Employee motivation factors.

Here is a list of 12 employee motivation factors that you can use if you want to increase employee motivation. For instance, how can you improve your department meetings? See this as a list of pedagogical aids.

1. Use employee’s competence.

One of the most powerful employee motivation factors. Few things are more motivating to people than when they can use their competence. Most people don’t get to use their competences to the fullest. They usually have a number of competences that they don’t think the company wants or needs. Find a way (ask) to find out what competences you have at hand and see how you can utilise them in the best way (use point 3 in this list).

2. Ask questions and listen.

Usually people like to talk about them self more than about others. So if you as a manager listen to your employees and let them talk about them self or their job, it will be much easier for you to get them to listen to you.

3. Invite employees to discussions about WHY and HOW.

Usually decisions are not made in consensus. Even if some managers would like to have their employees think that that is the case. Not even management teams make decisions. It always has to be one person deciding. My point is that: employees always work in a situation where somebody else is making decisions that affect him or her. So, even if they cannot make the decision they can be a part of the process of finding the right how-to's. And this can be very motivating. People like to be involved and the Why and How are good questions for involvement.

4. Let attendees prioritise problems and solutions.

A very effective way of firing up a group of people in a meeting is to first let them brainstorm about top problems that need to be solved in the group or company. Then let them prioritise the list by voting. It works like this: Every body get to use 3 to 5 points that they can use to vote on the most important problems. They can choose to put all points on one problem or distribute them on several. When everybody in the room has voted you have a prioritised list of problems. Then you do the process over again, but this time does it on solutions. You will end up with a list of important problems and solutions. And the best thing is that everyone has participated in in the meeting creating them.

5. Post-it notes.

Use post-it notes for brainstorming meetings. It is a good tool to use. Give everybody that participates in the brainstorm a pad of post-its. Then give them a topic or question to brainstorm, either individually or in pairs. Tell them to write down everything that comes to mind on one post-it note. There must not be more than one thing on every paper. After 5-10 minutes, when the ideas are draining, you ask them to put their notes on a whiteboard or on a wall. You could ask them to do it one by one as they explain their notes. Next step is to ask them to sort the notes in groups. Remove doubled and add new things that come up in the process. Then you have a good base to do the prioritisation exercise described in number 4.

6. Flip pad.

If you have a meeting or conference with a number of attendees, use a flip chart for writing ideas or models. It is good to use when you make references to previous discussions or just as a reminder for people. Post the papers on the wall for everybody to see.

7. Rotate the groups.

If people are allowed to choose their own seats in a meeting room they tend to seat next to people they know. This can be good, but it can also be restraining to the result of the work, therefore a good tip could be to have them change seat after every break. This way they will meet more new people and exchange ideas in small group discussions with more people.

8. The bar stool.

This is a fun method for presenting results from group discussions or group work when you have a work meeting. Usually when groups presents their findings after having a group discussion most groups say the same things, and the groups that get to present their findings last often have very little to ad to what has been said before. This method is something different. And this is how it works. Every group get to select a person to represent the group. This persons get to sit in a bar stool formation in the middle of the room. What you do is that you put as many bar stools as there are groups in a circle in the centre of the room. One group representative is sitting on each bar stool.

Your instructions are simple: A. You are all sitting in a bar discussing your findings from the group discussions. B. Nobody in the room outside the circle are allowed to participate in the bar talk. C. You will end the bar talks when you think every thing important have been said (approx. 10 minutes). If possible use microphones. Some people tend to talk very quietly.

The god thing with this method is that it is fun, you will get the presentation done much faster than in traditional presentations, and you will notice that in the bar discussion people will only add things to each other, rather than repeating the same thing that the next guy said.

9. Exhibition.

This is another very good method for group work presentations. What you do is that you have each group answer a couple of questions on a flip pad. You should use different questions for each group or have two groups solve the same question. When that is done you ask them to rotate individually in the room to read results that the other groups have found. They can add stuff to others flip pads, giving it more ideas. Watch the discussions that take place in the room.

10. Rotate chairman.

Many meetings are very predictable, everybody sits in the seats they always have and there is always the same people talking and the same people not talking. So, here is a very simple thing you can do to get people more involved and motivated at the meetings. Every week there will be a new chairman for the meeting. Make it a rotating schedule. What his gives you are a couple of things: A. Everybody in the group is more prepared for the meeting. B. You will be able to take part in the meetings in a different way. You will still be the manager and are expected to have answers and make decisions etc, but there will be somebody else in charge of the meeting. C. People will grow.

11. Stand up meetings.

One of the employee motivation factors that helps vitalise your meetings is to do stand up meetings. This is a way of having short meeting to discuss one or two items. And because the meeting is not sitting down meetings you can have them basically anywhere; the cafeteria, the hallway, the lobby etc. The meetings can be scheduled or just spontaneous once. It is fun and it is short. There will not be long meetings. If the discussions take a direction that demands more in depth discussions you can turn the meeting into a sit down meeting or reschedule.

12. Surveys before and after.

Ask people of their expectations before the meeting and then follow up after the meeting is a very powerful method of actually setting peoples expectations. And by measuring after the meeting you will A. show people that you listen to their views on the meeting and B. you will learn from it.

Leave employee motivation factors and go back to motivation at work?