Financial incentive or money is in no doubt the primary motivator of human resource. In fact, many managers use financial incentives to get the high performance output. Money attracts prospective workers to a given company. The salary scale is a major determinant on an employee’s future in an organization. In most cases, current employees who are dissatisfied with their standing salaries put out their resumes in the market in anticipation of a better pay. Concisely, money is the dominant extrinsic motivator in human resource management. However, research on motivation theories has shown that money alone is not enough to guarantee employee’s satisfaction. Merrill and Roger state that intrinsic motivators are equally if not more important than extrinsic-in this case money (Brantley et al 2000).
These intrinsic factors are mainly deal with employee feelings and desires concerning their jobs and what they hope to achieve. As a leader of this midsize organization that is facing financial turmoil, it is important to employ non-financial incentives in line with intrinsic motivation (Buchanan et al 2010).
My first assignment would be to commit time in understanding the employees from the senior to the lower levels on a personal perspective. This would give a head start in the long journey of bringing out a highly productive workforce from the de-motivated lot. Once this is done, I will be able to apply the intrinsic motivational theories as postulated by Merrill et al, McClelland and Fredrick Herzberg. While at this stage, I will ensure that the employees get a clear communication on the current financial state of the company. Emphatically, I will inform the employees that a salary increment will not be possible this financial year. Additionally, they will be informed that under my leadership, efforts will be made to correct the poor financial showing by the company to ensure a much needed salary increase (Dessler 2000).
The personal study of the employees seeks to show me, among other things: whether the workplace provides working environment, whether the company currently appreciates outstanding employee achievements, work schedules and how to improve them, employee-employer relations, recreational facilities present and more importantly the specific qualifications of every employee. One-on-one interaction with line managers and select employees will be done as the situation may require. This study will give me a broad picture of how the employees are currently treated. Given the prevailing condition, this study will mainly be a confirmation of failed efforts to reach out to the workforce. Since the spirit of the employees is a reflection of their working conditions (French et al 2008).
The findings are definitely going to show the company’s laxity in reaching out to its employees and taking into consideration their efforts and personal sacrifices for the general good of the company. Therefore, my leadership will immediately undertake the following corrective measures.
The very first measure to revive the diminished workforce’s zeal for top performance would be to institute a warm working relationship between low-level employees and the management. This will involve bridging up the gap between the management and employees from all sections of the organization. To have a breakthrough in this, I will allow the workforce to have their own representatives’ sit in the top level management. These representatives will be charged with the responsibility of collecting employee grievances and presenting them to the top management for action. I will direct the human resource manager to work closely with these representatives. Moreover, I will do the same with top-level management, only that here I will personally discuss with them their concerns. This first measure will serve to create an interface on which other solutions will be injected in motivating the employees. Briefly, this measure will create communication channels through which I can interact with all the employees (Finlay 2010).
Once the channel of communication is in place, I am going to empower respective employees to make most of the decisions relating to their work. Specifically, I will give them autonomy to decide the best way in which their duties should be performed in order to efficiently meet the set goals. For example, I will invite the marketing manager to decide what new marketing strategies to employee in serving the existing market share and how best to acquire new markets. In the same spirit, I will ask the low-level employees to assume an active role in determining such issues as their work schedules, job placement and target settings. The rationale here is that an autonomous employee feels appreciated when allowed to make decisions about his/her work. This feeling of appreciation brings out motivation in him/her to perform better in order to earn the already bestowed trust.
In addition, allowing the employee to make certain decisions instills a profound sense of responsibility in his/her work. Giving these workers autonomy will later yield fruit as they learn to plan their work in line with the set targets. This will not only motivate the worker to realize the target but will also trigger a strong liking for his work. This liking slowly transforms to satisfaction. A satisfied worker is definitely happy and motivated.
In order to encourage excellence and retain the top performing workers, I will always appreciate outstanding performance both in small and big ways. Since I am not in position to give a monetary reward, verbal praise will help me in that. Every time an employee gets a thumb up for going the extra mile, they feel motivated to do it again and even better. By doing this, I hope to cultivate an attachment to the company in the employees hearts. This attachment will go a long way in retaining such top performers in the organization. The magic here is that employees would feel like they are “just” doing what they are paid to do (Martin et al 2007).
I also intend to set up a special achievement award for outstanding achievement over a specified period. I will start with simple recognition of reserving specific parking lots and/or award of certificates for employee of the month who would have earned it. With time, I will introduce such recognition as CEO awards or trophies to be earned courtesy of excellent performance. I believe that this will arouse a desire to attain set goals by employees and at the same time give a sense of pride to the winning employee. A proud employee will certainly plan to stay in the company even in the presence of a better pay elsewhere in the market.
After affecting the above measures, I would then initiate some recreational activities that would help foster the new relations among the employees. Top of the list is to organize a sporting event where various sections of the organization would be encouraged to form a team to represent it. Through this, I aim to give the employees an opportunity to bond together in an off-office environment. Such an event will not only foster close working ties, but will also present a chance for employees to be respected for the talent they have. Additionally, the physical nature of sports will help the employees check on their health. A healthy workforce means high output for the company and a joyful worker, which is pretty much what my leadership seeks to achieve. It is worth noting that a happy employee will hang around the organization (Hewlett et al 2009).
With all of the above measures already in place, the organization will sparkle, hopefully in a steady rise to its former self. Employee confidence and motivation will have started trickling back. The nurture these new developments, I will introduce a careful crafted program where employees are encouraged to further their studies and qualification. The organization is may be low on funds to provide a salary increment to its entire workforce, but it will definitely afford to train its top notch employees. This training will ensure that employees stay relevant to the current market trends. Such a gesture is expected to ascertain the organization’s commitment to the welfare of its workers.
The gesture of on job training being financed by the organization is meant to allay employee fears on their job security. Since a trained worker is confident of securing a new job in the event that the organization winds up. It is important to note that training of the employees in the wake of such financial crisis will communicate the organization’s good will to them. On top of showing the organizations moral duty to its prized workers, the initiative will change the workers perception for the better. Consequently, workers who benefit from this program will no doubt commit to the organization. Their motivation to strive for the excellence of the company will be their natural way of showing their appreciation. The result will be a productive company and a highly motivated employee. Competence gained by the employee becomes a bonus to the organization and a reward to the employee.
Use of non-monetary incentives will also go a long way in achieving the motivation of these employees. Merchandise branded with the organization logo will leave a lasting effect on the employees. The recognition that the employee receives during the award of such gifts is special and worth the trouble. The worker will feel appreciated irrespective of the small gift and will seek to return the favor by committing to the company.
Paid sabbatical also have profound effect on the employees minds. The cost of this to the company is minimal yet the outcome is huge and positive. In order to make it more fun for the employees, I will couple this with the standard three week paid leave. This move will allow the employees to see the organization in a different light. Specifically, it tells the worker that the company recognizes the fact that their needs are equally important. By extension, it shows that the organization counts them in the list of their valuable assets.
As a leader, I will avoid micro managing my reliable and responsible employees. It will be my duty to bring out the best in them without rubbing them the wrong way. In the event that any of them errors, my input would be to point it out to them and ask them to retrace without imposing any ideas. In this way, I would have corrected an error and at the same time won the confidence of that employee. In the process, the organization’s targets stand a better chance of being achieved and the employee is motivated.
I will also introduce flexibility in the working schedules of the company. Depending on the number of employees in every section, I am going to allow qualified employees to work from home. This will depend on the nature of their work and the existence of infrastructure that facilitates such a program. The employees who qualify for this program will get a chance to pursue personal interests such as being with their families or undertaking part time study. This flexibility eases pressure on the part of employee since he/she can comfortably work from home. The success of this program is a win for both the organization, because it reduces expense on office maintenance and on the employee, because it presents a break from the office environment.
To save the employee from taking a compulsory lunch break to walk to cafeteria outside the company, I will establish a cafeteria inside the organization precincts. It will not be an extravagant resort but just a decent place that serves nice and nutritious food. The presence of a cafeteria in the company helps the employees to cut on their lunch spending and also safeguards their dignity. With the adage that belly rules the mind, I hope to win the respect of the employees by showing that the company is deeply concerned with their well-being. The end result is a happy and healthy workforce that is well-equipped to serve the company’s interests.
I will also organize field days for all employees as time permits. These field trips will be planned in line with the company’s core values. For instance, the company’s commitment to the environment will be best promoted by planning a field trip to a renewable energy plant like the geothermal power plants. As such, these field trips will provide a formal setting for employee-employer as well as employee to employee interaction and bonding.
In conclusion, employees prefer to work in a happy environment where they are accepted, loved and appreciated as opposed to a wild non appreciated environment where they are highly paid but bossed around. I am, therefore, confident that my methods based on intrinsic motivation theories will not only motivate my employees but also retain them in the organization.