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5 Helpful Non-Financial Ways To Motivate Employees

5 Helpful Non-Financial Ways To Motivate Employees

When you talk to the employees about what they want from a job, money is often at the top of the list. If you ask them what would make them work harder, they will often respond by saying more money. Bonuses, raises and other financial incentives have been used to motivate employees for a long time and can be effective, but they are not eh only tools that a business has.

Using money as an incentive has its limitations. There are times when people will think the money being offered is not enough to make them want to do something. There are times when it is not practical to offer money as incentive and there are times when employees are not looking for money. While a business should not exclude the idea of using financial incentives to motivate employees, they also need to make sure that they are doing other things to help keep their employees motivate. Learning a few other motivational tools can help a business succeed and can improve the way the employees feel about a business.

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Words can be a Powerful Motivator

The power of words should not be forgotten. As young children, the praise received from parents and other adults is all that is needed to give the maximum effort. A smart business will learn some tools that can help them use words to keep their employees motivated.

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  • Reviews – When employees get a raise, the raise should be accompanied by a review of the employees work. Many businesses have these reviews in place, but they are done as an afterthought. This is a big mistake. The review should be done carefully. It should include what the employee does well to help the business and what they need to improve on. Both the employee and the reviewer should create a plan for the employee moving forward that includes specific goals. All of this should be written down to make this more than just words that are spoken. They can become a commitment from both the employee and the business and can motivate both to reach the stated goals.
  • Motivational SpeakersBringing in conference speakers that specialize in motivational exercises can help boost everyone’s morale. It can make them think in different ways and is a very powerful tool for motivation. The speakers can address any size group and can be effectively used throughout the year for a business.

Other Tools

Words are only some of the motivational tools that are not financial that can be utilized by a business. The biggest problem with words is that they may not be used often enough or they may not be heard by all of the employees. Adding a few more tools to motivate employees can help everyone involved.

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  • Scheduling – One of the best ways to keep employees motivated is to allow them to control their work schedule. Many businesses are offering their employees flexible hours that allow the employees to do things they want or need to do outside of work. Allowing employees to work from home is another way to keep employees happy and working harder. Providing for more time off of work is another incentive to consider. It may require extra effort to make sure that the business is always covered and that the needs of the business are being met, but when it can be accomplished, employees benefit and will be more motivated.
  • Regular Recognition – Everyone enjoys being recognized for the things they have accomplished. Many businesses will thank an employee for doing a great job, but they do it in private. That type of recognition should be done in public. The more that this is done, the more likely other employees will begin to strive for that recognition.
  • Create a Good Work Environment – One of the greatest tools for motivation is removing any toxic poisons that are in the workplace. If there is one employee that is never happy and is never putting forth an effort, that employee can have a negative effect on all of the other employees. Removing the toxic employee is not always the easiest thing to do, but it can make everyone else happy, more productive and motivated to work for a business that cares about them.

People have to work to support themselves and their family. That is a fact of life. While most people want to make as much money as they can, they would rather work in an environment that made them feel better and in an environment in which they feel they are important. The successful businesses are the ones that realize the importance of employee morale and work to find any way they can to improve the workplace. That includes doing things that are not based on money.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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