Employee Performance Management Systems and Motivation
When it comes to finding out what motivates your employees, don't shy away from asking them. It may sound daunting to find out what motivates each of your employees.
"What motivates you?" may be too difficult a question for employees to answer. Instead, consider asking a question such as "what would make you feel more valued in the workplace?" or "how would you like me to recognize your performance when you achieve your targets?" The answer will help you to understand whether the employee is motivated by performing well in their job (intrinsically motivated) or motivated by recognition and rewards (extrinsically motivated).
Keep performance reviews short and frequent. If you do that, the performance review can be the perfect excuse to discuss about about motivation, recognition, goals and purpose.
Intrinsically Motivated Employees
Employees who are motivated by intrinsic factors are most likely to perform well when they receive feedback that confirms they are doing a good job. They will become frustrated by barriers that prevent them completing tasks to the best of their ability. Positive feedback can form part of the employee performance management process for intrinsically motivated employees.
In his book, "Happiness By Design," Paul Dolan, professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, suggests that happiness comes not just from activities that give us pleasure. Happiness can also result from having a sense of purpose. The feelings of fulfillment that come from achieving goals can be a reward in themselves for some employees.
For such employees, monetary rewards offer little incentive. They can be easily minimized and forgotten by employees who do not place much store by such extrinsic motivators.
Extrinsically Motivated Employees
Conversely, you may have employees within your team who are motivated by extrinsic factors. Bonus payments and tangible rewards may help to keep these employees focused on achieving their targets.
Some employees provide extremely generous benefits over and above the basic salary to motivate their employees and encourage them to work hard. Large technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, provide employees with access to free food and drink in the canteens. Companies argue that access to food and drink contributes to employee well-being. Perks like these not only save employees time and money, they also encourage them to spend more time at work, thereby increasing productivity.
The downside of providing added extras such as food and drink on a regular basis is that it quickly becomes the norm. When this happens, the motivational effect can be reduced. To maintain their impact, it may be better to reserve such rewards for periods of good performance or the end of a specific project. Employees can then see the link between performance and rewards, leading to increased motivation.