January is a notoriously difficult month for people in all walks of life. Long, dark days, cold weather and a lack of finances following Christmas excess all take their toll on workers across all industries, making the first month of the year a tough one to conquer. In business, January is often the least productive month of the year. Workloads take time to build up again after the winter break and many employees just can’t find the energy to start new projects or drive existing plans forward.
The only way to counter this New Year malaise is to get motivated. With a little concerted effort from managers and a helping hand from those at the top, most employees should be able to find the extra energy they need to knuckle down and get 2018 off on the right foot. To help bosses everywhere to get their workforce back on track, we’re taking a look at easy and effective motivational techniques that will boost productivity and improve office morale in no time.
Herzberg’s theory of motivation
Frederick Herzberg was an American psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management in the 20th century. Known for his two-factor theory of motivation, his book ‘One more time, how do you motivate employees?’ sold more than 1.2 million copies when it was published in 1968. Although his ideas may now be half a century old, they still hold true and managers looking to inspire employees and boost productivity in the winter months would do well to take heed.
Herzberg believed that motivation was influenced by factors that fell into two broad categories: motivators, and hygiene. Motivating factors were those that actively encouraged a better rate of work and that gave employees the energy and the drive to put more effort into their role. Without motivators employees would struggle to put 110% into their work.
Hygiene factors, on the other hand, wouldn’t necessarily motivate workers to be more productive simply by being present. However their absence could demotivate workers and reduce productivity. Ensuring the presences of both hygiene factors and motivators therefore is crucial if managers want to get the very best out of their workforce.
There are a number of motivators that Herzberg identified in his theory. Chief among them was the belief that by giving workers increased responsibility, meaningful and fulfilling work and increased autonomy it would improve motivation levels. He also encouraged managers to reward achievement and recognise hard work among their employees.
In Herzberg’s theory, hygiene factors are basic provisions that can demotivate a workforce by their absence. These include adequate pay, good working conditions and fair and appropriate supervision. Although the presences of these important factors won’t necessarily motivate a workforce, their absence will significantly hinder productivity and sap employee morale in the process.
A two-pronged approach
Managers looking to boost motivation this January should therefore take a two-pronged approach if they want to improve productivity for good. Looking at both motivating factors and hygiene factors will help company bosses to provide the best conditions possible for their workers and increase motivation levels across the board.
If you’d like to find out more about boosting motivation and improving the quality of your workforce, explore the information on our site or get in touch with a member of our team.