Motivation comes in so many different forms. A rousing speech, a cash bonus, or even a celebratory bash can make people go beyond their comfort levels. However, you do not need to be an orator, spend large amounts of money, or host large parties. Motivation can be attained by small acts that show employees that they matter to you and your organization. Leaders need to make motivation a part of the way they do business.
Many leaders recognize the need to motivate employees; otherwise there would not be such a huge market for leadership books on motivation. There are literally enough books to keep a leader reading steady for a lifetime. Books that discuss motivation are everywhere and have many different angles, for instance a book titled “Fish!” discusses how to motivate an entire workforce based upon a fish market. The variety of books that discuss motivation highlights how effective of a tool it is in creating successful teams Kanat Wano. The problem is that leaders read, but rarely act out the lessons preached in the books. There are many reasons for this, cost, organizational culture, or personal inhibitions to name a few.
The key to introducing the benefits of motivation into your organization is making motivation an element of your strategic plan. Use simple actions to motivate. Give employees verbal recognition for jobs well done, write a personal note, or let them go home early one day. Those are all little things that will not cost your organization much at all, but will pay dividends in employee appreciation and in building strong organizational ties for the employee.
Retention is a serious issue in today’s business environment. Building a strong sense of belonging and creating loyalty is all done through knowing how to motivate employees and recognizing their value. Loyalty and being valued are strong retention tools. The effort has to be from the top down, it has to be a concrete, but it does not have to be expensive. If you are a leader, stop making excuses and start motivating your people. Without people, without quality people, you can have the greatest business in the world, but you will be lacking the one element that matters. You effectively kill your own business if you do not know how to use motivational practices. It is as simple as that. If you read a book on motivation use the knowledge it provides; do not just put it on your shelf and forget about it. Great leaders are great motivators.