3 things that motivate employees more than money

It is easy for employers, especially new ones like me, to assume that money is the main motivation for an employee. Though the assumption may be correct in some cases, in most it is just a rookie mistake.

Having been on both sides of the table, I can somewhat relate to what motivates an employee the most. Even then, these are just some of my general perceptions on the subject.

1.A healthy and creative working environment
Nothing is more off-putting than a working environment with frowning colleagues. It is important that every employee wake up every morning and go to work not because they have to, but because they want to. A smile from the manager can go a long way in motivating the employee into giving that extra bit into the work at hand. Traditional managers like to command; this can be counter-productive in the modern work place.

Sometimes work does get monotonous and this can hamper creativity; so does employers’ micromanaging the task at hand. It is essential to give employees full freedom to come up with a unique solution to any task. Nepalese working culture can be a bit submissive sometimes. Employees do not like to disagree with their superiors, even if they have the better solution. This kills a creative working culture. Employees should be encouraged to speak out their mind and their creative thinking should be rewarded.

2.Responsibility and prospect of growth
Every creative and self-believing employee looks at the prospect of growth in his or her career. The job the employee is doing should not only be self-fulfilling, but should directly add value to his or her career. No work done should seem like the employee giving away his time in exchange for money.

It is the employer’s job to make the employee understand and believe in the higher purpose of the company, and show exactly where the employee fits in. Employers should share dreams and the greater vision with the employee so that he or she believes in the fruitfulness of their job in the long run. It may sound a bit unorthodox, but even an inexperienced employee should often be trusted with important responsibilities, just so they feel like an integral part of the team.

3.Praise and recognition
A recent Mckinsey study shows that praise and recognition can be the biggest motivating factor for any employee. In the Nepalese context, many employers are reluctant to praising employees directly. This could be attributed to our culture in general. This hesitance stems from the fear that praising often could lead to the employee having an upper hand in future negotiations. I’ve heard a manager say, “This guy is very important to me, but I am not stupid to let him know that!”

When praise or recognition is due, the employer should deliver without hesitance. On the other hand there should also not be any hesitance in telling the employee when they are not performing up to par. It is almost like give and take; and when this happens even when the employer has to criticize an employee for a mistake, it will be taken positively.

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