It can be tricky to understand what motivates your employees to come into work every morning.
Are they emotionally or rationally committed? Rational commitment is motivation purely based on the exchange of time, expertise and energy for financial compensation. In contrast, emotional commitment is where employees are driven to work because of the passion and purpose they derive, not only from their work, but the organisation for which they work.
Employee’s lacking emotional commitment to their work should not be an immediate cause for concern. For example someone who is particularly community minded, who comes to work with the incentive of providing for their family but engages in community activities outside of work has their emotional drivers met elsewhere. Issues arise when employee’s emotional drivers are not met inside or outside of the workplace. Because they have no connection to the work they do, motivation lags and productivity drops. When this occurs it is import to proactively engage employees and ensure they feel valued.
Emotional commitment has shown to be four times more powerful in maintaining productivity than rational commitment, and it doesn’t take much to positively engage employees. It could be something as simple as asking ‘How are you going?’ Knowing that management is approachable and cares, not only about the outcomes of projects, but the people behind them can make the world of difference.
As a whole, there will always be differences in personalities among your staff. You will have employees that can be classified as ‘True Believers’, ‘Disaffected’ or ‘Agnostic’. Those categorised as a true believer are often described as strongly committed to their work, managers and the organization as a whole. This segment is highly valuable to your business, in comparison to ‘disaffected’ and ‘agnostic’ segments, as they have higher retention levels and company loyalty. Those considered as disaffected are recognized as being underperformers, while those classified as agnostic are impartial, they do their work but do not put in extra effort to do so.
Therefore, employing the right type of people is incredibly important for the success of a team and for an organization. There are screening tools, i.e. psychometric testing which will allow employers to select candidates most likely to fit with the personalities of your team members, however these can only achieve certain levels of results. Good management cannot only create true believers, put prevent true believers from becoming agnostic or disaffected.
Fore more ideas on how to effectively motivate staff, see our previous article on Staff Engagement here.