We all know that the pay check alone is not what motivates employees today. Staff want to be engaged, listened to, supported and empowered to give their best. So we’ve asked 5 of our expert keynote speakers to share their top ideas for motivating your workforce.

Sahar Hashemi, a British entrepreneur and founder of the Coffee Republic chain would like to see staff trusted and given more freedom.

“We need to tap into the start-up outsider mentality to encourage curiosity - asking ‘why do we do it that way?’ ‘how can we make it better’? ‘lets give it a try' “ she says. “The top down command and control model, which surprisingly still exists, stifles motivation. The more you show your people you trust them the more of themselves they will give. Doing the same old every day keeps everyone on autopilot, there is no excitement - no fun- no challenge.”

Dave Ulrich is a Business Professor at the University of Michigan and the author of “Why Work”. He believes that leaders must pay as much attention to creating meaning for employees as they do to making money. By helping employees to find a meaningful reason to work, people become more motivated to reach their own goals. 

Simon Walker is an expert on the way we recruit, manage and retain the next generation of staff. He thinks leaders need to be aware of the changing expectations among staff, driven by technology and social change. Managers are often unaware of the fact that they themselves are conditioned to an older, more hierarchical style of leadership and the effect that this legacy has on their own behavior.

“The world is changing faster than it has ever changed,” says Simon “and as leaders we need to adapt, as past experience is no longer enough. We need to encourage our teams to learn and adapt too. But do involve your teams as much as possible because people support what they helped create.”

In his book Clever with Rob Goffee, Professor Gareth Jones talks about the special measures needed to lead your cleverest people – an interesting take on the question of how to motivate staff. Leading your clever mavericks can be enormously challenging, but he argues that if you get it right it could just be the key to your organization's success.

Executive leadership coach Tara Swart  says that keeping people motivated beyond the pay check often includes creating the right environment for fulfillment. Managers can help to create this but pick your moment! In times of crisis people can feel under threat and their energy is focused on survival rather than creativity and cooperation. It is also important that people are stretched and challenged, without being overwhelmed and that they have clear goals. Once they know what their goals are then they also need the autonomy to pick a path in which they can reach those goals. 

At Speakers Associates we have many expert motivational speakers specialising in leadership, HR and staff development. Please do browse our website for ideas and then get in contact to secure them for your next event. 

Oct 8, 2015 By Lucy Thorpe