Motivational springboards for your workforce

N°156b – Synopsis (8p.) – Motivation
Motivational springboards for your workforce
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How can you implement an effective retention strategy? Managers play an essential role in motivating a diverse employee population.

Companies have long been aware that motivation affects the way people perform and have therefore endeavored to develop effective strategies to keep them happy and productive. To this end, a wide variety of incentive systems – performance-linked bonuses, employee-of-the-month awards, profit-sharing plans, etc. – was developed, but the long-term results of these efforts have been sorely disappointing.

A critical eye was then cast upon systems that relied upon "extrinsic" motivation, that is, upon the promise of reward in exchange for a given out-come. Indeed, in a context where employees are expected to do more than just execute orders and where performance is measured in a decreasingly objective manner, this approach often proves to be inadequate. Initiatives were then focused on developing “internal” motivation, i.e. making work intrinsically attractive for employees.

However, the fact is that even the best motivational strategy won’t inspire every employee. The publications we have selected underline the highly complex nature of motivation, which springs from different sources depending on the individual, the context and the moment. They offer some valuable insights for managers looking for effective ways to motivate their subordinates:

– Define motivating goals, i.e. which people believe are worth the effort to attain, but which they also perceive as being attainable.

– Work hard to sustain motivation over time: to perform well, people must furnish an initial burst of energy, but more importantly must persevere in the face of adversity.

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