What Motivates Employees: Camaraderie or Competition?

August 25, 2015 / by Paige Gilbert

HaBO_camaraderieMy coworker recently made a comment that she considers me to be her friend – not just a work friend – but a real, true friend. I feel the same way about her, and my other coworkers too. I know this is not the norm in the small business world, but I think people would like it to be and it would cause them to be better employees.

The employee survey company, TinyPulse, found that “most employees identify peer-to-peer camaraderie as the No.1 influence on their motivation, with 20 percent indicating it as the source of their willingness to go the extra mile at work.”

Furthermore, “two-thirds of all employees fail to see adequate opportunities for professional growth where they work.” If they aren’t motivated by competitive opportunities, then what are they really motivated by?

The excerpt below discusses this concept further:

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C’mon Get Happy: Building an Employee-Centric Environment to Boost Morale and Productivity

Leveraging the Good

Understanding what motivates employees can help managers develop constructive methods to maximize productivity and revenue. The TINYpulse study provides a clear picture of what employment personnel value most about their work culture and the answer is not all that surprising: quite simply, employees place great value on one another.

With this information in mind, managers should be working hard to find new ways to make their workplaces more “employee-centric.” From an executive standpoint, this idea might seem frightening, especially when you consider that companies like Zappos Labs have adopted a “no-bosses” approach they call “holacracy.”

The Zappos Experiment

The management philosophy at Zappos (a footwear retailer) is for employees to self-organize, self-manage and self-govern. Not only do personnel work without bosses, they work without any of the trappings of the traditional command-and-control corporate hierarchy.

In March, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh issued a company-wide memo telling employees to get on board with the holacracy program—or leave. Now, if you believe that ordering employees to “self-govern” seems rather contradictory, you might be on to something.

[Continue to Original Article]

The Zappos Experiment is one way to make a workplace more employee-centric, but I think it’s actually simpler than that. If bosses and employees understand the way each other think, what motivates them, and their preferences, then they can be placed in the right positions using their gifts and talents.

Knowing what you’re good at, having the opportunity to do it, and being recognized for your contribution by your employer and fellow employees will make you a productive and happier employee.

The article later discusses six management rules to follow to provide a fabulous work environment for their teams. They are all great points, but the one that stuck out to me is: hold team-building activities, “…bonding with your coworkers can provide insights you might otherwise miss.”

It’s retreat week here at Half a Bubble Out. As our team readily prepares to embark on a 60 mile drive up into the Sierra Nevada foothills, we’ll soon find ourselves amidst the pine trees with limited Wi-Fi.

As we unplug our computers we’ll be recharging our brains using old school techniques like easels, paper flip charts, notebooks, and ballpoint pens. We’ll be learning about each other’s personalities and temperaments and building relationships. I know from experience that we’ll also gain insights about each other that we might have otherwise missed at the office.

Succeeding in my job is important, but if I can find ways to help my fellow co-workers succeed too, I’m motivated to come to work and get started.

What motivates employees at your small business? If you aren’t sure or you think they’re motivated by the wrong things, consider contacting us to learn more about our business consulting services.

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Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through inbound marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.


Topics: Our Thought Bubbles, employee motivation, Culture

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