Motivating People – Getting beyond Money

Despite its desire to advance into the 21st century and keep abreast with employee motivation, the banking industry has recently being plagued with severe leadership and human resource management criticism. Initially, employee motivation was exclusively within the top management ambit; employees adhered to conventional hierarchical philosophies with a fixed line of command.

Today effective employee motivation transcends beyond the rigid hierarchy inherent in the workplace. Society has evolved and a new wave of organizations such as team creativity is essential in harvesting factors for employee motivation and innovation. Team creativity is viewed as the fuel that enables individuals to realize uncommon results. The team places the responsibility of success upon each team member. Team creativity may be seen as the combination of individual strengths hence minimizing on their weaknesses. With team creativity, the individual’s weaknesses and strengths are in the position to complement with each other.

Employee motivation is one of the tools required for effecting organizational change. Effective employee motivation augments the managers’ ability to be proactive rather than reactive to situational changes and societal changing needs. It provides the organization with employees possessed with a vision, which understands and appreciates the dynamic nature of effective management and the ability to change management techniques to suit the environment in which the service is forced to operate. Team creativity appears to be the most appropriate source of leadership ideas to implement successful organizational changes, especially since this type of leader encourages the much desired and often lacking team motivation and effective communication in the workplace.

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A considerable number of companies opt to motivate their employees using financial incentives; however, there are other non-financial motivators that boost motivation among employees. In this case, banks use motivation schemes as a tool to motivate their employees. Motivation scheme is also termed as an incentive scheme, motivation plan or reward strategy. It is designed primary as a tool to motivate employees towards the achievement of certain standards or targets that were formerly agreed with the company management. An employee gets cash reward in addition to his or her basic salary, but some scheme alternatively award company shares as the reward in the motivation package (Cook & Stevenson, 2000).

A high number of companies (approximately 64%), as indicated by a survey done by The Work Foundation on the UK organizations including banks, use motivation schemes as the inventive tool for their employees. They believe that their motivation schemes have greatly helped in the realization of the company’s objectives. They also believe that there is a strong connection between pay and performance. Normally the motivator is awarded at the individual, team or departmental level.

With the growing competition and battle for fair market share the employees, especially those who contribute highly to the company’s superior performance, are treated as the valuable asset to the organization. Most organizations strive for their retention and recruitment of other high profile personnel through the award of attractive incentives to increase the organization’s competitive edge and profitability.

In the United Kingdom banks form part of those organizations that award huge bonuses; hence the government has introduced bonus tax to control the amount of money received by employees, which are deduced to be the cause of high risk taking by the individuals hence the prevailing financial crisis that is being experienced. Motivation schemes are increasingly being incorporated in the pay systems of private, public and voluntary organization. Motivation schemes are seen as the panacea to the attainment of the company’s objectives. According to the research carried out by ISTP (Industrial Society and Tower Perrin), approximately 70 percent of the employers maintain that incentives are mainly used to boost the organization performance through its ability to strengthen the connection between individual employee performance and company’s results. Motivation schemes have direct relationship with business performance and profitability, especially in banks.

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Royal Bank of Scotland has a list of non-cash rewards since they believe that employees cannot be motivated by money alone but through a blending of motivators. The bank encourages individual development in the abilities and skills. This will, in turn, help the bank to grow. The employees are supposed to identity their development needs through an individual development plan. The development can be in terms of attending courses, training or acquiring new skills and understanding. With personal development, the employee increases his or her chances of securing a promotion, moving up the organization ladder and amplifying their total reward. The bank also gives an employee a chance to plough back something into his or her community. This is accomplished through the bank incentive of giving a double donation on every pound donated by an employee to a particular project. The bank also has a package for highly qualified personnel and motivated workers referred to as work-life balance. Here the employees are expected to strike balance between work and life commitments. The bank believes that employees have another commitment that includes family or community commitments. In turn, the bank will gain from the employee commitment and loyalty which translates into higher performance.

As we know very well that the goal of every company or organization is to boost its productivity to get more profits; thus organizations should give their employees incentives to yield more in the production unit. As Toddi Gutner suggested in the Entrepreneur Magazine that, “One strategy to keep employees happy, motivated and satisfied is to generate a motivation plan targeted at breeding new business”. A 2005 Incentive Foundation study reports that incentive strategies improve an employee teamwork, morale, work quality and productivity. As we all know, the goal of every business is to boost productivity so as to boost profits. It is also very important to note that when managers are very comfortable when running their jobs they are well coordinated with their junior employees; hence, the productivity of the company would always go up thus the company will be getting good profits. The managers should get motivation plans, which at the long run would also give their juniors the bonuses, thus boosting productivity.

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Non-financial motivators give the organization an opportunity to focus nearly all their efforts on those areas that can lead to the maximization of both the organization profit and performance. This implies that the scheme helps in the identification of those areas that largely contribute to the good performance of the business. This is based on the number of awards that each department receives.

Well designed human resource policy, such as staffing policy, will help in the recruitment, retention and motivation of staff. The extra earnings, as well as good working conditions that are offered to them due to their excellent performance motivate the staff. Recruitment and retention of high caliber personnel is made possible when well-designed staffing policy is put in (Bourne & Bourne, 2009).

The motivation plan supports in the achievement of other key objectives of the organization. Non-financial motivators will help in the realization of certain objectives, such as reduction of sickness, nonattendance or promotion of teamwork. Motivators are awarded both at the individual or group level. For an individual or a group to qualify for the award, their contributions towards the achievement of the company’s excellent performance will be considered.

There was also growth in the need to understand and analyze the human behavior in the organization. This was evident by the increasing number of studies and application of behavioral sciences in solving individual and group behavior problems at work. Motivation, organizational climate, group dynamics and organizational conflict became the popular concepts. This led to the consideration of employees as a valuable asset to an organization. Lastly, employees are now considered as partners in the industry, and as a result, they are given a share in the company stock membership. This has created a feeling in the part of the workers that the organization is their own; hence there is seen total commitment and performance (Bell & Smith, 2002).

Human resource management sets out to ensure that both organizational and individual goals are achieved. It seeks to establish a respectful relationship between employers and employees. Human resource is an umbrella that house functions such as organizing, planning as well as utilizing the workforce. As such, staffing and selection is a management process that forms the integral part of any organization’s human resource management. The two functions work hand in hand since the objective of the organization is to select and recruit an employee with the required qualification and competence. To ensure that this objective is met, an organization, especially professional companies, designs strategies and programs to aid in appraisal, selection and development of labor force to fill the roles designed into the structure. The process should be effective in order to ensure that competent personnel is discovered and obtained including higher performance by placing right persons on the right jobs. In addition, it will boost the employee morale and job satisfaction through fair compensation of their contributions and objective assessment. Staffing and selection will facilitate the optimum utilization of human resources and minimizing cost of manpower. It ensures continuity and growth of the organization through the development of managers. Moreover, it enables the organization to cope with the shortage of executive talent.

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