The problem of employee motivation is acute for every Manager. Experience shows that it cannot be solved by paying monthly bonuses or introducing a system of fines. How to choose the most effective motivation system for employees?
Employees ‘ performance of work tasks at the proper level is almost the main headache of every Manager. In theory, employees should be interested in working to their full potential. In practice, working in a team quickly discourages even the most able-bodied. Everyone hopes that some of their responsibilities can be transferred to a colleague.
There are two main ways to improve employee performance: incentive and motivation.
The first is related to the need to introduce penalties: loss of bonuses, dismissal in case of failure to fulfill the tasks set.
The second involves modeling the environment in the team in such a way that employees have a desire to do their job well.
Let’s look at the advantages, disadvantages, and ways to implement a motivation system in the enterprise.
The purpose of motivation
Staff motivation in the company often occurs in an old-fashioned way: the administration encourages the best employees, scolds the worst, and annually summarizes the results. In rare cases, particularly inefficient employees are fired.
This method is not effective. Employees quickly understand the rules by which the team operates. In order to avoid dismissal, you need to perform your duties without any zeal. The monthly salary is about the same for someone who makes an effort in the workplace, and for someone who is lazy to do it.
Part of the blame for the cool attitude of employees lies with managers. They tend to take their subordinates ‘ efforts for granted and forget to celebrate their achievements. We are not talking about financial incentives or immediate career advancement. Verbal praise is often as important as a monetary award. As a rule, an employee ceases to take the initiative and make additional efforts if they believe that their efforts are being ignored.
The solution to this problem can be a system of motivation in the enterprise. The Manager can develop and implement their own system, or use the existing knowledge base.
The principles of employee motivation
There is no system that can be implemented in a particular team without any changes. Any effective model should be based on the following principles:
Mandatory positive motivation
Praise and encouragement give employees the sense that their responsibilities are important. The belief that their daily work matters is a powerful motivating factor. Rewards and praise should be applied intelligently: you should not praise staff for imaginary achievements, and it is also undesirable to lose sight of real merit. The team should form the opinion that the Manager is fair, then employees will be kind to envy distinguished colleagues and strive to repeat their achievements. If there is an opinion in the team that the Manager has favorites, then those who do not fall into this circle will not feel the desire to work better.
The functioning of the system in real-time
If rewards and praise are distributed on a schedule, they quickly become part of the routine and lose their effectiveness. The reward for your effort should be immediate praise, not just a bonus at the end of the month.
A carrot is more effective than a whip
A system of incentive-based work motivation will always be more effective than a system of fines and penalties. With few exceptions, everyone wants to think of themselves as a useful employee. By creating an atmosphere in which the staff is afraid to make a mistake, the Manager risks getting an amorphous, winless team.
One – time incentives are more effective than regular ones, individual incentives are more effective than collective ones
The habit of thinking of the collective as a whole has not yet been eradicated. The phrase “this month the team did a good job, so everyone will get a bonus” should have a motivating effect, but in fact, it has the opposite effect. If my coworker, who worked too hard, gets the same remuneration as me, what’s the point of trying? In order for each employee to feel important, their merits must be visible to both the Manager and the team.
Any achievements are worthy of encouragement
Setting large-scale goals are good, but employees often lose motivation on the way to them. The Manager should not skimp on praise, even if the main result has not yet been achieved. Note the merits of the staff in performing intermediate tasks, so that employees do not waste the fuse.
The application of these principles will help to create an effective system of motivation in the enterprise.
Differences between foreign and domestic approaches
There are two extremes in our country. Some managers are of the opinion that the motivation of personnel in the enterprise is the creation of a system of intimidation. The merits of employees are ignored, and any wrongdoing can result in a fine, loss of bonuses, or even dismissal. In the short term, this method demonstrates effectiveness: intimidated staff is highly motivated to perform tasks. Over time, its effectiveness decreases: some employees get used to threats, others do not stand up and quit.
The second extreme is the belief that the level of salary is directly correlated with the level of motivation. Monetary compensation is important, but its impact on the daily level of employee engagement is not as great as managers would like to think.
In foreign practice, approaches to employee motivation are more diverse. Most systems include several types of incentives: tangible, intangible, and financial. The most successful systems were created within the Japanese, European, and North American corporate cultures.
The Japanese system of personnel motivation
The Japanese are legendary for their ability to work. Employees are ready to devote all their time to work tasks, giving up vacations and weekends. The Japanese approach can only exist within a culture where the General interest is placed above the interests of the individual.
Typical features of the Japanese system are:
- working for one company for a lifetime;
- high employee responsibility;
- additional payments for seniority;
- constant overtime work.
The Japanese system has many advantages for employees who are willing to devote their lives to one company. Long experience equals career growth and a high salary. At the same time, the staff is forced to accept over time and is virtually unable to change jobs. When you move from one company to another, all bonuses disappear and you have to start your career from scratch.
Modern mobility is beginning to affect the stability of the Japanese employee motivation system: young people no longer want to work in the same company all their lives. They dream of rapid career growth, like their Western colleagues.
The system of motivation of employees in the United States
In the United States, managers traditionally rely on the individualism of employees. Staff success is encouraged by cash bonuses and career growth. Personal success for Americans is more important than the success of the team.
Rapid economic growth in the United States has forced companies around the world to take a closer look at the American system of employee motivation. Its elements can be found today in different parts of the world. The human resources Department (HR) and the concept of corporate ethics migrated to Russia.
In addition to rewards for personal success, American employees can count on other types of incentives. The so-called “social package” is widely used by American companies. Their employees are provided with benefits such as:
- health insurance;
- refresher course;
- invitations to corporate events, including entertainment events;
The employee’s success is directly related to the salary: the staff of many companies works on a piecework-bonus scheme. If the financial year was successful, employees also receive bonuses. Thus, the high motivation of American employees is maintained both on a personal and collective level.
The European system of motivation of employees
The systems of employee motivation that exist within Europe differ significantly from each other. However, all of them are based on a common characteristic of Europeans: for them, a prestigious job is not the main priority in life.
There are Parallels between the system of employee motivation in German and Japanese companies. The German model is based on the belief that each person is responsible for the collective and society as a whole. At the same time, the German state guarantees every citizen high social benefits if they suddenly become unemployed. Thanks to this, employees are not afraid to leave companies that do not meet their requirements. Companies, in turn, are forced to develop systems of corporate incentives.
In the UK, staff salaries often depend on the company’s profitability. This principle can be implemented through share ownership, co-ownership or a fluctuating wage system.
The French model includes many intangible bonuses. These included:
- flexible schedule;
- medical insurance;
- food at the expense of the company.
The absence of overtime is the norm and retraining courses are considered by the French as part of working time and not as an incentive. Enterprises practice individualization of wages, in which payments depend, among other things, on the quality of the performance of their tasks by employees.
In Scandinavian countries, motivation systems are very similar to those of the French. Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians appreciate flexible schedules and the opportunity to take a vacation at a time that suits them.