Motivation enhances employee performance, expert says

Being a great motivator inspires employees and gives companies the performance they want, according to Joni Daniels of Daniels & Associates, a national personal and professional development consultancy firm.

Daniels highlighted four ‘keys’ to being a great motivator and discussed the impact motivation has on a company and its employees with GBC members at an April 24 Breakfast Briefing. Daniels referenced several motivational theories from prominent psychologists to support her argument.

Four keys to motivating employees include talking, listening, asking questions, and awareness.

Daniels stressed that open, transparent communication, acknowledging comments and suggestions, gaining feedback through questions, and awareness of employee perceptions are all vital to employee performance and retention.

A company’s message, vision and initial impression also affect current and prospective employees. The message and vision needs to be exciting and supported by everyone, Daniels explained. Providing the necessary programs and resources to new employees is also very important. “The way we start out makes a big impression,” Daniels said when discussing company orientation.

However, there are other motivational factors outside of the company that management must recognize. According to Daniels, employees are intrinsically motivated in three different ways – achievements, affiliation and power (D. McClelland – High Needs) – referred to as preferential styles.

Other obstacles include self image and self esteem. Employees have a particular perception of their strengths and weaknesses built on years of feedback from peers and mentors; some of which dates back to adolescence. Daniels warns that these perceptions can be very difficult for managers to reverse.

Daniels also referenced well known management theories, such as Herzberg’s theory of motivation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Unfortunately, there are some employees a manager cannot motivate. “Some employees, no matter what you do, it will not work,” Daniels explains. “Sometimes it’s necessary for managers to say, ‘okay, I can’t find the key to this lock.”

Daniels & Associates specializes in personal and professional management training and development programs in speech, conference, keynotes and seminar formats.

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