Gallup has estimated that actively disengaged employees cost the US up to $550bn in lost productivity per year – and the figures for the UK are probably not too far off. According to cognitive neuroscientist and business psychologist Lynda Shaw, however, there are two important types of motivators at an employer’s disposal.The first is internal motivation which is to do with pride, work ethic and a passion for the work itself. Shaw said: “This type of motivation comes from within ourselves and pushes us to always do the best we can. Intrinsic motivation often stems from curiosity and something we enjoy. It enables self-development which on the surface seems selfish, but is in actual fact the way we develop a broad range of transferable skills to overcome different types of challenges.” The second type is external motivation, which includes rewards such as money, a nice office and promotions. Research done by McKinsey & Company found that for people with satisfactory salaries, some non-financial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement. Shaw said: “We know for example that praise from managers, attention from our leaders, and our opinions and our ideas being heard can be as effective or even more effective than the short term boost of pay rises, bonuses or shares in the company. Treating our employees with dignity and respect seems to outweigh giving them cash in hand to motivate them.” Read more about motivating employees:
- Show me the money: What role finance should play in employee motivation
- Why did you get out of bed for work his morning?
- All work and no pay makes for an unmotivated team
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