Keeping a vast and extremely diverse contingent of soldiers highly motivated at all times is a greater challenge than going into battle. How does the Indian Army ensure that their soldiers are always motivated and primed for any eventuality? How do they ensure the motivation doesn’t wane in the face of any hardship? Are there lessons the corporates can learn to get high levels of employee engagement and motivation?
Having been raised in a family of soldiers from the Indian Army I was always intrigued and on reflection found some simple yet powerful ways in which kept the motivation going. I thought of sharing a few…
- Safe environment – all the soldiers families are provided with a safe environment where their children and spouses are well provided for. Safe and secure housing, subsidized rations, travel safety for their children to go to school and many more. I think for all of us in the corporate world, many of these and more,, are of concern and at the back of our mind when we go to work. Has my child reached safely to school? When he is back home, is he safe and secure? These and many more major and minor hygiene factors keep us from putting our 100 percent on the job. The soldier needn’t bother about all these. He is assured that his family is well taken care of and safe. This gives him complete peace of mind and he then can focus on his job. I can vouch for this as I grew up with my Dad being away at the front and not with us almost for 10 – 11 months in a year; year-on-year. Myself and my siblings never felt down on motivation because all of us felt very secure in the environment we grew up.
- Education – with schools and colleges run by the Army, the soldier never had to bother about his child’s education. That was provided for and the teaching was consistent across the country. When we had to move from one station to another, we never felt out of place as the environment was very similar. If you go to any Army school across the country, you will find the consistency in the environment. A child’s education is always a primary concern for any parent and their well being if taken care of, can be a great motivator at work.
- Health and Wellness – The fact that there are Army hospitals and clinics to take care of the health and wellness needs of the entire family is another important factor which contributes to the motivation of a soldier. He needn’t worry as in case of any emergency he knows that some of the best facilities and health care professionals are made available to him – free of cost. What more can he ask for?
- Family welfare centers – I thought this one was really a super idea. These welfare centers were places where the family members including spouses and children not just socialize but also learn new vocational skills as well. They were a great place for bonding and went a long way in creating a healthy collaborative environment. It also encouraged us to jointly celebrate festivals and other occasions.
- Housekeeping and maintenance – is another area which bothers us when we step out to work. That’s precisely the reason why employees are seeking out residences which provide for all amenities and maintenance as well. People are willing to pay a premium for getting these services. In the Armed forces, these are taken care of and that helps a great deal.
Why not we look at innovative ways of implementing the above in the corporate world? When your employee feels his home is secure, he can be fully committed and focused at work…