Managing Employees

Putting Motivation into Practice within the Small Enterprise

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

Different theories of motivation have been posited by various scholars. What theories will actually work well in the real world of your comapny?

Motivation theories have a great role to play in any business organization but in practice the effort must be initiated from the top i.e. by the entrepreneurial owner/manager. It is he or she that must start putting motivation into practice within the organization.

The following activities are required of any entrepreneur who wants to start putting motivation into practice within the organization:

  • Understanding the employees wants and needs – It may be impossible to get acquainted with all the employees on a really informed level. The least you could do in this case is to make an honest effort to at least show that you recognize them.
  • Setting realistic and achievable goals that will challenge the employees – To start putting motivation into practice within the organization you need to get the employees more involved in setting their own goals and targets. Further, you need to pass on more responsibilities to them in as far as work planning and new innovation processes are concerned.
  • Providing support – While the employer will be right to grant employees the opportunity to achieve their set goals and targets, it would be counterproductive to let the employees feel isolated or unsupported. The employer should ensure that the requisite support is provided and that this is befitting for the task at hand and the person responsible for getting it done.
  • Monitoring outcomes – Part of putting motivation into practice within the organization has to do with ensuring that the employees are held accountable for the achievement of their set goals and targets. The employer should further make the control information available to the employees such that they can be able to gauge their own performances.
  • Rewarding performance – There are different types of rewards, in addition to money, that can be given to employees who have performed exceptionally. In putting motivation into practice within the organization, the employer should always ensure that the rewards given are reflective of the effort that had been inputted by the employee. Further, these rewards shouldn't be devalued through inappropriate or too frequent awards.
  • Have a transparent reward system – As a continuation of the above point, the reward system should be clearly defined to all employees i.e. they should know what to expect for the achievement of designated efforts. Providing such criteria and adhering to it unwaveringly will no doubt reinforce motivation within the workforce.
  • Sanctioning should be cautiously approached – In putting motivation into practice within the organization the employer should cautiously approach any situations that require sanctions on employee(s). Prior to placing sanctions, if necessary, the employer is well advised to investigate what the cause of the underperformance was and try to develop solutions to remedy and improve the situation.

Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.

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