Before we start talking about the 'how to' of motivation its important to really get to grips with understanding exactly what motivation is. Kanfer & Akerman (2000), state that 'motivation concerns the direction, intensity and persistence of work behavior'. This definition is heavily linked with workplace motivation, but can be translated to all walks of life (even getting your children to do something...), by swapping 'work behaviour' to 'task or goal orientated behaviour'. But in a nutshell - motivation is the amount of effort we put into achieving a specific task, or goal.
Motivation is super important when it comes to actually achieving anything - if we are unmotivated by the task/goal at hand then we are not going to expend any effort to achieve it.
So how do you go about increasing someone else's motivation to achieve?
Importantly what people tend to get wrong straight off is the bribery option - offering a monetary incentive. Trust me there are certain things I would refuse to do even if there is a million pounds on the table (and I'm sure the same is true for you!). Yes rewards are important - but they need to be relevant to that individual. Anything which is used as a persuasion tactic (good, or bad - some people get so desperate that they actually start to threaten staff..) is classed as 'controlled' motivation. Any form of controlled motivation usually ends with the employee completely devoid of any motivation in the future, and often with no more desire to be part of the company.
BUT - as always there is hope! When an employee, team member (or your own children), are interested in the goal/task they will be motivated to achieve. This motivation can come from their own desire to achieve (internally) - e.g., they just love what they are doing, or because they believe in the value of their specific task/goal to the overall benefit to the company/team (external) e.g., they know by hitting their 10 a week goal the company hits their 60 a week goal which enables them to stay as the industry leader...
OK so how do you 'use' this information to supercharge your team?
It's actually really simple but as always it starts with a conversation. First you need to know your employees inside and out - Why did they join the company? Why did they apply for the role? Why are they still with the company? What do they want (e.g., more pay, promotion, extra day off...)? What are they prepared to do to get what they want? What do you need to do to help them achieve? (plus loads of more questions which will give you an insight into what is going to motivate them internally, and as an added boost also externally...)
Then use the information they have given you! #simples
Katie Woodland - A developmental, and holistic psychologist who specialises in educating and empowering individuals, business leaders & school teachers to remove mental health as a barrier to success.
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