HR: The Key to Unlocking Employee Motivation

Managers are often tasked with the job of motivating their employees while also being tough as nails, when required. This dichotomy creates an impossible situation for managers, who have to balance both sides, without compromising neither. Imagine being in their shoes, being pulled on either side and not able to do justice to either. But it is not an impossible situation because there’s a secret weapon in a company’s arsenal.

Are you ready to know what it is?

It’s your HR!

The role of an HR is in their name i.e. human resource. They are the people who are there to look after employees’ job needs and provide them with the resources they need. Unlike managers, HR can simply be a friendly figure who doesn’t scold or argue with employees regarding their job and acts as a shoulder for them to cry on. By being their friend, confidant, and helper, they can keep a steady flow of motivation among employees, making sure that they perform to the best of their abilities.

Here’s what steps HR can take to ensure employee motivation:

Understand What Motivates Employees

One man’s meat is another man’s poison. The same applies to the motivating factors for employees. What motivates one employee might not be important to another. Some employees are motivated by their paycheck while others are driven by success. It can be a little difficult for managers to understand the motivating factor of every employee, due to their reluctance to share. An employee may be worried about the implications of sharing his/her motivating factor, in case it doesn’t align with the manager’s expectations.

This is where HR can intervene. HR can initiate a conversation with an employee to understand individual motivating factors. By playing the role of a friend and confidant, you (HR) can coax an employee’s values and goals, leading to a clearer picture of what the employee seeks out of the job and what motivates them to do so. Understanding motivation is the first step in forming a plan to motivate employees. You can use the privacy of a one-on-one meeting to assure employees of discretion and make them more comfortable in opening up.

Provide Resources to Ensure Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction plays a key component in an employee’s motivation to work. If an employee isn’t happy with his job, no money in the world is satisfactory enough. A well-paying, but not so challenging work, will not compensate and the employee will start thinking about switching. In such cases, the HR can play an important role in determining which work the employee is more interested in taking up. Start by looking at their goals and skills and then align them against a position suited to them. By assigning work that utilizes your employee’s strength, you make sure that they are satisfied with their role which in turn keeps them pumped up and motivated.

Create the Culture of  Value and Appreciation

Motivation comes from both, intrinsic and extrinsic sources. Intrinsic sources refer to an employee’s internal drive to succeed and achieve. While we have discussed the role of intrinsic sources in employee motivation before, let’s look at the extrinsic sources.
Extrinsic sources are the external factors that motivate employees. In a work environment, external factors include the appreciation and value that an employee receives for their work.

Appreciation can be both monetary and non-monetary that an employee gets. If an employee performs excellently at work or does something exemplary, you should make it a point to appreciate them in front of the rest. Nothing drives employee motivation through the roof more than a public pat on the back. Make them feel valued and appreciated and nurture mutual respect for the company.

Arm Employees With The Tools To Succeed

To perform a job properly, an employee has to have all the resources and tools needed to succeed. If they don’t, not only does it prevent them from doing their job well, it also builds discontentment and a lack of motivation to function to the best of their abilities. Your job as HR is to ensure that employees have the resources they require. Comprehensive training sessions, educational opportunities, leadership seminars, skill acquisition, etc. are just a few examples of tools that can help employees feel better prepared to do their jobs and grow their careers with your company.

HRMantra is one such HRMS solution that comes with an integrated training module. Using HRMantra, you can set up training sessions, designate responsibilities, share educational material and training resources, inform employees about upcoming sessions and enter details of the internal and external training faculty.

Help Employees With Work-Life Balance

“You don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful. It’s natural to look back and mythologize the long nights and manic moments of genius, but success isn’t about working hard, it’s about working smart.” ―Andrew Wilkinson, founder of MetaLab.

Your employees are individuals that have a life outside of work. Your responsibility, as an HR, is to acknowledge that and help them attain it. An organization that encourages people to only work during set hours and chides them when they stay longer, will gain the reputation of being a people-centric place. In turn, this will motivate employees to complete their work within the stipulated time and have a newfound respect for the organization that helps them pursue their other interests.

Radiate Positivity

Call it voodoo or gibberish, but there’s credibility to the statement that positive energy rubs off on others. HR needs to radiate positivity and also perform activities that spread smiles all around. Organize activities that work as both ice-breakers and stress busters. You can infuse the concept of a happy hour at work, where one hour every week, fun and energizing activities can be organized. Additionally, if you see an employee with a frown or radiating negative energy, don’t wait for “the right time” but go and ask them what’s bothering them. 9 out of 10 times, you can preemptively remove their cause of concern before an escalation.

Be Transparent
Be very open with employees about what’s happening at the highest level, so there are no surprises and everyone has a chance to ask questions and give feedback. You want employees to feel included in big decisions and committed to the direction that your company takes. This will help in sustaining motivation and infuse a sense of loyalty and pride towards the company.

So what are you waiting for? Use your HR to increase employee motivation and see their dedication and sincerity soar through the roof.

Surjodeep Bose

A self-confessed pop-culture enthusiast, he loves everything to do with movies, comic books and travelling. Studied at Christ University Bangalore with a triple major in Journalism, Psychology and English, I have been working in content for the last 2 years.

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Surjodeep Bose

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