CREATIVE MOTIVATION: SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES
Motivation, motivation, motivation. What is better: carrots or sticks? Bonuses or compliments? Creativity is the best!
“Traditionally” is not a synonym to “good” and “effective”. And it is not always what works for years shall work in a particular situation. Staff motivation is a brilliant example. West Europe realized that almost a century ago whereas we can only start feeling the echo of this idea. Rare examples of domestic creative approach towards employees’ motivation prove that one should think about developing these practices and be driven by the global experience. No one will, sure thing, offer a ready answer. Methods shall build on personal approach to each employee and identification of peculiarities of existing teams which are important for non-standard motivation. However, they can stumble across the thoughts where to start and how to use ones own capabilities.
In general, creative motivation helps address a number of issues faced by employers, in particular:
- How to recruit the most “coveted” candidates in the labor market – in addition to material benefits that they can get in any company willing to pay for the valued employee?
- How to retain valuable employees and stop them from defecting to competitors who can offer more than a standard set of “gratitude” for a job?
- How to improve efficiency without wasting too much effort and money?
Google tops the list of best employers in the world for the fourth consecutive year. On the one hand, one can argue that the company can afford it, given its scale, though on the other hand, to create such a project and continuously improve it, one shall require qualified staff willing to entirely give up to work. That’s why Google case illustrates how to motivate employees so that they would bring as much benefit to the employer as possible.
First, Google has created comfortable and cozy conditions that stimulate creative process, in particular, a fancy headquarters. Sports facilities, a small clinic, hair salon, dry cleaners, entertainment (slide from the second to the first floor, riding a scooter and a bicycle), relax in a massage chair, great food, and finally, an option to accommodate pets if you cannot concentrate on the task without them. Employees of the company take pride in their work, do not want to lose it and try to be helpful in every possible way, while feeling that they and their needs have been taken care of, sometimes way too specific.
Each human body is different, in particular with regard to performance depending on the time of the day. It’s not new that a typical late riser cannot work properly in the morning, whereas morning people in the evening also cannot show their best performance. Few companies are willing to account for this fact and make up individual work schedules for employees. Time constraints – it’s not about Google. Here one can always negotiate shifting schedule in either direction.
Do you want to have your personal life? This is not a problem! In Google you can spend a quarter of your working time on your personal projects not directly related to your job. Gmail used to be “somebody’s personal project” – undeniable proof of the benefits of this type of motivation. This method applies not only to your Google, but for a different purpose. Companies that are not able to fully pay their employees, allow them to freelance at the main place of work to avoid losing valuable staff.
The last “hit” from Google is meditation. Company has specially equipped rooms for this process and hires Buddhism teachers. The purpose is to teach employees meditation techniques and, as a result, to increase their awareness, self-reliance, peace, energy, enthusiasm and creativity, and focus on mutual assistance in the team.
Motivational creativity from all over the world
Walt Disney in the middle of the last century understood the importance of non-standard approach to motivation. His amusement parks have hotels, where, in addition to the prestigious office managers were technical departments, including laundries which have a big labour turnover due to low profile job and difficult working conditions. However, the founder of the Walt Disney Company was known for his ingenuity in the field of personnel motivation and found a way out. Laundries were proudly named “textile services”. Thus, they became a full scale unit of the company and employees felt important and all the negativity fell by the wayside.
Another interesting example of “power of words” was Steve Jobs’ empire. Consultants at his company, creative and intelligent people, took positions with the modest title “genius.” This idea had two benefits: manager emphasized that his staffs consisted of brilliant people who, in turn, were very proud of their status, worked well to justify given trust.
Asana, a software producing company, developed a culinary approach to employee motivation. Owners of the company hired skilled chefs who cooked meals for the staff that developed their creativity. Menu should not only be delicious, but also should stimulate brain activity, eliminate sleepiness. There is always chocolate in the office, which is known to be a good antidepressant and helps thinking creatively.
As you know, climate of good working relations between employees is a factor to success of the team. Realizing this, Japan General Estate Co has offered cash reward of $3,000 to the manager who would establish warm relationships within the team. Conflicts disappeared and group atmosphere improved at an acceptable price.
Managers of “Perekrestok”, a Group of supermarkets, invented an unexpected award for the best employees. They could have been easily expelled from their comfort zone, though, ensuring a better position elsewhere. It seems illogical in terms of a separate unit which loses valued personnel, though understanding perspectives employees in their official capacity do their best to get noticed and promoted. Performance of such employees exceeds all expectations.
Ukrainian experience is not so interesting and divers as elsewhere in the world, though we also have employees with creative approach towards motivation in our country. Domestic company BBH is a spectacular example. There, in addition to traditional methods of increasing performance and desire to contribute to the cause, an interesting rule called “Turtle forever” was introduced. Regional Manager whose associates demonstrated the worst performance in the month is publicly awarded with live turtle with detailed instructions how to take care of the reptile. During the month that follows this employee should, in parallel with his/her main tasks, take care of the animal without the right to transfer these duties to anybody else. This work might not be the most difficult one, but the fact that you got it, makes you think how to improve personal and collective performance.
Creative motivation should be reasonable. However, global experience proves that at present it works better than conventional methods. The main thing is to find personal approach to your employees.
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