How is it possible to motivate employees who are different from one another?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a difficult question for managers in any business.  Employees are, of course, individuals who do not all respond to the same stimuli.  The problem is that it is not always easy to determine what exact thing will motivate each worker.  Managers may not always have the time to get to know each worker well enough to understand how best to motivate them.  At some point, therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the worker to motivate him or herself.  Workers who cannot find motivation can simply be replaced.

That said, there are things that managers can do to motivate different kinds of workers.  The best approach to this is to have a “menu” of motivational factors that managers provide.  Different workers can then find their motivation in different of these factors.  For example, let us imagine that a firm provides the following motivations:

  • It pays its workers well for good performance.
  • It gives them jobs that allow them to “stretch” themselves and to move towards positions of greater responsibility.
  • It ensures that employees are treated well by their managers and made to feel valued.

Not every employee will care about each of these things.  However, if all of these things are done, the management can assume that all good employees will be motivated by one or more of these factors.  Managers may come to know their employees and be able to provide them with individual motivators, but even if this does not happen, this sort of “menu” approach should be sufficient to motivate good workers.