Archive for Consumer Behavior

Relationship Marketing – Company and Marketing Perspective

Posted in Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
We are living in the high tech times. Technology and changing economy have changed the rules the way a business is done. Business organizations have to tune in to various markets and know the customers well. The successful companies are those who have been able to anticipate the customer need and innovate future products leveraging on technology. In a global as well as local scenario, customer holds the key to the growth of business and organizations. No wonder that when you open your mail box or your email, you are always flooded with marketing communication from all possible companies trying to build a relationship with you. Take a look at the cards in your wallet and you must be holding quite a few membership cards that make you feel privileged and keeping bringing rewards and prompting you to extend your relationship with them.

Relationship Marketing has never been more important for the Organizations as it has been now. In the field where competition is intense and life cycle of products and services is very small, customer relationship has emerged to be one of the key drivers to contribute a large chunk of sales revenue. When we talk of relationship marketing, we are not referring to customer service. Customer service refers to the quality of service on a transactional mode. By Relationship Marketing, we are referring to the level of Relationship that exists between the customer and the company.

In terms of Relationship, there can be several ways of defining or measuring the quality of relationship with the Customer. Understanding of the depth of relationship and qualifying can help the Company in improving its reach to the markets as well as work towards increasing the depth of the relationship with the customer. In the first instance, we have a happy customer who has bought the product or a service and found it satisfactory.

When the Company reaches out to communicate with him and anticipate his future needs, he can be converted to a faithful customer. A faithful customer may be a repeat customer who does continues to buy the product from the company on repeat basis without making an effort to look at alternatives. However, at this stage the customer can be influenced and be vulnerable to competition as well as price sensitivity. Relationship marketing by the Company can help convert this customer from a faithful customer to a loyal customer. A loyal customer is one who has made an informed decision to go with the particular Company, is happy with the product, is loyal to the brand and is likely to advocate the same brand to friends and family because he believes in the Product as well as the Company and values the relationship. Apart from customer service, there are several marketing programmes and loyalty programmes besides brand advertising that the Companies carry out to build the relationship with the customer.

Relationship marketing gets translated and implemented through the marketing strategies, promotional programs as well as through marketing communication programs. When implemented as a part of marketing strategy, the relationship is normally focussed on leveraging the brands and products of the Company with the customer. Besides the marketing activities, the Companies implement internal and external corporate communications too keeping in view the Customers.

Marketing strategies are required to define the relationship marketing strategies for each of the product or service category taking into account the geographies, the customer profile as well as the overall RM objective of the Company. The RM strategy in case of a product company would be different from that of a service company and the element of communication design strategy would need to be different for a product from that of a service. In case of a product, the Customer is likely to respond in terms of brand, tangible and quantifiable performance of the product and the satisfaction derived from post sales service. In case of service, however, there is no tangible product and the customer’s expectations are different when it comes to service that is mainly concentrated around his perceptions and experience.

Therefore understanding the concept of Relationship marketing, the difference between RM and Customer Service as well as the ways and means of implementing or achieving RM objectives through effective marketing strategies is important for all the marketing managers and students who are going to be the drivers to defining, planning, detailing and implementing marketing strategies. An effective Marketing Manager should be able to effectively design marketing policies and strategies that are aligned with the Company’s RM objective and help build the relationship between the Company and Customer, Partners as well as the intermediaries who are critical to one’s business.

Decision Making – Meaning and Important Concepts

Posted in Management with tags , , on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
Every organization needs to make decisions at one point or other as part of managerial process. Decisions are made in the best interest of the organization. For that matter, decisions made by the organization are to lighten the way forward. Be it strategic, business activities or HR matters, processes of making decisions is complex, involves professionals of different genre. While small organization involves all levels of managers, complex organizations largely depend on a team of professionals specially trained to make all sorts of decisions. But remember, such a body alone cannot come out with final decisions. Here, the point is, decision making process is cumulative and consultative process. The process, on the whole, bears its pros and cons and would by and large emanate results and consequences in the organizations’ overall growth and prospects.

Decisions are taken to support organizational growth. The whole fabric of management, i.e. its day to day operation is rightly built on managerial decisions. Top notch companies, as evidenced by their functions, effective communication tools are utilized in addition to normal consultation process to make decisions that would have large scale implications on the company’s prospects.

Discussions and consultations are two main tools that support and eventually bring out decisions. For instance to take a decision on how to embark on new business activity suggested by strategic management team must have developed through series of consultative process, which is now available with implementation team. Here we see the cumulative effect of decision taken at one point by a different body of affairs. Decision taken by strategic managers is to push new and innovative business line or initiative. At this point the decision taken by such team becomes consultative point for discussion for implementation professionals. There is lot to debate, research and finalize. Is the new proposal viable ? Is it innovative enough ? Can there be growth stimulant in the strategies proposed ? Handle-ful of such questions evolved from the decision taken by strategic group has reflective influence on the next level of managerial consultations and meetings. Let us accept, at this point of discussion, that proposals submitted by business development team would largely depend on another set of deliberations in the board room.

Thus, the final decision to roll out a product or service is through cumulative interim decisions taken by various internal and external parties. And also the final decision is reflective and founded on researches and consultations. Whole process is a chain affair where one decision taken at one point and at one level shall have far reaching implications in the way an organization moves forward.

As a matter of fact, capable of taking critical decisions is one of the many attributes that every manager should have, be it top level or middle or entry level. By nature a human being during his existence and by virtue of his instinct makes decisions for his survival, as social psychologists put it. By and large, managers are polished individuals to take decisions to affect others, ie the organization’s existence and growth thus is annotative with human endeavor to live and succeed. Success succeeds on the decisions taken, be it by an individual or an organization.

Limitations of Marketing Research

Posted in Brand Managment, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by Consultant

limitations of Marketing Research:

  • Marketing Research (MR) is not an exact science though it uses the techniques of science. Thus, the results and conclusions drawn upon by using MR are not very accurate.
  • The results of MR are very vague as MR is carried out on consumers, suppliers, intermediaries, etc. who are humans. Humans have a tendency to behave artificially when they know that they are being observed. Thus, the consumers and respondents upon whom the research is carried behave artificially when they are aware that their attitudes, beliefs, views, etc are being observed.
  • MR is not a complete solution to any marketing issue as there are many dominant variables between research conclusions and market response.
  • MR is not free from bias. The research conclusions cannot be verified. The reproduction of the same project on the same class of respondents give different research results.
  • Inappropriate training to researchers can lead to misapprehension of questions to be asked for data collection.
  • Many business executives and researchers have ambiguity about the research problem and it’s objectives. They have limited experience of the notion of the decision-making process. This leads to carelessness in research and researchers are not able to do anything real.
  • There is less interaction between the MR department and the main research executives. The research department is in segregation. This all makes research ineffective.
  • MR faces time constraint. The firms are required to maintain a balance between the requirement for having a broader perspective of customer needs and the need for quick decision making so as to have competitive advantage.
  • Huge cost is involved in MR as collection and processing of data can be costly. Many firms do not have the proficiency to carry wide surveys for collecting primary data, and might not also able to hire specialized market experts and research agencies to collect primary data. Thus, in that case, they go for obtaining secondary data that is cheaper to obtain.
  • MR is conducted in open marketplace where numerous variables act on research settings.

Building Customer Satisfaction, Value and Retention

Posted in eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , on December 4, 2011 by Consultant
In this world of extreme competition, companies with a total focus on customer are going to be the winner. Companies must understand importance of customer satisfaction and then build process around it. A satisfied customer will be a loyal customer.

There are large offering of products and services available in the market then why the customer should choose a given company’s product. According to various research and studies it has been confirmed that consumer will purchase products, which given them maximum perceived value. This value comes from calculating the cost associated with the emotional level decision like the brand image, corporate brand, sales personnel image and functional image. This value converts to total customer cost by including purchase cost, time-energy in evaluation of product and intuitive cost.

Consumer will take decisions after considering the total cost associated with purchase, perceived and otherwise. If after the purchase product performs as expected than customer is considered satisfied. A completely satisfied customer

is likely to repurchase the product and even promote the product through a word of mouth. Companies are aiming for total customer satisfaction, which can be achieved after understanding customer expectation and then delivering as per the expectation.

Companies are able to achieve this state of total customer satisfaction by incorporating good business practices. These practices are constructed around stakeholders, business process, resource and organization. Company’s stakeholders consist of employees, suppliers, distributors and customers. Earlier focus has always solely been on shareholders, but now stakeholders need to be satisfied for shareholder’s profit. Companies need to define boundaries of relation with stakeholders as to get maximum value for every participant. To ensure maximum value, companies need to develop business processes, which understand and fulfill customer expectations. This can be achieved by aligning cross functional teams across critical processes, to create one smooth flow. Companies need to understand its core competencies and develop them, thereby successfully managing its resources. Organizational structure, design and policies have to be suitable to facilitate the introduction of total customer satisfaction culture.

Companies through creating and delivering value can develop total customer satisfaction. Company itself can be considered as a value chain consisting of primary and secondary activities. Primary activities consist of inbound materials, operation, delivering finished products, sales/marketing and servicing clients. Secondary activities consist of functional departments like technology department, procurement department, human resource and finance department. This value created is delivered to customer through the distribution channel under the principle of supply chain management.

Customers in the digital age are much more conscious and aware of their need and wants, making them a difficult lot to please. Companies run marketing campaign highlighting points of similarity and difference with competitor’s products. The art is not at attracting the customer, but it is at retaining the customer and creating long term relation with them. Companies usually suffer from churning effect where customers do not make the repurchase. Companies need to work hard in identifying reasons behind this churning. Once reasons are identified separate them on the basis of manageable and non-manageable issues and then work hard at eliminating manageable issues.

Companies need to develop policies and measure at retaining customers along with attracting new customers. This art of retention can be achieved through customer relationship management (CRM). In CRM the task is to develop strong consumer based brand equity, which is done by converting first time buyer to repeat buyer to a client to a member to advocates and finally to partners. During these course companies can look forward to offering financial benefits in terms of discount for frequent buyers or also by association with a social cause.

Companies are in business to make the profit. Therefore, it has to identify profitable customers. Profitable customers provide a revenue stream more than the expense stream on retaining them. And this revenue stream should be higher for a company to have a competitive advantage. More and more companies are deploying total quality management approach across the organization to build and deliver customer satisfaction.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Classical Theories of Motivation

The motivation concepts were mainly developed around 1950’s. Three main theories were made during this period. These three classical theories are-

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory

Abraham Maslow is well renowned for proposing the Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1943. This theory is a classical depiction of human motivation. This theory is based on the assumption that there is a hierarchy of five needs within each individual. The urgency of these needs varies. These five needs are as follows-

  1. Physiological needs- These are the basic needs of air, water, food, clothing and shelter. In other words, physiological needs are the needs for basic amenities of life.
  2. Safety needs- Safety needs include physical, environmental and emotional safety and protection. For instance- Job security, financial security, protection from animals, family security, health security, etc.
  3. Social needs- Social needs include the need for love, affection, care, belongingness, and friendship.
  4. Esteem needs- Esteem needs are of two types: internal esteem needs (self- respect, confidence, competence, achievement and freedom) and external esteem needs (recognition, power, status, attention and admiration).
  5. Self-actualization need- This include the urge to become what you are capable of becoming / what you have the potential to become. It includes the need for growth and self-contentment. It also includes desire for gaining more knowledge, social- service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing.

According to Maslow, individuals are motivated by unsatisfied needs. As each of these needs is significantly satisfied, it drives and forces the next need to emerge. Maslow grouped the five needs into two categories –Higher-order needs and Lower-order needs. The physiological and the safety needs constituted the lower-order needs. These lower-order needs are mainly satisfied externally. The social, esteem, and self-actualization needs constituted the higher-order needs. These higher-order needs are generally satisfied internally, i.e., within an individual. Thus, we can conclude that during boom period, the employees lower-order needs are significantly met.

Maslows Need Hierarchy ModelFIGURE: Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Model
Implications of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory for Managers
As far as the physiological needs are concerned, the managers should give employees appropriate salaries to purchase the basic necessities of life. Breaks and eating opportunities should be given to employees.
As far as the safety needs are concerned, the managers should provide the employees job security, safe and hygienic work environment, and retirement benefits so as to retain them.
As far as social needs are concerned, the management should encourage teamwork and organize social events.
As far as esteem needs are concerned, the managers can appreciate and reward employees on accomplishing and exceeding their targets. The management can give the deserved employee higher job rank / position in the organization.
As far as self-actualization needs are concerned, the managers can give the employees challenging jobs in which the employees’ skills and competencies are fully utilized. Moreover, growth opportunities can be given to them so that they can reach the peak.

The managers must identify the need level at which the employee is existing and then those needs can be utilized as push for motivation.

Limitations of Maslow’s Theory
  • It is essential to note that not all employees are governed by same set of needs. Different individuals may be driven by different needs at same point of time. It is always the most powerful unsatisfied need that motivates an individual.
  • The theory is not empirically supported.
  • The theory is not applicable in case of starving artist as even if the artist’s basic needs are not satisfied, he will still strive for recognition and achievement.
  • Herzberg’s Two factor theory

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation

In 1959, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioural scientist proposed a two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. According to Herzberg, there are some job factors that result in satisfaction while there are other job factors that prevent dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, the opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”.

Herzbergs view of satisfaction and dissatisfaction
FIGURE: Herzberg’s view of satisfaction and dissatisfaction

Herzberg classified these job factors into two categories-

  1. Hygiene factors- Hygiene factors are those job factors which are essential for existence of motivation at workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are non-existant at workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. In other words, hygiene factors are those factors which when adequate / reasonable in a job, pacify the employees and do not make them dissatisfied. These factors are extrinsic to work. Hygiene factors are also called asdissatisfiers or maintenance factors as they are required to avoid dissatisfaction. These factors describe the job environment / scenario. The hygiene factors symbolized the physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled. Hygiene factors include:
    • Pay- The pay or salary structure should be appropriate and reasonable. It must be equal and competitive to those in the same industry in the same domain.
    • Company Policies and administrative policies- The company policies should not be too rigid. They should be fair and clear. It should include flexible working hours, dress code, breaks, vacation, etc.
    • Fringe benefits- The employees should be offered health care plans (mediclaim), benefits for the family members, employee help programmes, etc.
    • Physical Working conditions- The working conditions should be safe, clean and hygienic. The work equipments should be updated and well-maintained.
    • Status- The employees’ status within the organization should be familiar and retained.
    • Interpersonal relations-The relationship of the employees with his peers, superiors and subordinates should be appropriate and acceptable. There should be no conflict or humiliation element present.
    • Job Security- The organization must provide job security to the employees.

     

  2. Motivational factors- According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors cannot be regarded as motivators. The motivational factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work. These factors motivate the employees for a superior performance. These factors are called satisfiers. These are factors involved in performing the job. Employees find these factors intrinsically rewarding. The motivators symbolized the psychological needs that were perceived as an additional benefit. Motivational factors include:
    • Recognition- The employees should be praised and recognized for their accomplishments by the managers.
    • Sense of achievement- The employees must have a sense of achievement. This depends on the job. There must be a fruit of some sort in the job.
    • Growth and promotional opportunities- There must be growth and advancement opportunities in an organization to motivate the employees to perform well.
    • Responsibility- The employees must hold themselves responsible for the work. The managers should give them ownership of the work. They should minimize control but retain accountability.
    • Meaningfulness of the work- The work itself should be meaningful, interesting and challenging for the employee to perform and to get motivated.
Limitations of Two-Factor Theory

The two factor theory is not free from limitations:

  1. The two-factor theory overlooks situational variables.
  2. Herzberg assumed a correlation between satisfaction and productivity. But the research conducted by Herzberg stressed upon satisfaction and ignored productivity.
  3. The theory’s reliability is uncertain. Analysis has to be made by the raters. The raters may spoil the findings by analyzing same response in different manner.
  4. No comprehensive measure of satisfaction was used. An employee may find his job acceptable despite the fact that he may hate/object part of his job.
  5. The two factor theory is not free from bias as it is based on the natural reaction of employees when they are enquired the sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work. They will blame dissatisfaction on the external factors such as salary structure, company policies and peer relationship. Also, the employees will give credit to themselves for the satisfaction factor at work.
  6. The theory ignores blue-collar workers. Despite these limitations, Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory is acceptable broadly.
Implications of Two-Factor Theory
The Two-Factor theory implies that the managers must stress upon guaranteeing the adequacy of the hygiene factors to avoid employee dissatisfaction. Also, the managers must make sure that the work is stimulating and rewarding so that the employees are motivated to work and perform harder and better. This theory emphasize upon job-enrichment so as to motivate the employees. The job must utilize the employee’s skills and competencies to the maximum. Focusing on the motivational factors can improve work-quality.
  • Theory X and Theory Y

In 1960, Douglas McGregor formulated Theory X and Theory Y suggesting two aspects of human behaviour at work, or in other words, two different views of individuals (employees): one of which is negative, called as Theory X and the other is positive, so called as Theory Y. According to McGregor, the perception of managers on the nature of individuals is based on various assumptions.

Assumptions of Theory X
  • An average employee intrinsically does not like work and tries to escape it whenever possible.
  • Since the employee does not want to work, he must be persuaded, compelled, or warned with punishment so as to achieve organizational goals. A close supervision is required on part of managers. The managers adopt a more dictatorial style.
  • Many employees rank job security on top, and they have little or no aspiration/ ambition.
  • Employees generally dislike responsibilities.
  • Employees resist change.
  • An average employee needs formal direction.
Assumptions of Theory Y
  • Employees can perceive their job as relaxing and normal. They exercise their physical and mental efforts in an inherent manner in their jobs.
  • Employees may not require only threat, external control and coercion to work, but they can use self-direction and self-control if they are dedicated and sincere to achieve the organizational objectives.
  • If the job is rewarding and satisfying, then it will result in employees’ loyalty and commitment to organization.
  • An average employee can learn to admit and recognize the responsibility. In fact, he can even learn to obtain responsibility.
  • The employees have skills and capabilities. Their logical capabilities should be fully utilized. In other words, the creativity, resourcefulness and innovative potentiality of the employees can be utilized to solve organizational problems.

Thus, we can say that Theory X presents a pessimistic view of employees’ nature and behaviour at work, while Theory Y presents an optimistic view of the employees’ nature and behaviour at work. If correlate it with Maslow’s theory, we can say that Theory X is based on the assumption that the employees emphasize on the physiological needs and the safety needs; while Theory X is based on the assumption that the social needs, esteem needs and the self-actualization needs dominate the employees.

McGregor views Theory Y to be more valid and reasonable than Theory X. Thus, he encouraged cordial team relations, responsible and stimulating jobs, and participation of all in decision-making process.

Implications of Theory X and Theory Y
Quite a few organizations use Theory X today. Theory X encourages use of tight control and supervision. It implies that employees are reluctant to organizational changes. Thus, it does not encourage innovation.
Many organizations are using Theory Y techniques. Theory Y implies that the managers should create and encourage a work environment which provides opportunities to employees to take initiative and self-direction. Employees should be given opportunities to contribute to organizational well-being. Theory Y encourages decentralization of authority, teamwork and participative decision making in an organization. Theory Y searches and discovers the ways in which an employee can make significant contributions in an organization. It harmonizes and matches employees’ needs and aspirations with organizational needs and aspirations.

These theories are building blocks of the contemporary theories developed later. The working mangers and learned professionals till date use these classical theories to explain the concept of employee motivation.

 

Posted in Brand Managment, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Workplace Motivation – Carrot or Stick approach doesn’t work anymore

“I am in this job because I have no other option.” If this is what an employee of your company feels, read on to know how this statement can be changed to something more positive – “I love what I do.”

First things first – whose responsibility is it to ensure that an employee loves his job? While an employee would say – the employer, the human resource experts have a different point of view which sounds fair. It’s both the employer and the employee who should work together to make work fun for each other.

It is interesting to know here, that employees do not rank ’salary’ as the top factor in determining whether they like their jobs or not. What is important to them then – the opportunity to do what is ’important’. Almost all the employees would like to feel part of the big picture and would want to contribute to the organizational goals in some way or the other. Doing the mundane, routine work will never excite them – what excites them is – work that challenges them to use their talent. Right Management Consultants conducted a survey sometime back and found

that 83% of about 500 workers surveyed were motivated by “challenges at work”.

Also, as per an executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, while salary and promotions could do a great job of demotivating people if handled ineffectively, they aren’t so much effective in motivating people.

So then what needs to be done for effective motivation at workplace?

Link Rewards directly to Performance- An organization should adopt a fair reward structure which provides incentive to the most deserving employee. Have an incentive structure in place doesn’t solve the problem… what makes it workable is the employees trust in the system and believe that they will be rewarded if they perform well.
Compliment employees- Even though an employee’s name has not appeared in the list of people getting incentives, go ahead and compliment that employee for a job well done – no matter how small. There is nothing more satisfying to an employee than a pat on his back.
Be transparent- While there may be some strategic decisions which you might want to share with the employees at a later stage, make sure employees do not give in to the rumours. Stay in touch with the employees.
Work on your PDP- Every employee is responsible for his / her own career. He / she should work towards his ’Personal Development Plan’ [PDP] as discussed and agreed by his manager. Find out what are the training company offers and which is best suited to his development needs. How this will motivate you – remember training always increase your marketability and enhance your career.
Participate and Network- Employees – Remember you work for a company where a one-on-one attention might not be possible. Do not wait for an invitation to participate in a discussion. If you are a part of a forum, then you have full right to express your opinion and be a part of the process. Expressing yourself is a good way of motivating yourself.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts), Search Engine Optimization with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Staff Motivation – Motivation Tips for Employees

Employees are the building blocks of an organization. Organizational success depends on the collective efforts of the employees. The employees will collectively contribute to organizational growth when they are motivated.

Below mentioned are some tips for motivating the staff / employees in an organization:

Evaluate yourself- In order to motivate, encourage and control your staff’s behaviour, it is essential to understand, encourage and control your own behaviour as a manager. Work upon utilizing your strengths and opportunities to neutralize and lower the negative impact of your weaknesses and organizational threats. The manager should adopt the approach “You’re OK – I’m OK”.
Be familiar with your staff- The manager should be well acquainted with his staff. The more and the better he knows his staff, the simpler it is to get them involved in the job as well as in achieving the team and organizational goals. This will also invite staff’s commitment and loyalty. A cordial superior-subordinate relationship is a key factor in job-satisfaction.
Provide the employees certain benefits- Give your staff some financial and other benefits. Give them bonuses, pay them for overtime, and give them health and family insurance benefits. Make sure they get breaks from work. Let them enjoy vacations and holidays.
Participate in new employees induction programme- Induction proceeds with recruitment advertising. At this point of time, the potential entrants start creating their own impressions and desires about the job and the organization. The manner in which the selection is conducted and the consequent recruitment process will either build or damage the impression about the job and organization. Thus, the manager must have a say in framing the advertisement and also in the selection and recruitment process. After the decision about the candidate is made, the manager must take personal interest in the selected joinee’s joining date, the family relocation issues, cost of removal, etc. Being observed by the new recruit and your entire team / staff to be involved completely, will ensure a persuasive entry in the organization.
Provide feedback to the staff constantly- The staff members are keen to know how they are performing. Try giving a regular and constructive feedback to your staff. This will be more acceptable by the staff. Do not base the feedback on assumptions, but on facts and personal observations. Do not indulge in favouritism or comparing the employee with some one else. Sit with your staff on daily or weekly basis and make sure that feedback happens. This will help in boosting employee’s morale and will thus motivate the staff.
Acknowledge your staff on their achievements- A pat on the back, some words of praise, and giving a note of credit to the employee / staff member at personal level with some form of broad publicity can motivate the staff a lot. Make it a point to mention the staff’s outstanding achievements in official newsletters or organization’s journal. Not only acknowledge the employee with highest contribution, but also acknowledge the employee who meets and over exceeds the targets.
Ensure effective time management- Having control over time ensures that things are done in right manner. Motivate your staff to have “closed” times, i.e., few hours when there are no interruptions for the staff in performing their job role so that they can concentrate on the job, and “open” times when the staff freely communicate and interact. Plan one to one sessions of interaction with your staff where they can ask their queries and also can get your attention and, thereby, they will not feel neglected. This all will work in long run to motivate the staff.
Have stress management techniques in your organization- Create an environment in which you and your staff can work within optimum pressure levels. Ensure an optimistic attitude towards stress in the workplace. Have training sessions on stress management, and ensure a follow-up with group meetings on the manner stress can be lowered at work. Give your staff autonomy in work. Identify the stress symptoms in employees and try to deal with them.
Use counselling technique- The employees’ / staff feelings towards the work, their peer, their superiors and towards the future can be effectively dealt through the staff counseling. Counselling provides an environment, incentive and support which enable the employee to achieve his identity.
Give the employees learning opportunities- Employees should consistently learn new skills on the job. It has been well said by someone that with people hopping jobs more often than required and organizations no longer giving job security to employees, the young blood employees specifically realize that continuing learning is the best way to remain employable. Opportunities should be given to the employees to develop their skills and competencies and to make best use of their skills. Link the staff goals with the organizational goals.
Set an example for your staff / subordinates- Be a role model for your staff. The staff would learn from what you do and not from what you say / claim. The way you interact with your clients / customers and how do you react later after the interaction is over have an impact upon the staff. The staff more closely observes your non-verbal communication (gestures, body language). Being unpunctual, wasting the organization’s capital, mismanaging organization’s physical equipments, asking the staff to do your personal work, etc. all have a negative impact on the staff. Try setting an example for your staff to follow.
Smile often- Smiling can have a tremendous effect on boosting the morale of the staff. A smiling superior creates an optimistic and motivating work environment. Smiling is an essential component of the body language of confidence, acceptance and boldness. Smile consistently, naturally and often, to demonstrate that you feel good and positive about the staff who works for you. It encourages new ideas and feedback from the staff. The staff does not feel hesitant and threatened to discuss their views this way.
Listen effectively- Listening attentively is a form of recognizing and appreciating the person who is talking. Reciprocal / Mutual listening develops cordial and healthy personal relationships on which the employee / staff development rests. If the managers do not listen attentively to the subordinates, the morale of the subordinates lowers down and they do not feel like sharing their ideas or giving their views. Effective listening by the manager boosts up the employees’ morale and thus motivates them.
Ensure effective communication- In order to motivate your staff, indulge in effective communication such as avoid using anger expressions, utilize questioning techniques to know staff’s mindset and analysis rather than ordering the staff what to do, base your judgements on facts and not on assumptions, use relaxed and steady tone of voice, listen effectively and be positive and helpful in your responses. Share your views with the staff.
Develop and encourage creativity- The staff should be encouraged to develop the creativity skills so as to solve organizational problems. Give them time and resources for developing creativity. Let them hold constant brainstorming sessions. Invite ideas and suggestions from the staff. They may turn out to be very productive.
Don’t be rigid. Be flexible- Introduce flexibility in work. Allow for flexible working hours if possible. Let the employees work at home occasionally if need arises. Do not be rigid in accepting ideas from your staff. Stimulate flexible attitudes in the employees who are accountable to you by asking what changes they would like to bring about if given a chance.
Adopt job enrichment- Job enrichment implies giving room for a better quality of working life. It means facilitating people to achieve self-development, fame and success through a more challenging and interesting job which provides more promotional and advancement opportunities. Give employees more freedom in job, involve them in decision-making process, show them loyalty and celebrate their achievements.
Respect your team- Respect not only the employees’ rights to share and express their views, and to be themselves, but their time too. This will ensure that the employees respect you and your time. Make the staff feel that they are respected not just as employees / workers but as individuals too.