Let’s Do This: Work Place Motivation

I enjoy slogans. Let’s do this, just like the taglines of the world’s most beloved brands, inspires movement and activity. Don’t believe me? Take a look:

AppleWhat will your verse be?     Kaiser PermanenteThrive

NikeJust Do It     Bank of AmericaLife’s Better When We’re Connected

StaplesMake More Happen     FordGo Further

I want to ask you a personal question: What is your workplace motivation? Is it the promise of a reward? Is it security? Is it the annual Holiday Party or Company Travel Program? If we do not like our jobs or do not feel like we are appreciated, it is easy to become disgruntled. We have all been at a point where we believe “we deserve more” or “we deserve better”. We complain, we cause dissention, we become complacent, we affect the attitudes of our peers and our job performance declines. One bad apple slowly causes the entire tree to rot.

Why does it seem like the incentives our employers offer to us for our work are never enough? Our health benefits, our 401k accounts, the potlucks, the parties, the travel programs, and a number of other motivators are provided to boost morale and to create loyalty, and we still complain, cause dissention, and provide less than satisfactory output. We sometimes focus all day on how a company can better motivate its employees, but I believe that motivation is a team effort where employee and employer give 100%, and unless an employee first takes ownership of his or her job and success, rewards and benefits are going to fall short. Look back up at the company taglines again. What will push you to change your workplace outlook?

I am no brown-noser, but I feel incredibly lucky that I enjoy my job at JNR. Why do I like my job? I get to travel vicariously through the programs I help to develop! That in and of itself is rewarding. How do I motivate myself to do my best job?

1)    I am grateful for my job. Not everyone is fortunate to have a job, and I try never to take this for granted.

2)    Utilizing tools from a time management course I took when I first started, I prioritize my day. This allows me to feel in control of the tasks that I complete, and I feel less anxious and overwhelmed.

3)    Have Fun. I enjoy working with all of my colleagues, and I enjoy investing in their lives.

It is important to know what motivates you. Have you honestly ever sat down and thought about why you work? I encourage you to do so because it will help you better understand how workplace motivation succeeds or fails.

Employer: how will you better motivate your staff? Will it be a reward card program, a keynote speaker, headline entertainment, an “iChoose” merchandise and travel concierge program, or a luxury travel program? When you’re ready to move forward with your program of choice, call us first! Just look at our website. With over 34 years of experience in travel and recognition incentives, we have the tools behind us to create an unforgettable experience that will truly WOW! your participants.

I will close with how Let’s Do This came to be:  Once upon a time, my husband was an avid gamer, and anyone who knows MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) recognizes the name Leeroy Jenkins. He even has his own YouTube video. Check it out. And no, this is not an advertisement for World of Warcraft. In the video, Leeroy Jenkins is preparing to invade enemy territory. While on comm with several other players, “Leeroy’s” voice is heard over the channel shouting, “Let’s do this…Leeroy Jenkins”. Then with gusto and passion, Leeroy enters enemy territory and begins to fight.

I am sad to have to say that Leeroy and his teammates fail miserably at their task, and his YouTube video became a world-wide spoof of what not to do. “Leeroy” had all the passion and gusto to go in solo, but he didn’t work together with his team to get the job done. However, I can guarantee you that Leeroy did not quit playing World of Warcraft from his one failure, nor did his teammates quit playing the game with him. They both worked together to get through the task and move on to the next. It took both parties to be successful.

The bottom line? You can change your workplace. Let’s Do This.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Katharine Heinz

Katharine Heinz has been with JNR for nine years, first as a Desktop Publisher and now as a Business Administrator, Travel Planning. When she is not researching the next hot destination or hotel, she can be found at home enjoying her family.

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Four Ways to Motivate Employees (According to a Behavioral Psychologist)

The best leaders in the world are the ones most adept at motivating their employees to perform to the fullest extent of their abilities. Increased productivity, improved sales, reduced waste and optimized efficiency are all byproducts of a strong leadership group.

If you ask an employee what would inspire them to work harder and more diligently, their response would likely be something like “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” Offering a monetary raise and cash bonus is not always the most effective or possible solution for your company however. Strong coaching and even noncash incentives (like trips, merchandise or awards) can yield a greater return on investment, and therefore be a more effective use of resources.

Since writing a check is not always the appropriate solution for motivating employees, Susan Weinschenk (“The Brain Lady”) of Weinschenk Institute, LLC, a professional with a Ph.D in Psychology and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral psychologist decided to use her vast knowledge of the human brain to learn more about what really motivates people. She summarized her years of research and analysis into a simple and easily digestible guide titled “Four Ways to Motivate Employees.”

1. Give People Autonomy

Granting your employees autonomy, the ability to have freedom over their actions, is an excellent way to stimulate their desire to master a subject. It is logical that people who have control over their actions will strive to master their craft. Allowing employees to be independent goes hand in hand with increasing their autonomy and therefore makes them more productive. On the converse, people who feel that they have little to no control or autonomy will become apathetic and lose their desire to master a task.

2. Connect People as Part of a Team

If your team feels connected, they tend to be more motivated to work together. Gregory Walton, a professor at Stanford, studied the feelings associated with belonging to a group and its effect on behavior. In one study, he discovered a higher level of inspiration present when college students believed they shared a birthday with another student in the group. Even minimal connections with others, like a common day of birth, can lead to an increase in drive and pursuit of goals.

3. Know When to Reward

It is widely accepted that rewards are powerful tools for reinforcing desired behaviors. When and how often to administer these rewards may be the more important decision here. To establish a new behavior, Weinschenk recommends rewarding every time a preferred action is carried out. For example, an employer issues a popular retail gift card every time an employee reports a safety issue on a new form.

After the advocated behavior has been established, adjustment to the reward schedule is necessary. B.F. Skinner researched reward schedules in the 1950s and the findings are still relevant today. Skinner found that varying the reward schedule was the only way to sustain a desired behavior in the long run. Now that gift card is only awarded after three safety issues are reported, then after five and finally, after seven safety reports.. This variation of the reinforcement schedule allows the motivation level to remain high but prevents predictability. Lower incentive costs will also result due to the fact that fewer rewards are needed.

The type of reward and value further enforce behaviors. Rewards with monetary value can include: gift cards, merchandise, awards and travel. Non-financial incentives might include leaving work early, comp days and public recognition from management.

4. Give Appropriate Feedback

Praise can be used as a reward to sustain desired behavior, but will not always lead to a desire for mastery. Giving feedback without praise is a more appropriate way to promote this quest to be the best within an individual. Feedback can be largely positive, but should also pinpoint areas where improvement is needed. Logically an individual who is praised without constructive criticism may assume they do not need to improve.

Weinschenk took 30 years of learnings in behavioral psychology and identified knowing when to reward as one of the four most important ways to motivate employees. At JNR, we have dedicated our own 30 years to mastering the keys to employee motivation. This has resulted in a keen expertise of understanding the appropriate times to reward, type of rewards to utilize, ways to communicate reward programs and most cost-effective ways to administer rewards. Incentives utilized by JNR include: travel, reward cards and merchandise. Whether you are looking for the appropriate reward to reinforce small behaviors such as cleaning up the company kitchen or large endeavors like reaching multi-million dollar sales targets, we have the tools to ensure that all of your employees desire mastery of their craft.

Check out “8 Steps to Effectively Implement Employee Incentive Programs” here or send us an email at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com today if you have any questions.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin