Management March 28, 2012 Last updated September 18th, 2018 3,551 Reads share

6 Ways Companies Can Motivate Smarter

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Every person is motivated differently – every person motivates differently.Take a moment to evaluate and rank on a scale of 1 to 5; 5 being the highest, your company’s score for each statement below.

The Motivating Smart Survey

  1. Employees’ values, motivations, and talents are understood and measured.
  2. Employees consider their jobs rewarding and interesting.
  3. Employees are committed to jointly owned, shared goals, values, and beliefs.
  4. Employees hold each other accountable against agreed upon plans and standards.
  5. We have open and honest communication that empowers employees.

The Results

Now, total your score and divide by 5.  What’s your result?

  • If your average score is 4 to 5, you are motivating smart.
  • If your average score is 3 to 3.8, you are in the caution zone & need improvements to your motivational program.
  • If your average score is < 3, you are in the danger zone & need some serious attention and effort at building a motivational program for your employees and your company.

What is motivating smart?  Why did we choose these statements?

We have found that employers with the higher scores have employees who are more productive and aligned with a company’s values and culture.


Here are 6 ways companies can motivate smarter.

Aligning your company practices to motivate people to do the right things right requires you to:

  1. Develop your company’s long-term strategy and plan with your employees.  This helps to set the stage for each of the following strategies to be successful.  This strategy and plan provides focus and reinforces the need for action.
  2. Develop a comprehensive orientation program for all new employees.  Employees need to understand the culture and environment they are working in.
  3. Hold company-wide meetings to share information about the company with your employees on a quarterly basis & openly share information with your employees regularly so that you can establish a regular and recurring dialogue with your employees.  This enables you and your employees to share valuable information and insights.
  4. Sponsor company social events to bind relationships that are developed inside the organization, outside the work setting.
  5. Work hard to create a strong social environment at work to establish and solidify your culture of caring, and motivating, for your employees.; and
  6. Offer profit or gain sharing pay to reinforce the previous actions by enabling a way to share in the successes financially.

Related: Motivate Your Employees When Times Are Tough

Let’s review some information to learn more about how we can identify an employee’s behaviors, motivations, and interests so that we can motivate smarter.

How Employees Behave

As companies (and employees) become more reliant on worker knowledge it’s important to develop a way to identify the thinking and decision-making patterns required for these different job functions.

Think about it.  The majority of your time, do you make decisions with your HEAD, HAND or your HEART?  Are you a systemic, practical, or empathetic decision maker and thinker?

When you are working with an employee it helps to understand how he can contribute his thinking strengths to certain aspects of the company’s needs, particularly as these relate to commitment, helping, adaptability, involvement, and sharing.  If we know his strengths we can better assist him by involving him in decision situations that rely on his strengths – we will also understand what type of decision attributes each situation requires – helping to develop a better match.

Try not to assume what employers in the past have by practicing the “pigeon-hole” syndrome that is, slotting someone to a position and not considering their capabilities.

I believe you need to understand this information to help you develop a more effective alignment of the person to the position and to the company.  As you work to “motivate smarter” seek to diagnose, assess, and understand employee talents, values, and behaviors; and then develop your motivational structures as suggested above to assist your employees to become more authentic.

Image: “Businessman’s hand choosing employees with modern technology/Shutterstock

Warren Rutherford

Warren Rutherford

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