How Important is Motivation?

How Important is Motivation?

We’ve all heard stories about how important it is to keep ourselves and our employees motivated to tackle the work at hand, but how does that translate to an impact on our bottom line? Such an abstract concept as motivation surely can’t cost companies too much, can it? It turns out, even though a thing like motivation is difficult to quantify in and of itself, the way it affects our companies can absolutely be measured.

Let’s start with a look at some numbers. Employees who are well motivated are actively engaged with their company; they understand their role, understand how their actions impact the company’s bottom line, and know their efforts matter. This translates directly into a healthier company overall. How much, you ask? Organizations with high levels of employment and motivation have, on average, 27 percent higher profits.

Organizations with high levels of employment and motivation have, on average, 27% higher profits.

Source: Gallup

It goes quite a bit beyond that though. Those same organizations report 50 percent higher sales, 50 percent higher customer loyalty, and about 40 percent more productivity. For some companies, that can equate to a tremendous amount of money.

How much extra potential could be hiding among your existing staff? Showing just a little bit of employee appreciation can provide a jolt of energy for your company’s output. Seventy-seven percent of employees who reported in surveys they felt underappreciated said they’d work much harder if they were better recognized by their employers. That could mean three-quarters of your staff would be willing to put forth more effort if they only felt a little motivated by their employer’s recognition. Such a simple thing.

A motivated staff can also save your company a lot of money too, because it boosts their willingness to remain a part of your firm. The loss of employees due to turnover is expensive, even on the low end of the salary spectrum. The average cost to replace an $8 per hour employee, barely above minimum wage, is estimated to be $5,500, not including any benefits they might’ve been receiving. The figures are much higher for better paid employees. Additionally, it can take as much as six months-worth of an employee’s salary to find and train their replacement.

Smart business leaders know that a little thing like motivation can help them get the most out of their people and retain their top talent, but what’s their secret? What do the most successful companies do to keep their workforce moving at full momentum?

They achieve a motivated workforce by implementing a combination of just a few basic elements, almost none of which would require any major investment on your company’s part. Take a look.

  • Give recognition where it’s due – It might seem like a little thing, but as we’ve mentioned, an employee that feels appreciated is much more likely to put forth their best effort.
  • Clue employees in – A large percentage of workers want to know more about how their efforts make the company its profits, particularly younger workers. When an employee can make a direct connection between their actions and the performance of a company, it goes a long way toward keeping them engaged and in tune with the company’s goals. Interestingly, workers among managerial demographics frequently have a hard time connecting their own roles to the performance outcomes of their company, meaning they too could be disengaged. Provide them updates and routine discussions to clue them in to how their own responsibilities help the company grow.
  • Offer security – When employees are afraid of losing their jobs, their stress levels will have a significant impact on their output. On the other hand, individuals who are not worried about termination have less stress and devote a higher level of their focus to their duties. So, to keep your employees’ eyes on the ball, make sure they’re not worrying about their jobs.
  • Incentivize – Many employers are reluctant to invest in incentive programs out of concerns about the cost, but there’s a reason why the majority of the firms on the Forbes Global 2000 list do so – namely because they work. Reportedly, incentive programs can increase employee performance by up to 44 percent alone, but beyond that, they also give employers measurable results, boost engagement, and add to retention overall.
  • Ask for their input – Give your staff the freedom to make more choices regarding how they do their job and ask them for input on what they think will help improve performance. You’ll be surprised to learn how big of an impact this can make when an individual feels empowered enough to set their own course. Combining this notion with some of the other elements on this list will help set your talent base on a course for self-generated successful outcomes.

None of the five items listed here are particularly revolutionary. In fact, they’re quite simple. But as they say, sometimes the littlest things in life make the biggest difference. Though motivation might seem small and trivial, it’s one of those things that has the ability to serve as a catalyst for some truly big results for your company and should be implemented into any smart business owner’s strategy.


Can We Put a Price on Job Satisfaction? Perhaps.

One-third of employees would give up $5,000 in salary to be happier at work.

Source: Randstand US



Sources for this article: Gallup, Blackhawk Network Holdings, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Career Builder, USA Today, Society for Human Resource Management, Robert Half Management Resources, et al.

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