Guest Author - Dianne Walker
What motivates employees? When it comes to answering that question, most employers tend to make the same mistake. They assume that all employees, regardless of job or position, are motivated by money. While money is important for taking care of necessities like rent, bills and food, it is not always the top motivating factor for many workers. Before assuming money will buy employee loyalty, employers should consider that there are other motivating factors.
Health care – Doctor and hospital costs are exorbitant and continuing to rise. It only takes one illness to send the average family into debt. Affordable health insurance is often high on an employee’s list of desirable company benefits.
Advancement – The climate of the workplace has changed. Employees are no longer hired with the expectation that they will stay in the same position forever. Companies, with no room for advancement, stifle the creativity and motivation of employees. Career-minded individuals are interested in moving up in the company. A succession plan and ability to advance are strong benefits to encourage loyalty and tenure within an organization.
Support – Employees want to know that their manager “has their back.” A supportive manager will often find employees to be more loyal. Employees want to know that their boss will not throw them under the bus if something goes wrong.
Recognition – What is one of the best ways to attract and retain great employees? Recognition. This means more than a simple pat on the back and an empty “well done.” Acknowledging that an employee has done a great job or gone over and above their normal job description means a lot. Sharing the accomplishment with the entire office is even better. Genuine praise is extremely important to helping build employee loyalty.
Support and recognition works the best when it’s not just the immediate manager offering praise. Acknowledgement from all levels of management from the supervisor to the CEO shows a company that cares and appreciates their employees.
Provide enrichment and training opportunities. Training, unfortunately, is one of the first programs to get cut during lean economic times. Organizations which provide either internal training or tuition reimbursements provide learning opportunities that an employee may not otherwise have. Even if tuition reimbursement is not possible, having some sort of internal training program will add value and help to motivate employees who feel they may be stagnant.
Fewer employees are leaving their current place of employment. This fact, however, is due more to the current economy more so than a loyalty to their current employer. To improve employee loyalty and reduce potential turn over in the future, employers must find a way to motivate employees beyond financial satisfaction.