In the era of Covid-19, employers in Ghana need to find innovative ways of motivating their employees at the workplace which could lead to improve performance of the department and even the organization. Motivating your employees needs to be a regular routine irrespective of the presence of Covid-19.
Currently, in Ghana there are organizations that have simply closed down operations and others have reduced the number of employees. This clearly shows a lack of understanding of the importance of employee motivation that can help the organization improve on performance.
Research shows that many companies in Ghana have disengaged employees with low motivation; only 42% of employees are engaged at work with the majority staying at home. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 270 million works in the world will be unemployed as a result of Covid-19.
In this article, we look into why employee motivation is important in any business or company and proffer suggestions to improve the motivation process in the midst of Covid-19.
There are several factors why employee motivation is relevant in the management of an organization. The first critical underlying factor for encouraging motivation is that it allows management to meet the company’s goals as a result of increasing motivation of employees.
Without a motivated workplace, companies could be placed in a very risky position. Motivated employees can lead to increased productivity and allow an organisation to achieve higher levels of output especially in the era of Covid-19.
Imagine having an employee who is not motivated at work. They will probably use the time at their desk surfing the internet for personal pleasure or even looking for another job as a result of job insecurity in the era of Covid-19. This is a waste of your time and resources. Note that this is based on one employee.
Try picturing the majority of your employees doing the same thing. This is not a position anybody wants to be in. That is why in the midst of Covid-19, it is important that organizations find ways of motivating their employees to improve performance.
Steps to improve Employee Motivation
In the era of Covid-19, one of the critical steps that management can take to improve employee motivation is effective communication. Many managers in Ghana during Covid-19 just sent emails to staff in directing the company’s policies. But management should not only rely on emails but by making sure they talk to their employees in person and even on a personal level, if possible, to discuss issues with them.
Try setting aside some time each day to talk with employees or you can join them during coffee breaks instead of sitting at your desk. By doing so, you actually make employees feel as though you are part of the team; a leader instead of just the boss.
Experts agree that team communication is super valuable. Employees also want to see the company that they are working for the success of the organization. Many have excellent ideas, ranging from money saving to operational improvements. Management must make an effort to take some time to ask and listen to suggestions. Nothing is more worthwhile than feeling valued.
The second step is for management to value individual contributions in the organization. Management should ensure their employees know how their individual efforts and contribution plays an important part in the company’s overall goals and direction.
Employees will take pride and be engaged in their work if they are aware of how their efforts create an impact on the organisation; regardless of how big or small, their contributions are. Management does not have to reward their employees with gifts every single time they did a good job at a task. At times, a simple “Thank You” or “Great job” will suffice. These meaningful words acknowledge effort, build loyalty and encourage people to work even harder.
The third step is for management to create a positive working environment. Sometimes, the employees lack motivation because their workplace does not have a positive work environment. To fix this, management could send out surveys and get feedback from employees in order to solve the issues that they may face. Management could also post a positive quote or picture by the copier, coffee machine or somewhere else that is visible and that receives high foot traffic so that others can see. Flora and fauna also help create a serene workplace environment for your employees, so why not add a couple of plants around the office. Management could also find creative ways in which to consistently keep their employees motivated as much as possible.
A positive workplace is the basic element that will get your company to the top. We understand that it may be time consuming and difficult to encourage employee motivation at the workplace.
However, in order to achieve a high level of employee productivity, management needs to encourage a positive workplace environment. Ensure that your employees feel that their work and efforts is an important contribution to the company’s success. Remember to always keep an ‘open-door’ policy and have an approachable management team.
Paul Danquah is a Senior Consultant at Gimpa Consultancy and Innovation Directorate (GCID).