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Employee motivation is key to achieving company goals, mission, integration of core values, productivity and the overall health of an organization. Twyla Dell writes of motivating employees: “The heart of motivation is to give people what they really want most from work. The more you are able to provide what they want, the more you should expect what you really want, namely: productivity, quality and service.” (An Honest Day’s Work (1988)).

Advantages of employee motivation include:
1. Achievement of goals
2. increasing positive perspectives
3. creating the power to change
4. building self-esteem and capability
5. employees manage their own development and help coworkers with theirs
6. increases productivity

Here are 5 ways to foster employee motivation:
1. Provide the opportunity for employees to develop their skills and abilities: employees want to continue to learn and develop new skills. Most do not want mundane, no-brain work.
2. Employees gain a lot of motivation from the nature of and the work itself: Expand the job to include new, higher level responsibilities. Assign responsibilities to the employee that will help him or her grow their skills and knowledge. Stretch assignments to increase contributions to their company.
3. Elicit and address employee concerns and complaints before they make an employee or workplace dysfunctional: Listening to employee complaints and keeping the employee informed about how you are addressing the complaint are critical to producing a motivating work environment.
4. Recognition of employee performance is high on the list of employee needs for motivation: Many supervisors equate reward and recognition with monetary gifts. While employees appreciate money, the also appreciate praise, a verbal or written thank you, out-of-the-ordinary job content opportunities, and attention from their supervisor.
5. Employees appreciate a responsive and involved relationship with their immediate supervisor: Talk daily with each employee who reports to you. Encourage the employee who brings ideas or improvements. The supervisor’s relationship to reporting staff is said to be one of the single most important factors in employee retention. Ensure you provide a work environment for employee motivation.

Sources: About.com Human Resources, Basics About Employee Motivation

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