Information Technologies have become critical and an integral part of any organization’s delivery, and indeed it is difficult to imagine any modern organization effectively and efficiently delivering without IT. In the current economic environment, IT departments operate with reduced budgets while striving to deliver best services. In today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing global marketplace, it is increasingly important to maximise productivity of Information Technology employees.
This article is a call to pause and reflect on the importance of motivation and how best to create a highly motivated and therefore more productive IT workforce.
Motivation is defined as the reason or reasons that someone has for acting or behaving in a particular way or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. It gives the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs.
Managing IT personnel is challenging, and when motivational tools that are available to the managers may be limited, there is a need to seek proficient methods and styles in order to keep employees motivated. When you understand the thinking and behavioural triggers of employee and the employee understands the strategy and objectives and the value of their contribution, then you are able to maximize their enthusiasm and engagement and rapidly move in the same direction. One of the most effective methods of providing positive feedback is by “Motivation through recognition”.
One of the primary roles of management is to state and define the work objectives and mission, and identify strategies to achieve the stated goals with scarce resources. In an environment where there is a continuous drive to do more with less, it is easy to focus on what is broken and try to fix it and give less importance on pointing out where employees are doing well.
Having an employee work for an organization for many years should be considered an asset to the workplace, but can you imagine going a full year without receiving any type of recognition? It is essential that employees feel that they are valued for the work that they are producing and that by recognizing their achievements their rewards will go beyond productivity by making them feel part of the solution, part of the strategy and success of the organization as a whole. Recognition should focus on an employee’s contributions and efforts and not focus only on how long they have held the position. If they have done a great job, let them know that on the spot.
While building the recognition programs, we must always remember that in a multicultural environment, there is a need to recognize that individuals visualize problems and solutions from different perspectives and that consideration and appreciation needs to be made for the diversity of approaches. Having a vision that is malleable and encourages employees to come up with new ideas is a skill of a good manager. Nothing will motivate an employee more than knowing that he or she has contributed something unique that has changed an approach in a positive way.
By leveraging an effective recognition program within the organization managers could avoid one other issue, employee turnover, which is expensive and slows down productivity. Companies with recognition programs have a lower voluntary turnover.
Gratitude is one of the most effective forms of showing and gaining that trust from employees. Appreciating employees for their work and letting your employee, say, take free rein over a project, is one of the non-verbal forms of showing recognition (you have trusted them to do their job).
Good productive employees need to feel valued at work and there really is no such thing as “too much recognition”. If you really want to increase productivity and keep your employees, motivate them through recognition. That simple validation has the power to exponentially increase productivity in the workplace.
Below is the Cost-benefit analysis of employee recognition as stated in the article “Why employee recognition is so important – By Kim Harrison”. http://www.cuttingedgepr.com/articles/emprecog_so_important.asp
“The cost of a recognition system is quite small and the benefits are large when implemented effectively. Meta-analysis conducted by the Gallup Organization of the results from 10,000 business units in 30 industries found [a meta-analysis is the statistical analysis of results across more than one study]:
Increased individual productivity – the act of recognizing desired behaviour increases the repetition of the desired behaviour, and therefore productivity. This is classic behavioural psychology. The reinforced behaviour supports the organization’s mission and key performance indicator.
Greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work – more time spent focusing on the job and less time complaining.
Direct performance feedback for individuals and teams is provided.
Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
Teamwork between employees is enhanced.
Retention of quality employees increases – lower employee turnover.
Better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.
Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.
Time spent in designing and implementing the program.
Time taken to give recognition.
Dollar cost of the recognition items given.
Time and cost of teaching people how to give recognition.
Costs of introducing a new process.
In conclusion, it is clear that recognition is a critical component of any organizational workforce strategy. By encouraging and supporting effective recognition practices, managers can improve delivery of their mandates, which results in a more effective workforce. Developing motivation and providing recognition to employees are relatively simple and inexpensive strategies. Employees are motivated by different factors and managers should get to know their employees and tailor the ways in which recognition and motivation are provided to each individual. When efforts are made to create motivated teams and support recognition, employee commitment to the organization and motivation are more likely to increase.
Four Motivational Mantra:
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” –Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” –Doug Conant, Fmr. President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company.
“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” -Dr. Bob Nelson, Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker.
“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” -Dale Carnegie, Leadership Training Guru.