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Motivating the Lower Ranked Clones October 6, 2007

Posted by Tariq Ahmed in Motivation.
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We’ve talked a lot about motivation, and our Google analysis tells us you’re craving more. We’ve covered motivation in past entries, which were more geared towards the professional. Motivating at that level is much easier with the higher salary, bonuses and other incentives that are at your disposal. But what about motivating the lower ranked troops? These employees aren’t your professional class, and you don’t have the leverage of higher salaries, yearly bonuses, vacation or benefits. These are your standard clones, working at minimum wage with low skills. Not everyone can instill motivation through genetic manipulation like the Empire does; for the rest of you, here are some tips.

Your standard clone may not consider their current job as a long-term career. If they aren’t capable of seeing the long-term benefits of hard work, then a yearly bonus/raise/promotion may seem centuries away. To combat this, provide smaller bonus/incentive to reward hard work in a much shorter time frame. Instead of a $500 bonus at the end of the year, offer a monthly or even weekly bonus if possible. This will give them something tangible to work for and they can reap their reward much sooner. Remember not all rewards have to be financial, they could be PTO-like, public recognition, a flexible schedule etc.

For clones that may not have the patience for yearly performance goals, try using metrics that are judged on a short time frame. Instead of quarterly or yearly goals for a team, set weekly or monthly goals. Feedback and guidance will be much sooner, and so will their satisfaction when they meet the goals. It is also important that the goals be easily achievable so they don’t become discouraged. Once the team can achieve an easy metric, continuously increase it.

Following the theme of shorter time spans, offer quicker rank/title promotions on a multi-step ranking system, so they can feel and be rewarded for their hard work.

For all of the above shorter time span rewards, offer smaller wage increases to help keep employees motivated.

Minimum wage jobs usually aren’t very glamorous, and the fear of losing the job isn’t a strong motivator (i.e. you don’t have too many sticks, mostly carrots). Another method is to build loyalty through a sense of team camaraderie, almost like a sense of a family commitment. Team building programs and developing more personal relationships can help to that end.

If you have more flexibility, offering assistance to an employee in times of need can help develop the above family spirit and loyalty. E.g. if an employee needs some time off, allowing that and holding their job can create a sense of loyalty when the employee returns.

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