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Techniques and Job Characteristics That Lead to Employee Motivation

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Techniques and Job Characteristics That

Lead to Employee Motivation

Employees that make up our workforce today are mainly from baby boomer, gen X and millennial generations. These generations have different work philosophies, attitudes, and intrinsic values. “One-fit-for-all” does not work when it comes to incorporating strategies to increase employee motivation in today’s work environments so employers need to incorporate a variety of motivational techniques in their companies. Employers need to understand the needs and beliefs, of their employees in order to find the most effective techniques to motivate them. Employers also need to learn which intrinsic and extrinsic motivational methods will work best, or as Ilya Pozin, Founder of Pluto TV, stated in “14 Highly Effective Ways to Motivate Employees” (Pozin, 2015) “Learn What Makes Each Employee Tick”.

As I researched the techniques and job characteristics that lead to employee motivation I found some commonly used methods that have been around for a while, but I also found a few methods that are more modern and best suited for the younger generations. I have chosen to write about five methods that are currently being used to motivate employees. These methods incorporate merit pay, recognition, empowerment, and 2 methods that appeal to the green side and work-life balance of millennials. I also included job enrichment and job rotation, two job design characteristics that add challenge and variety to jobs and enhance motivation. I will begin my discussion with merit pay programs.

Merit pay programs are widely used in the U.S. These programs reward employees for their hard work and dedication. Merit pay is a permanent increase in an employee’s salary and it is based on job performance. It is usually calculated as a percentage of either hourly wages (for nonexempt employees) or annual salaries (for exempt). The great thing about merit pay is that it lets the employee know “where they stand” (Heathfield, 2018) in their job performance and it motivates them to perform even better in the future. It also helps with employee retention. Best performers are motivated to stay because they are rewarded for their contributions to the organization.

Another type of motivational reward involves recognition programs. These programs help satisfy employees need for recognition in their achievements (Zkjadoon, 2015). This is very characteristic of millennials and gen-x employees. Baby boomers also enjoy recognition of their hard work, but they think more in terms of the company’s achievements rather than individual achievements like the younger generations. The recognition programs vary greatly from one company to another, but they are all created to motivate employees and to make employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. At a company called Convene, one way that they celebrate the achievements of their employee is to start off every meeting with the head of each department recognizing an employee on their team for going “above and beyond for the company or a client” (Pozin, 2015). This motivates the workers by making them feel that their contributions are truly important to the company.

Another example of a recognition ritual that helps motivate employees to perform better is to recognize and celebrate those employees that contribute ideas that help the company in some way. At Chamberlain Group, where my husband works, employees are asked to voluntarily submit ideas that can help the company in ways such as improving safety, improving quality, reducing waste, etc. This is done on a monthly basis and certificates of recognition are given to 15 employees for their great ideas. This is done in a group setting and the participants are highly motivated during the event as well as afterward.

The third motivation technique that I researched was empowerment. “Empowerment refers to the employee’s feeling of being effective, in control and influential” (Sarkissian, 2018). Just like the previously mentioned motivational techniques, Empowerment also has a positive impact on motivation. Giving employees more control and choices over how their work gets done is very highly motivating. It can give the employee a sense of responsibility, confidence, meaningfulness, and pride in personal achievements (Mooney, 2018). Also, when employers enable workers to make more decisions and exercise initiatives, workers feel that employers trust their judgments and this can lead to their willingness to work harder for the employer.

All of these methods of motivating employees have been

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