Employee motivation is an essential part of running a successful business. Having a highly motivated, engaged workforce directly impacts your bottom line. With employee motivation declining severely in the last few decades, employers constantly look for ways to improve motivation. Motivated employees are more likely to be committed and productive and perform their job at a high level. Personality tests and job assessment tools have helped people identify certain areas they’re more likely to excel and improve their workplace relationships. However, these have failed to bridge the gap between understanding your employees as humans and what motivates them.
This is where employee motivation assessments come in. These tools provide valuable insights into understanding employee needs, preferences, and the factors that drive their motivation. Employee strengths and personality are important to understand, but understanding their specific motivators is the final piece of the puzzle. Once you know what motivates your employees, you can actively assign tasks that align with motivators. This provides better outcomes and drastically reduces frustration with work responsibilities. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of employee motivation and using assessments to foster a positive work environment that drives organizational success.
Understanding Employee Motivation Assessments
What is an employee motivation assessment? The goal of these assessments is to identify the specific motivators for each member of your team. This can assist in finding common motivators for your entire team. It will also help you bridge the gap between knowing what motivates your employees and how to implement it in a practical way. You’ll receive a ranking of the most important motivators. These results can change over time, so it’s a good practice to have employees repeat this assessment periodically.
The value of these assessments doesn’t stop there. Understanding employee motivators can help you identify potential conflict areas among team members, improve retention rates, increase productivity, and reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace. If your workplace doesn’t offer an assessment, doing one on your own can help you find your core motivators. You can apply this information to your work to help improve your personal performance. You’ll also benefit from feeling happier in your job, knowing what projects you should take on, and providing feedback to your manager on ways they can help you along the way.
Solving Issues with Assessment Information
Understanding which of the 23 motivators we’ve identified is most important to your employee will help you effectively job sculpt and improve incentives. The importance of employee motivation cannot be overstated. However, there are other benefits to understanding your employee’s motivators. You can expect to experience many positive effects of intentionally working with motivators to keep your employees engaged. These are just a few of the areas you will see improvement when using motivation assessments:
Retention and Absenteeism
A lack of career development has become one of the top reasons people leave their jobs. This has surpassed salary, as why people are looking elsewhere for work. People are far less likely to leave a company when their motivators are understood and actively engaged day-to-day. Motivated employees also tend to show up on time and get their work done more efficiently. With the current estimates of replacing an employee being 30% of their yearly salary, keeping your employees happy is worth the time and effort.
You want to get the most out of your employees without causing burnout. Highly motivated employees are more productive and perform better than their unmotivated colleagues. They tend to spend their time more wisely, wasting less time on their phones and chatting with co-workers. When people are fully engaged in their work, they work harder to get it done, and they’re happier when they do so.
Now more than ever before, employees want to be recognized for their work. People tend to work harder when they receive targeted, thoughtful recognition for their efforts. A lack of recognition is often one of the top three reasons people leave their jobs. By recognizing your employees in a way that speaks to them, you ensure they feel seen and valued. Celebrating achievements, big or small, drastically increases employee engagement. This helps promote a positive work culture in which people are excited to participate.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety in the workplace are on the rise in the United States. This contributes to a decline in productivity and mental and physical health. Many factors cause workplace stress. These include long hours, job insecurity, low morale, management style, or a hostile work environment, among other factors. By understanding the importance of employee motivation, you can help your employees feel supported and happier at work. Helping employees work in a way that aligns with their motivators will help reduce stress and anxiety.
Employees who feel motivated are more likely to think outside the box. Creativity and innovation increase when employees are engaged and feel safe in their work environment. Employees are more willing to challenge themselves when they feel supported. Instead of letting obstacles prevent them from completing their task, they’re more likely to find a creative way to solve issues. They will also be more proactive in identifying areas they need to improve.
Ideally, your team will comprise a diverse group of individuals from different backgrounds, genders, races, and other identities. Motivational diversity is an important aspect to look at for your team. Are there any motivators that rank highly for every team member? Is there a person with a unique motivator they don’t share with their colleagues? Knowing and understanding your team’s dynamic in terms of motivators can be a valuable tool for team-building activities or incentives. It also helps promote a diverse and equitable workplace for all different types of people.
Conflict or tension between co-workers or between an employee and their manager happens. We have found that often these conflicts can be traced back to misaligned motivators. For example, conflict could arise if Employee A is highly motivated by fun and friendship while Employee B is highly motivated by purpose and autonomy. When employee A constantly cracks jokes or chats in meetings while B would much rather focus and get to work, there could be some tension. When people understand each other’s motivators, they can have more insight into why their co-worker acts a certain way. This will give them more grace and understanding instead of feeling frustrated by how they operate.
Putting This Into Practice
Now that you have collected and compared the motivators for each individual on your team, you must put that into practice. This takes some ingenuity and thought but doesn’t need to be complicated. The importance of employee motivation makes the effort well worth the reward. You’ll first want to evaluate how motivators and tasks align. Knowing this and identifying the tasks that frustrate you or your employee the most can help you job sculpt so there is a little more of the good and a little less of the difficult.
Start doing weekly or bi-weekly one on one meetings with your employees. Provide continuous feedback, and be sure to recognize even the smallest achievements. Actively listen to your employee’s concerns and work to fix what you can. If an employee values autonomy and is frustrated by relying on others, assign them more tasks they can complete independently. Allow someone who values creativity to work on a project that allows that freedom and flexibility. Offer a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home so those who value family can maintain a work-life balance. Minor tweaks in a person’s job responsibilities can make an enormous difference in their levels of motivation and engagement.
This part is more difficult to generalize in a blog format. It depends heavily on the unique makeup of your employee’s top motivators and the structure of your organization. At FindMojo, we offer a workshop on implementing the information you learn using the Motivator’s Assessment. You will learn how to improve employee motivation and productivity in just a few hours. Depending on your needs, this can be completed online or in person and is a valuable learning experience for the whole organization.
Cracking the code on employee motivation won’t happen overnight. It takes thought and effort, but the organization as a whole will reap the rewards. You can improve their performance and happiness by providing a motivation assessment and encouraging employees to take it periodically. Your company will enjoy a better retention rate, higher productivity, less workplace stress and anxiety, more innovation, more motivational diversity, and less employee conflict. By intentionally working to align with employee motivators, your employees will be happier and feel more committed to their work. A highly motivated and engaged workforce will make all the difference for your organization.