Building a team of motivated employees should be the goal of every modern organization. People achieve a certain level of productivity and success when they are inspired. That’s why there are countless blogs and endless literature on various websites outlining unique and trusted ways to motivate employees.
Many paint motivation as an easy thing that can be conquered using simple techniques. However, it’s a pretty complex topic. Humans are complicated creatures who have individual needs, desires, goals and perspectives, and as a rational employer might expect, what motivates a person varies greatly depending on their social and cultural backgrounds, needs, hobbies and personalities.
Extrinsic Motivation, Explained
Motivation is the symbolic key to unlocking a person’s true potential. A motivated employee will think outside the box, promote their company, seek career development opportunities and look forward to coming to work every day. To truly inspire their team, employers must understand the different types of motivation and how to use them.
The Difference Between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
There are two types of recognized motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivation is guided by internal rewards that are not typically affected by the outside world. This is the type of motivation people feel when they work on something they love and care about.
This motivation isn’t driven by external incentives like good grades, money or prizes. It’s driven by an internal sense of accomplishment, love of a subject or pride in their work. Intrinsic motivation is incredibly valuable, but it’s not something an employer can always access or use to build an enthusiastic team.
Extrinsic motivation is created by external rewards, almost exclusively affected by the outside world, including friends, family, teachers, coworkers, employers, social media and society. This is the kind of motivation that organizations can harness and use to build enthusiasm within their team. If utilized successfully, employees should be happy, motivated and driven to achieve.
5 Ways to Build an Enthusiastic Team
Receiving fair compensation and traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement plans are technically considered forms of extrinsic motivation, but they aren’t enough to inspire employees. If employers want to have a genuine and significant impact on their team, they must go beyond what’s generally expected.
1. Create Good, Old-Fashioned Incentive Programs
This may sound like an obvious choice, which is exactly why it’s listed here. This is the oldest, most trusted and effective way to motivate people. Cash bonuses, gift cards, comped meals and extra points for their Fringe benefits account all provide a literal incentive to achieve greatness.
If team members need a little extra cash, a bonus can be highly motivating. Gift cards and comped meals allow them to go out with their friends, family or significant others. Additionally, this gives control back to the employee to have a hand in reaching a goal they’re directly impacted by and excited about.
2. Provide Comprehensive Training Programs
This strategy starts with the hiring process. Organizations should hire based on experience, education, personality and energy. If leaders create clear expectations and seek those expectations from their applicants, they can build an excellent team.
It’s also important to remember that education and experience go a long way, but no company should limit itself. A person with boundless motivation and infectious energy who admittedly lacks proper experience or education can positively impact an entire team.
Once an organization has built its team, organizations should provide comprehensive training programs, ensuring that all employees know the scope and expectations of their job. Nothing is more demotivating than being thrown into the deep end without a life jacket. Employers should take the time to teach their people everything they need to know to do their jobs well.
3. Positively Recognize Hard Work and Productivity
When an employee works hard, employers should reward them. This strategy correlates with the incentive program strategy, but it’s not limited to that. Gift cards, flowers and financial incentives are excellent ways to recognize people, but positive reinforcement is just as valuable.
Leaders should consider creating weekly or monthly employee recognition programs. When team members achieve a big goal or work hard on a project, that behavior should be recognized. Depending on the person, a public post on social media or a private email voicing positive affirmation can go a long way in helping them feel appreciated and valued.
4. Open Various Channels to Facilitate Communication
Employers and supervisors should do everything in their power to create an environment that values speaking, listening and being heard. Positive and open communication builds trust between employees and their organizations. It also gives people the opportunity to talk openly about things that affect them, so they never feel undervalued or disrespected.
A happy team is a motivated team. Leaders should focus time and energy on building positive relationships within their organization. Team building exercises, one-on-one coaching sessions, career development and training opportunities are all spectacular practices that organizations should use to boost communication and build long-lasting work relationships.
5. Offer Benefits People Actually Want
The one-size-fits-all approach isn’t always effective, and highly sought-after employees are actively seeking jobs that cater to their individual needs. That’s why traditional benefits programs need supplemental programs for employee morale. If an organization wants to build a happy, motivated, and enthusiastic team, it should offer customizable lifestyle benefits.
Every person within an organization is unique, and their benefits should be, too. Using Fringe’s lifestyle benefits platform, each team member can choose the benefits they want from over 100 different benefit options, removing all the guesswork for the employer and giving the power back to the employees. Talk to our team to schedule a demo today!