The Monetization of Motivation

By December 7, 2018Story

The recent uptick in #MondayMotivation posts in social media feeds seems to pose many questions. Is it really just an inescapable fact that Mondays are a downer for everyone? Do people need (and crave) a weekly pick-me-up when facing their jobs after the weekend? Why do low levels of motivation seem to be on the rise in the workplace? There is a fair amount of research that implies there is indeed a rising problem.

A recent Gallup survey found that only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that truly motivates them to do outstanding work. More so, 52% of the current workforce is “not engaged” (AKA: performing without enthusiasm or care for their work), and Forbes reports that employee engagement is on the decline across the globe. They also noted that only 30% of employees strongly agree that their manager or superior involves them in goal setting, and only 14% deeply believe that the performance reviews they receive “inspire them to improve.”

The aftermath of these rampant humdrum emotions? Between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion in lost revenue per year due to a lack of retention, with turnover costs estimated to be 100% – 300% of the base salary of the replaced employee. That’s a massive impact on your bottom line, and takes an even weightier toll on team dynamics, business outcomes and employee satisfaction.

Luckily, this goes both ways. Sources have found that a five-point increase in employee engagement is linked to a three-point increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year. Tamara Moore, engagement expert and CEO of Relevel, LLC., reinforces this fact too, stating that compared with business units in the bottom 25%, those in the top 25% of engaged and motivated workers realized substantially better customer experiences, higher productivity, stronger employee retention, fewer staff health issues and higher profitability.

So, hypothesis confirmed: Employee engagement and motivation is dwindling, and the effects of this are brutal. But, the question remains. Why is this happening? Is it due to our decreased attention spans, job insecurity, rising levels of stress, laziness, complacency, or a hodgepodge of it all? How can only 20% of working professionals feel engaged at their job?

Moore notes that it isn’t always the most obvious answer. She says that the rapid pace of change in the world, coupled with a disgruntled job environment, can deeply and detrimentally affect employees’ engagement and motivation levels.

“Lack of communication about goals and expectations, negative coworkers, salary disparity and low levels of confidence in leadership are all reasons we see this decline,” Moore says.

She commented that more than half of employees are searching for new jobs or watching for openings and team leaders are the ones who have a huge impact on whether or not they jump ship. They are the ones who truly influence “whether workers are able to use their strengths to do what they do best, give team members recognition for good work and hold ongoing conversations to coach employees and connect them to their purpose.”

So, how do you remedy this dilemma? HuffingtonPost published an article stating that some of the most effective ways to motivate your employees include communicating better, empowering them and offering opportunities for advancement. Does that sound like exactly what you’re already doing? Moore provides some insightful, easy-to-remember tips that may prove to be useful to you and your team in ensuring you see some results.

  1. Hear them. Take time to actively listen and make effective use of one-on-one time and team meetings. It is also about learning to ask powerful questions and utilize that feedback to shape the future. For example, consider posing thought-provoking questions such as, “If your success as an employee was guaranteed, what one bold thing would you try in your position?”
  2. See them. Notice details about their work and take time to truly recognize their efforts. Is there something that would improve their schedule or working conditions? Are you regularly taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate their accomplishments?
  3. Connect them. Connecting employees to their purpose is a game-changer. Passion is fuel; it motivates employees to be creative and work through whatever challenge they may be facing. Through her work at the International Conscious Business Institute, Moore witnessed incredible results at companies when employees connected their individual purpose to their position purpose, and then to the overall purpose of the organization.

Want more? Moore (no pun intended) is holding an entire workshop on this topic on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the University of Colorado South Denver. Learn more and register here.

Sign up to hear about our latest programming and industry trends.