December 17, 2019

Learn to Motivate and Retain Your Key Employees

Learn to Motivate and Retain Your Key Employees featured image

When leaders within the workplace are trained in retention and motivation best practices, the benefits can add up quickly.

A manager converses with an employee.

Workplace leaders can learn to motivate their coworkers more effectively.

Great leadership does not come from a singular competency. There are many aspects of a leaders’s knowledge and approach that can make them a more effective, versatile and overall valuable manager. By investing in training courses specifically aimed at imparting leadership abilities — such as employee retention and motivation — you can boost the performance of the team leaders within the workplace and reap the overall benefits.
Motivation and retention are great concepts to focus on first because they are so fundamental to operating an effective company. When your organization’s leadership personnel are able to inspire the highest-performing employees to give 100% and remain with your organization for the long term, there are numerous advantages.
The cost of replacing a key worker is significant, with the job search taking resources and the lost productivity further damaging your business. Having a strong core group of managers who can retain and motivate the people who report to them is a way to negate these costs. Therefore, an investment in leadership training with a retention focus can have a relatively quick and direct return. But what will leaders learn in these courses?

Understanding and Harnessing Different Kinds of Motivation

Management personnel may benefit from educational programs that break down engagement and motivation on a philosophical level. Rather than just following a few examples of how to create more motivated employees, leaders who study the concepts behind engagement can understand why people do what they do, and use that knowledge to conduct themselves more effectively. Employees in these courses will learn that there are two kinds of motivation, each affecting the way employees regard their employers.
The Houston Chronicle’s Small Business blog broke down the differences between the varieties of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive to succeed. Leaders who help employees create personalized career paths and demonstrate the direct results of each individual’s contributions to the company are playing on these intrinsic priorities, developing a desire for success and boosting engagement that was already present.
Extrinsic motivation consists of the outside factors that make employees happy to work for a particular leader or company. This includes rewards and benefits beyond a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. Leaders who know how and when to promote workers and increase their responsibilities are giving them extrinsic motivation. Improvements to work tools and direct efforts to make the company more competitive in the marketplace can also be extrinsic motivating factors — the Houston Chronicle noted that when workers are confident in the success of the company they work for, it’s easier for them to engage with the business’s mission.

An employee points something out to a colleague.What makes motivation programs work well in the office?

Empowering Employees Across Generational Lines

In addition to thinking about the psychological reasons behind engagement and motivation, leaders can consider how employees’ age may impact the way they react to retention programs. The general wants and needs of workers may differ widely depending on when those individuals entered the workplace and the conditions they have become used to in their careers. How do the interests of a 25-year-old who has always existed in a digital world compare with the guiding principles of someone in their 60s, and what should leaders do to unite a team with such disparate members?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, each generation of professionals is more likely to respond to certain types of motivating factors. Similarities between the groups often come with some nuance. For instance, while baby boomers and members of Generation X are united by their happiness to receive tangible rewards for exemplary performance, the preferred form of those bonuses may differ. Gen X employees are especially motivated by bonuses and stock. When it comes to non-monetary recognition, older employees may like peer recognition and retirement planning options, while younger workers might prefer flexibility in work schedules.
Millennial workers are making up a greater portion of the workforce than ever before, with Generation Z following close behind. SHRM pointed out there are differences between these rising groups, with Gen Z’s focus on multitasking and technology investment being even greater than those of Gen Y. Gen Z workers may respond better to  praise and support verbally and in person, while millennials might be happier with informal recognition through channels such as chat networks. Leaders may find monetary rewards motivate Gen Z workers less than their older peers.

Learning to Be a Persuasive Leader

When you commit to formalized management training for your team leaders, you can ensure these professionals are creating engagement and retention programs that reflect research rather than conjecture.
Having such well-informed and trained managers may convey benefits to the organization at large, as the value-generating employees working under them stay with the company longer and give maximum effort, inspired by rewards and recognition that suit their needs. While retention is just one aspect of leadership, it’s an important one.

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