Keeping Employees Motivated: The Manager’s Role

In site of Cental Test 2011

Keeping Employees Motivated: The Manager’s Role

As burnout and stress levels rise in today’s corporate world, it is crucial for managers to keep employees motivated. Nurturing this motivation becomes even more important when promoting employee loyalty among Generation Y staff. Compared to their older counterparts, these workers have a greater need for purpose.

Despite the increased stress and burnout rate, 80% of French workers find their roles at work to be interesting. Ipsos and Logica Business Consulting measured employee morale in February 2011.The study found that 41% of workers find their jobs motivating and 30% find their work satisfying. However work is also a synonym for stress for 35% of the polled workers and a source of worry for 25% of them. Employees also stated that they are losing motivation as they are getting worse at handling stressful situations.

Managers Must Re-energize Their Teams

To effectively motivate their teams, managers must first be aware of the key elements of employee motivation. « Motivation is an excessively complex phenomenon and it differs from one person to the next, » says Roland De Saint Etienne, professor at EPP and Central Test coach and consultant. « Even though there are methods to build motivation, in my experience, no approach is 100% effective. » However it is possible to create favorable conditions that help bring out a person’s drive.

Managers Play A Key Role

 »In the past, there were just employees and managers. Now there are employees, managers-and the executive committee, » says Roland De Saint Etienne. « Managers, more than ever, have to act as intermediaries and keep everyone connected. »
To fulfill this role and create a setting that is conducive to keeping motivation high, managers must successfully understand and integrate the following three concepts :

1. Employees Are Motivated For Different Reasons
Managers must acknowledge each person’s expectations, preoccupations and needs. « Everyone is fueled differently and has different motivations. Some people are eager to learn new things whereas others may seek more autonomy, » says De Saint Etienne. This requires excellent observation and listening skills. Additionally, « managers can also use personality assessments, such as the ones published by Central Test, » he says. « This enables managers to identify and gauge the different motivational levers. » However, these assessments are only truly beneficial in the context that results are shared and initiate discussion

2. Employees Can Be Trusted
Managers must also accept the risks when they initiate a group project in which each person expresses him or herself based on individual motivation. « If the manager leverages employee motivation and assigns the appropriate projects, the team which was discouraged by poor sales or an economic downturn will get back on track soon enough, » says De Saint Etienne.

3. Employees Need To Feel A Sense Of Purpose
Managers must also display model leadership behavior and skills. « This implies that managers should be demanding, but should also be able to show recognition, » says De Saint Etienne. « This is a delicate issue for many French managers. » Managers must ensure that objectives are understood and that everyone feels as though they are part of the team. De Saint Etienne also thinks that managers need to encourage face-to-face meetings at work. Finally, they must behave in a way that builds trust; this will lead to more genuinely motivated employees who in turn become enthusiastic about their roles. « Building motivation is neither a luxury, nor a fad, » says De Saint Etienne. 
 »Enthusiasm is motivation with heart and soul added to it; it’s the type of energy that is born from an inner trigger and that leads to action. This idea is worth exploring further in the corporate world! »

About the author:
Roland De Saint Etienne is a psychology professor at the Ecole de Psychologues Practiciens (EPP) where he also supervises research. Besides, he is a coach and psychological consultant for Central Test. He will be giving a seminar on September 26 and 27 at Sciences-Po Formation in Paris about encouraging enthusiasm at work and increasing effectiveness.

le lien sur le site de Central Test