A company thrives when it’s people work to make that happen.
When do employees flourish? When they are motivated, when they consider themselves an indispensable part of the team and when they know that they add value to the firm. Shorn of verbiage, a company is at the greatest disadvantage when the workforce doesn’t feel valued.
Most organisations believe that a bigger pay package or a higher position is sufficient for motivation. This is a grave misconception. Employees of course care about the financial aspect of a job or what the nameplate on the door says. However, that’s not the sole determinant.
In fact, employees value professional development opportunities and non-monetary benefits as much as token pay hikes. And that’s the topic du jour – how to galvanise employees through means other than higher compensation.
How Companies Can Empower Workforce By Offering Better Opportunities
Millennials and the younger generation, the people who make up the most notable chunk of the workforce, have made it more simplistic for firms. Role autonomy, recognising value, a better work-life balance, or even giving equity are only a handful of tools that incentivise them.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Adequate compensation for contributions and achievements is necessary. Because, as the psychologist and motivational theorist, Frederick Herzberg rightly put in his Dual Structure Theory, they are hygiene factors.
While their presence might not drive a person, their absence unquestionably leads to dissatisfaction. That said, corporations need to do more than offer a minimum pay raise or promotion.
A pat on the back, i.e., noticing when a person adds value to the business and acknowledging the same, is essential. Put a process in place where the staff is given credit for their work. Knowing that their contributions are noticed and acknowledged, that too on a public platform has meaning for the employees.
Rope Them in for Distinctive Projects
Most employees are rarely given a chance to work on unusual projects, even though branching out from routine tasks helps them be a better worker.
When they are chosen for unique jobs, it evokes a feeling of pride in the person more than any rise in remuneration.
So, handpick employees for particular projects based on their expertise and skill. Besides, it will allow them to interact with executives and peers they wouldn’t otherwise, and build a network for the future (another opportunity they will appreciate).
Encourage Them to Learn and Develop
People appreciate the chance to up-skill at all stages of professional life. Open up to the workforce any avenue required to be a more qualified worker. Such actions demonstrate that a worker is integral to the company, and there is more room for progress within the current position.
The only condition for using learning and development as an incentive is to ensure that the training/conference/event is in keeping with the skill of the person.
An employee is more likely to prize the opportunity if it is in harmony with their career path or expertise.
Offer Them More Experiences
The inherent nature of humans is to stay where they are; few people love to hop from one job to another. So, what spurs a worker to look for other pastures? One, when they believe their shot at a pay hike or promotion is lost. Two, when they sense the role has no more scope to grow or expand.
To convey that there is still much left to learn, offer more experiences to employees. This could include travel, remote work, mentorship, etc.
The end game is to create a perception that the organisation has much more to contribute to the employee.
Give Them a Seat at the Table
The reason a raise or a promotion are perceived as a crucial factor to a person’s experience in a company is that they are not granted other breaks such as giving an understanding of how that particular worker empowers the firm.
An easy way to prove otherwise, and something employees will enjoy significantly, is to provide them a seat at the table.
In simpler words, ask for their input on critical decisions and then actually factor in those inputs.
Something as basic as regular feedback sessions can make them feel irreplaceable and ensure that they don’t wonder if the grass is greener on the other side.
Show Them Their Role in the Big Picture
It is not necessary to take only tangible steps to offer a sense of growth to employees. Sometimes, employees must be given an ideal to live up to. For this, clear and frequent communication with the workforce is necessary. Use it to promote a culture of high performance, merit and teamwork.
Regular town-halls with the top management can give employees clarity on the latest developments in their department and the outlook for the future can make a massive difference in the happiness and motivation of workers.
Build Towards Work-Life Balance
The current crop of workforce values earning money as much as their personal life. It is why they prefer firms which have at least a semblance of work-life balance. Any company that has been solely focusing on monetary benefits or a higher seat in the organisational chart as a motivator needs to make a switch.
Create an environment that values personal-life as much as work-life. Moreover, create a positive, fulfilling and connected atmosphere; millennials and Gen Zer’s prefer it to a great extent.
Pay, But Also Do More for Employees
There is no denying that being paid big bucks or climbing the corporate ladder are motivators for employees. But studies reveal that they are not prime movers. Think of them as sub-motivators.
What workers really tend to crave are more opportunities, which can run the entire gamut from more autonomy in work to freedom to voice their opinion, from acquiring new skills to being recognised for their performance.
Any business who wants a workforce which is genuinely motivated to perform at their peak needs to start implementing these opportunities.
Lastly, think about making work more enjoyable. A happy and robust culture is the key to unlocking positive employee engagement and engaging them better. Little things like team building events, fitness hour, social lunches and off-sites can take a lagging employee force to a thriving one.