bonus. Biannually this
PLB is distributed based on the ratings employees receive during the PMS cycle. In addition, having a quarterly reward system in place can also prove beneficial.
Every company is different and hence it needs to decide the incentive methods it wants to adopt. What should be clear that a one size fits all strategy cannot be adopted for everyone in a company as functions and job roles are different.
Taking the example forward, I have noticed that it is ideal if the PMS runs in the organization every six months where appraisal cycle falls in the end of the financial year. At the beginning, yearly goals are assigned to employees and expectation setting is done.
A company should look at creating perfectly labeled bands and set parameters on which promotions can be based, with maximum weightage on performance levels. Well defined career paths keeps employee always moving on the road. Introduce features like the Quarterly Touch Point (QTP) that allows managers to connect with each of their team mates and have a discussion on employee performance each quarter. Employees are then more aware of their current standing and ensure course correction if the need be.
Talk more & be flexible:
Effective communication forms another point for promoting a highly motivated workforce. An approachable management where ideas are welcomed and problems are shared and collectively worked on motivates employees and drives him to work at his best. Every twice a month we have town halls in our workplace where employees are made cognizant to news and updates, challenges and accomplishments which is then accompanied by a Q&A session. Keeping transparency and informing employees of the happenings – good or bad, is an excellent thing. One, it will cease rumor building and secondly a brilliant idea may come your way.
It is also important for companies to realize that traditional methods of working do not apply. As corporate vie to be the best place to work, aspects like a flexible work schedule should be encouraged. As a company stop following the hands of clock to measure and ascertain performance. Employees should be given freedom in their own space to figure out how the day can be most productive for them. There is no specific math in this except that we know work life balance motivates employee to stay put.
(The author is Founder & CEO at RateGain.)
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