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How to Motivate Employees

How often have you concluded a meeting or training session with a motivational video? Perhaps it shows an athlete scaling a mountain cliff as words float past. Or it takes place in a locker room with a coach giving an impassioned speech to the players at halftime when the home team is down by several points.

Motivational videos are used because they are needed – but are they an effective way to engage and motivate employees?

Employee Engagement Facts

Gallup’s 2010-2012 report revealed the following:employee motivation and engagement

The combination of disengaged and unengaged employees is 70%. Those who are actively disengaged cost the U.S. $450 – $550 billion (with a ‘b’) in lost productivity. They are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays and drive customers away.

According to CISCO, the prized employees who spearhead innovation in the future workforce will most likely gravitate toward organizations that give them more flexibility and decision-making power.

So we want people who can work as team members, although employees most often function on a day-to-day basis, alone. We don’t group type – we type. We don’t edit as a group – we edit alone. We don’t group lead – we lead.

One way to look at it, if you are a manager, is to find ways to engage and motivate your team members with a single word: “together.”

Think about it. Even when we work on teams, we work alone. One person writes a first draft – not a team. One person may analyze data – and bring it to the team for feedback or input. Although we work alone – we seek togetherness.

“Neuroscientist Matt Lieberman describes in his book, Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect, our brains are so attuned to our relationships with other people that they quite literally treat social successes and failures like physical pleasures and pains. Being rejected, for instance, registers as a “hurt” in much the same way that a blow to the head might — so much so that if you take an aspirin you’ll actually feel better about your breakup.”

The moral of this story is that to motivate employees – find ways to help individuals work together.

Source:Managers Can Motivate Employees with One Word,” Heidi Grant Halvorson, Harvard Business Review, Aug. 2014