Motivating Your Employees

All managers, team leaders and supervisors know that the most difficult time consuming task they have is to motivate their staff. We all apply different motivation techniques and theories. Allow me to list the most common ones for those who don’t know them:

1-Job Design:
A-Job Simplification.
B-Job Enlargement.
C-Job Rotation.
D-Job Enrichment.

2-Rewards.
3-Employee participation.
4-Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
5-Herzberg’s two-factor theory.
6-Vroom’s expectancy theory.
7-Locke’s goal theory.

All the above are excellent techniques and theories that work like a charm once they are correctly applied. You will find many large institutes, which apply a combination of theories to keep their staff motivated. Tiresome for managers but it is successful.

Let us talk about “Staff Motivation” in Egypt. It may be a 3rd world country which has had many economic and political problems in the past, but it’s emerging. With the emergence there are many small to medium sized companies in the market.

A lot of them are trying to apply many motivation theories, but what their managers are focused on is that if the employee is not self-motivated they will simply fire him and get someone else, after all there is a lot of unemployment in the job market.

But, what they do not realize is the cost of hiring new employees: job announcements, filtering, interviewing and finally employee training and the probation period.

Is it simple to apply the motivation theories and techniques with the Egyptian mentality?

The answer I am afraid is “No”, A lot of employees do not even know the vision and mission of the company they work for “if they have one”; they also do not believe in belonging to their company.

They “employees” simply look at the job as something that provides a stable pay at the end of the month. Of course we all want a stable income at the end of the month, but in this scenario what you get is an employee who after working for 5 years in the company is willing to leave it for another job with a slightly higher salary, most of the time the salary increase is only 2%.

With the current economy and the increase of prices there are only two basic things that truly motivate employees;

1-Money.
2-Promotions.

Having a raise in your salary does not mean that you are promoted. Many companies give a yearly raise in salary without promoting staff, this drives employee productivity.

Other companies do not have the budget to provide employees with a raise, so they provide them with promotions.

But you must note that this is a two-way weapon, employees could become greedy and demand more money or demand a promotion based on their perspective that they worked hard long hours other than anyone else.

You could also apply the “fake” promotion model, where you convince the team members that they are in a supervisor level “un-officially” but they have to perform the tasks of the supervisor and when the time comes they will be promoted. Yes its bad management but it works very well with many employees.

I have been a Training Manager and HR Manager for the past 10 years, watching all the above theories fail and only the basic “Money, Promotion” technique succeed.

I know that many will argue that all the above is wrong. But keep in mind that I am talking about small to mid sized companies, not large worldwide corporations.

As a reader you have the right to agree or disagree with this article, after all you are entitled to your own opinion.

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