Employee motivation is surrounded by a lot of confusion and misconceptions. After all, what one employee might find motivating and rewarding, others might not. Therefore, we have collected the 10 most popular myths about employee motivation and the reasons why they are actually wrong!
1. Employees are only motivated by money
One of the most common myths we have heard is that employees only care about and are motivated by money. The reason behind this myth being so pervasive is that managers find it much easier to believe that they can increase their employees’ engagement levels by simply increasing their salaries. After all, throwing money at a problem is much easier than actually taking the time to understand why your employees might feel dissatisfied with their jobs. What most employees crave for is recognition for their work. A good way to show that you value your employees is to implement a rewards system based on the positive feedback received by customers. In this way, your employees’ good performance will be directly correlated to rewards, further encouraging them to do better.
2. Every employee is the same
If a company treats its customers as valued individuals with specific needs and desires, then why wouldn’t it treat its employees the same? Every employee is different and is motivated by different things. Therefore, put the effort needed to get to know your employees better and to understand what their ambitions are so that you can help them achieve them!
3. Employees don’t care about making progress
In 2010, the Harvard Business Review conducted a survey where they asked a variety of managers what motivates their employees the most. The results were then compared to the answers of the employees themselves. What they found out was that the least important factor mentioned by managers was “support for making progress”, when in fact this was the most important to employees! This contradiction clearly demonstrates that managers don’t think that employees care about making progress, when in reality they not only do but also wish they were more supported in it!
4. Browsing the Internet reduces productivity
Many managers believe that when their employees surf the web they waste their time. However, the reality is that by taking a break online, employees actually manage to relax, increase their concentration and productivity, and ultimately perform better!
5. Good employees don’t need extra motivation
Some managers believe that if they hire the right type of employee, they won’t need to invest in rewards. However, increasing employee motivation has nothing to do with how smart or good at their job your staff is. Even your smartest and brightest employees have moments of low motivation and need encouragement!
6. Goal-setting is the employees’ responsibility
Another common myth is that employees need to take care of their own goal setting. However, for many, this might prove to be too difficult, as they might not have the skills or experience necessary for this. Therefore, offer your employees the opportunity for support in setting their objectives, as well as set clear rewards connected to achieving those goals.
7. All rewards are the same
Some managers might be under the impression that the type of reward doesn’t matter. However, not all rewards are created the same! Furthermore, consider that your employees might appreciate different rewards differently. Therefore, always offer a choice of rewards and make sure that your employees receive a reward they can actually appreciate.
8. Employees don’t need to know everything
Our next myth revolves around the misalignment between rewarding and motivating your employees, while hiding important information from them. Honesty goes hand in hand with loyalty and if you want to increase employee loyalty, you can’t rely on rewards only!
9. High employee motivation equals corporate success
High employee motivation is crucial, however, it is not the only factor determining the success of a company. Among others, working culture and effective processes are two further steps in achieving corporate success.
10. Employee motivation is too difficult to understand and do anything about
Our final myth is about the difficulty of understanding employee motivation. In fact, employee motivation is not rocket science and by investing a bit of time in understanding it better, you can dramatically improve your staff’s satisfaction at work and their productivity! However, if you are still uncertain about it and want to find out more, check out our other articles in our blog!