In order to motivate and sustain non-profit employees, it is important that organizations should keep in mind some essential principles that guide employee motivation. Although these principles are very basic, they are the very foundation of how the desired level of motivation can be achieved for non-profit employees and how the achieved level can be sustained over a longer period of time.
Motivation Starts from the Top:
The manager in charge of the motivation program needs to understand that enthusiasm is contagious; if he or she is stressed out him/herself, the subordinates are more likely to catch on to the depressed mood than they are to be inspired by the motivating efforts the manager is trying to implement. A good starting point in learning about motivation is for the manager to understand what their own motivators are. In order to motivate employees, it is important to understand what motivates them; if the manager already has a clear idea about what his or her own motivators are, it is easier to find concrete clues to what might the driving forces be behind employees’ motivation.
Understanding Individual Motivators:
Motivation differs between individuals as well as within individuals, depending on the variety of situations that the individual is exposed to. This is a pivotal factor when designing motivation programs. Organizations should incorporate individual motivating factors of employees into the whole motivation program framework on a priority basis. These motivators can be found out by asking the employees, listening to them and observing them in the natural work environment.
Sustainability of Employee Motivation through Organizational Systems:
Employee motivation can be greatly enhanced by developing and cultivating strong relationships between management and the workforce; however, they cannot be sustained as effectively through the same method. The nature of these relationships between the management and employees can vary greatly in differing situations, which can take its toll on employee morale. Reliable and comprehensive organizational systems to help motivate employees can do a better job in this regard.
Motivation through Perks:
A non-profit employee may not be offered a salary which is highly competitive with the marketplace; also, the benefits may not be as robust as they are in for-profit organizations, but one of the most effective ways that a non-profit organization can motivate its employees is by offering low-cost job perks. Some of the ways in which organizations can motivate non-profit employees are:
A membership perk is one of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure the goodwill of a non-profit employee. Member organizations can chip in with providing employees with free membership or reduce membership fee to considerably lower rates, along with providing reduced membership fee offers for families of the employees.
One of the biggest motivators for non-profit employees is the opportunity to learn. This can easily be used as a motivator by organizations if it is offered as a job perk. In depth training at job site gives non-profit employees the chance to gain more knowledge about a particular subject matter. Also, perks such as continuing education credits will also prove to be effective motivators and will help sustain the employees as well as increase the level of performance.
Non-profit employees should have an edge above others by being offered reduced rates for special classes or events being held by the organization. An additional benefit can be offered in the way that non-profits are allowed to sign up or register for special events before anyone else.
Non-profit organizations having cafeterias or snack carts can offer discounts to employees. If an on-site cafeteria facility is not available, organizations can establish a contract with a local restaurant for providing a decided percentage-discount on the total price to non-profit employees wearing an employee badge proving their service with the organization.
Free/Reduced Parking Rates:
This factor can prove to be more than just a job perk; it can be perceived as highly valuable by non-profit employees due to its element of making the job affordable for employees and reducing personal frustration. Even if free parking is not available at the organization site, a parking subsidy to non-profit employees will be more than up to par in doing the job. This subsidy can be offered by discharging the cost directly or arranging parking discounts through third party parking lots.
Credit Union Membership:
Non-profits can engage their employees into a credit union membership. Credit unions tend to offer better interest rates than commercial banks, but this condition applies only to qualifying members. Non-profit employees can be facilitated to join by their organizations if the organization approaches credit unions on the behalf of its workforce to see if they ca expand their program to its employees and their families.