Some employees are hard working but the fact of the matter is, everyone has the same potential to be a driven member of the workforce. Be it the most diligent or the laziest of the personnel, everyone could be an excellent employee. It just all boils down to motivation. Second only to salary—and not counting personal passion in the equation—motivation is what keeps an employee working as his best and, incidentally, also keeps him loyal to the company.
All things considered—degree in Psychology or Human Resource Management, trainings, personal experiences, and what have you—here are four helpful tips for the HR in the making to ably motivate his co-workers.
As it stands, although you are working directly for the benefit of your fellows and not your clients, it is important that you establish authority on your specialization. No, you shall not assert that you are of higher standing than they are—this is an illusory trap. You have to establish authority by showing how well you handle their queries. This means that you need to be both learned in the academic intricacies of management such as Labor Laws, Payroll handling, etc., and display the readiness for any and all socio-psychological interactions.
Remember that, aside from their direct manager and co-employees, you are their go-to “friend”. You are the Guidance Counselor of the working class. Employees will respect you as much as a good friend would only if you let them actually be your friend which consequentially means that you need to…
Of course, it will not be all the time that you have the answers. Employees with inquiries regarding salary adjustment, loans, absences; they all fall under the category of easy inquiries. They have textbook answers. Again, as the working class guidance counselor, employees may come to you with family problems, money matters, and emotional dilemmas to name a few—you can’t always be the one to give light to their problems. You can however be the one to be there and just listen. Most people, especially males, all need for just someone to hear them out and know that they will not be judged for what they say and that they can say their thoughts in confidence.
Given that you are there to listen, you also have to…
If you are going to be there for an employee, be there with your all. Be there for real. Remember how we said you don’t have to be there to give them solutions to their personal problems? That’s you being genuine. In the same light, you don’t even have to agree with them too. This is easier said than done especially if the query involves administrative matters.
The danger lies when employees come to you with personal dilemmas and are looking for a friend for advice. You either come to them as Human Resource personnel or as a friend. The trick lies in knowing which one.
Emphasize on the Importance of their Work
One of the greatest banes of work is being a cog in the wheel. Ever since the industrial revolution, there has been a dilemma with the dignity of work. As with Man’s Alienation, take a cobbler and a couple of factory workers. A cobbler makes shoes and sells them with the dignity of calling them “his creations.” The workers on the production line make a shoes with one putting together the body, gluing on the sole—basically a whole line of people assembling shoes with nothing to show for it as they can’t call any one shoe as “his creation.”
I know that even as an HR, you also know how dispensable an employee can be, but this is flawed thinking. Always remember to elevate the dignity of worker no matter what part he plays on the process. Look more on what he is giving to the team as a person than as a process, and give positive feedback from that. Make them feel needed by their fellow employees, by the management, and by the company as a whole.