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Chats of gratitude and anonymous helpers: how to prevent burnout of employees

Traditionally, the main lever of influence on employees is material motivation. But many leaders have already realized that encouraging workers to raise wages does not bring the desired result. Much more effective are non-material methods, maintaining a vivid interest in the work and personal interest as a result.

Ruslan Gafarov, creator of the MalikSpace brand, tells how to properly motivate employees to avoid professional burnout.

Why can not money be the only motivation?

Financial well-being is one of the main goals of every person. But he needs funds not by themselves, but for specific needs, to satisfy which he will become happy. No one needs money for money, and this creates a certain “ceiling”, to which the employee can be motivated solely by earnings.

Underpaying staff is as bad as overpaying: in the first case, he will feel a constant dissatisfaction and inferiority, and in the second – lose the desire to work, because and so will have everything you can wish for.

Ideally, an employee should receive exactly as much as he invests. Many progressive Western companies realize a certain amount of their shares to the staff – in some of them, employees account for up to 20%. About this told us in April 2018 at a meeting in the startup Jetlore one of the founders of the company.

Knowing that the company’s profit is also its own profit, a person receives an additional incentive for effective work. Nevertheless, even the most responsible workers “burn out” over time – they are visited by thoughts about the uselessness of their work and that they are only cogs in a huge production machine. Therefore, only material wealth can not be a full-fledged motivation.

A motivating atmosphere: how does it work?

Every employee, regardless of the work that he performs, should be aware of their value to the company. This situation has two sides: first, the employee must develop, reach new heights and fix it, and secondly, from his direct leadership, he must receive confirmation that his work is important, and development is noted and appreciated.

It is important that not only professional, but also personal achievements of a person are encouraged.

If you perceive motivation as a certain list of activities, it will work poorly and spur only from case to case. It is much more effective to fill the daily professional life of an employee with motivating elements that are inextricably linked with his daily activities. There are several mechanisms that allow this to be achieved.

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1. Knowledge bases

Interactive knowledge bases implemented in the form of corporate chats or accessible to employees of disks. But this is not only an opportunity to keep abreast of all innovations and have access to relevant information. Bases are replenished by the workers themselves. To do this, they need to analyze their experience, formalize it in the form of an instruction or description and place it in the database. During this process, the employee:

Has the opportunity to assess your own experience

  • Increases the level of competence – moves from the role of the performer to the instructor

  • Gets a good motivation, because it has a real opportunity to make sure the demand for personal work.

    This was successfully implemented by SalesForce, the developer of the cloud-based database management system. They use a common database for exchanging information, increasing the level of competence of employees and efficient and quick learning newcomers. We learned about this from the employees of the company, whom they met at the SVOD conference in May 2017.

    2. Thanksgiving

    The ability to publicly express gratitude for help or advice is a great motivating tool. If you use corporate chat for these purposes, the entire team will know about the employee’s achievements and abilities.

    This allows workers to quickly raise self-esteem and gain recognition even among those with whom they do not interact directly.

    Such a mechanism is actively used in our company. Her managers, based on feedback, chat messages and forums, are given the opportunity to identify employees who have the potential for growth. Every year, the award ceremony of the top three, received the most “thanks”. Prizes for them are cards in fitness centers, trips to a restaurant, trips to rest and so on.

    3. “Team within the team”

    Secret Order, private team, anonymous assistants – this undertaking has many names, but behind all of them lies one mechanism. The leader’s influence alone is not enough to encourage enthusiasm among employees every day. These functions are partially entrusted to informal leaders.

    Their task is to inspire, guide, support, provide the necessary help, adjust the atmosphere in the team, but do it implicitly and do not focus on yourself.

    For example, Facebook has an anonymous Red Team (Red Team), whose tasks include supervising employees, making remarks in cases of improper conduct, directing activities in the right direction. We learned about this at a master class organized by the Nasdaq business center in April 2018.

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    4. Meetings and corporate clubs

    Personal, team and general meetings contribute to establishing contacts and a favorable atmosphere in general.

    Meetings with the curator, at which the employee has the opportunity to discuss any of his problems, can create the most effective conditions for his work. This will allow organizing the activities of each person so that he can bring the company maximum benefit. And the employee will be sure that for his employers he is a real figure, whose thoughts and feelings are as important as his effectiveness.

    Intra-corporate clubs on interests work on personal convergence of people from various divisions, and good relations for fruitful work are important not less, than competence and experience. Corporate events are also aimed at the same – holidays, trips, quests.

    For example, Zappos for Christmas ordered and brought 10 waggons of snow to the state of Nevada, in which even frost does not happen. This original gift was intended for the children of employees, for whom management organized a holiday. This information was shared by Zappos employees during our visit to this company in December 2017.

    The company is well aware that due to the high workload, many employees do not see their children sometimes for several months, but the family is the main support of each person. Therefore, Zappos does not spare money to maintain a harmonious atmosphere in the families of its employees and help them to solve current problems in a timely manner.

    5. Leader’s work

    The ideological kinship of the team is of great importance for motivation, and an important role here is given to the leader. Vertical systems are more vulnerable in this respect, since the CEO and the rank-and-file employee are very far on the hierarchical ladder, it is difficult for them to interact and communicate their ideas and thoughts to each other.

    In horizontal systems that operate in a transparent and open way, direct contact between the leader and employees is not only the norm, but also the rule.

    This allows you to maintain the spirit and keep employees informed of the current trends of the company. Each employee has the opportunity to compare the organization’s goals with his own and adjust his personal development plan.

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    One of the most vivid examples of the implementation of this mechanism is the international company Uber. Its staff uses the Zoom group program for online conferences, where once a year the CEO introduces employees to the company’s goals. In addition, each employee has the opportunity to openly or anonymously ask any question of interest to him. There is also software, which describes the longer-term goals of the company – for 5 and 10 years. We learned about this during the Mitap organized by the GVA capital fund at the headquarters of the company in San Francisco.

    Using this, the staff has the opportunity to make personal plans, which describes what goals the company wants to achieve, how it will do it and what skills and abilities it should develop for this.

    6. Work on yourself

    Often a good motivation is self-analysis and comparison of results. For example, each employee puts his daily plans into the general chat daily, and in the evening sums up the work done and analyzes what experience and knowledge he lacks, and how he can get them.

    This allows:

    Have a real picture of the effectiveness of its activities

  • Make a clear plan for working on your own professional skills;

  • Be aware of what’s happening with colleagues and provide them with the necessary assistance

    Involvement in the processes of the company and understanding how you can influence the improvement of the result has a tremendous motivating influence on the employee.

    At Apple, each employee must set goals for the next year. For this, at the end of each year, he completes the corporate questionnaire. Its content is a corporate secret. However, the high results of the company make it possible to judge that its methods of motivation are extremely effective. This information was provided to us at the IoT conference in Silicon Valley at Levies Stadium.

    Modern companies are increasingly coming to use non-standard incentive methods, because they realize their effectiveness. But real results can be achieved only if you make motivation a natural part of every employee’s work activity.

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