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Effective Employee Motivation Techniques

Management is defined by various authors in several ways. The overall impression about such a subject is it is a tool in decision making, planning and executing.

The word “management” in India inspires awe because common people understand that it is a group of people in an organization, who only run commands from time-to-time.

In the heavily competitive, changing scenario of the world today, companies have a lot of difficulties while they cope up with the challenges for survival. Although we have seen about the automation of work in the industries and lesser need of human labor, it is almost impossible to replace human beings from the smooth operations of a work atmosphere. The pundits in management learned to treat human beings inside a work atmosphere as very important terming them as human resource. But later successive additions were made as to make the term more meaningful and finally the popular subject of today was born. All knew it by the name “human resource management”.

Our personnel managers in the companies felt that the word management had to be pruned from human resource and the word development must be added. Thenceforth the designated managers were called managers-human resource development.

How did human resource development function to serve better the causes of human labor?

Ironically it remained just a naming for its name sake. How could such benevolence of management Science function when the management of an organization retained its same intention of employing every individual; that is hiring, tiring and firing every one in course of particular time.

Developing a hardworking employee meant only a push-up like a hike in the salary. At times it was a promotion but the consequences were more dreaded; those imposed heavier targets or complying with tighter deadlines, finally paving the ways for the sacking of the employee. It failed to comprehend that human capacity certainly has limitations. The management can not go on demanding endlessly in the name of performance.

It remained a tough nut for the Human resource management to provide incentives for the performance of an employee at a time job-hopping takes place like anything.

Managers in human resource at times find it tough to reduce the number of outgoing employees. For that, the corporate sector tries to incorporate motivational value in the system of administration.

Some of those are;

  • Incentives

Incentives are given in monetary value in case the marketing team achieves its targets. Some of the Japanese multinationals operating in India offer incentives to the lower ranks including driver and receptionist at the desk. But such pattern of monetary incentives are usually declared but not given by many companies in India. The reasons shown are innumerable; delay in outstanding payment collection, politics inside the organization and above all unwillingness of the decision makers to part with a large portion of profit as incentives. The result is dissatisfaction in the employees.

  • Letter of appreciation and incentives from the organizations

Those who nurture the spirit of winners in the corporate sector and reward their employees for their achievements usually provide letters of appreciation from the management with a declaration of monetary sums as reward. The achievers are given ranks in a descending category by their merits of performance. At the end of a financial year employees are called to the three to four days sojourn in a star category hotel and made to stay with royal care. The heads of the companies talk about the management goals and Philosophy and ways to achieve those with the imbibed theories of karma from the quintessence of Bhagavat Gita. There at the end of this superficiality, the performers of the year are handed down the letters of achievement either with the bank checks as incentives or the promises to pay later. But such promises always go in vain.

  • Promotion or grade up gradation

The companies usually do not offer promotion, but give changes in the grades and only after jumping two-three grades, the employees goes to the next category in management grade. Promotion entails greater job responsibility and in the new category the employee may not be suitable. It is an open secret that people who were appreciated for their commendable performances, were later dropped out like hot potatoes in the next yardstick of evaluation. Perks and remunerations do not keep on ascending with the advancing years in one’s life.

  • Organizations give paid holidays and bonus

Among all this is perhaps the most effective measure to enhance the motivation in an employee. There are organizations which usually give leave travel encashment to every employee at the end of three years. The corporate sector does give bonus on special occasions to all serving and paid holidays for a period of one or two weeks only to the best performers.

Other things like loan facility for purchase of home and vehicle and employers contribution to the provident fund of the employees, encashment of leave, provision of gratuity, pension and family pension are there to give encouragement to the employees to work harder in achieving organizational goals.

Why all such methods of motivation fail?

  • Any organization surviving in a world of cut-throat competition realizes in course of time that employment and management of staff is a difficult task in view of the changes in economy and technology. Extra staff must be cut off in order to help survival of the organization. In the difficult atmosphere of business, employee motivation remains a costly affair for the management.
  • In a profit-making business entity, motivation of the employees through stereo-typed means does not act always as stimulants. In the good times of economy employees go on changing jobs only for the sake of more salary and perks.
  • In a tense work atmosphere, where the instability of the job hangs like the king Damocles’ sword over the head of the employee, measures of motivations are just peanuts in terms of employees’ job satisfaction. It does not ensure loyalty of the staff.

What can be the real motivation for the employees?

(1) Just take for instance the companies operating only on the chain marketing basis, which does not offer any salary- only commission or incentives. The most well-known among them is AMWAY. It is surprising that agents in this kind of organization are very happy because it gives them very high percentages of incentives and those keep on increasing with the rise in status of the agents.

Another example is Life Insurance Corporation of India, where income potential of the agents is very high as well as the motivational perks. The reason is the achievers are guided properly through many official programs towards sustained income capabilities and additional perks as motivation. So the focus must be on –do more and get more bases.

The psyche of an achiever wants increasing income levels after reaching each yardstick of performance and a few things as motivational perks.

A performer usually remains dissatisfied if he is getting a meager amount as take-home salary and the motivational perks can not sustain his interest for a longer time. It is because he knows that he is getting less in return of hard work that he is putting in.

(2) The real motivation comes when employees find that they are being motivated to do more after crossing each yardstick of performance. Suppose a person accomplishes a particular level of achievement and promoted to the next position, he should find more motivation at the next level. Such a thing helps the employees for self-actualization. Self actualization helps the employees in feeling very secure about their labor vis-à-vis income.

(3) Organizations should offer an atmosphere free from inner politics and consequent turmoil and favoritism in the ranks. If this is substituted with motivational perks then the work atmosphere becomes exciting.

(4) Motivation comes from appreciation of the management either on regular or monthly basis without pending the appraisal of the employee till the end of the year. In the hard work atmosphere prevailing now-a-days, an employee should be given pat on the back either daily or at the month ends. Here appreciation means a few good words for the achievers of the day or the month, which can be substituted by a token gift by the management. Such measures keep the employees in high spirit without losing morals.

Srikant Mohanty


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2 Responses

  1. vews are good but comman , we need to know valluation of employees for incentive

  2. Great overview of the different methods management can use to motivate employees.