Monday, March 15, 2010

The Secret of Motivation

Budgets are still tight and resources are stretched thin.  I know - duh.  In spite of the recent spate of seemingly "better" news, these are the realities of the current market place. We are all being forced to do much more with much less.  As a result, much of your company's performance depends on the effort and innovation of those team members you currently have.  So how do you motivate those workers?  How do you get the most out of them?

20100315_Science_of_Motivation.jpgLast week Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal chimed in with "The Secret to Motivating Your Team". If you've attended the People Report Best Practices Conference in the last several years, his secret should come as no surprise

People Report proposes that the answer to motivating today's worker is in creating an "Employee Value Proposition" that is aligned with your company values. (Click here for more on the Employee Value Proposition and motivation).  It is based on the famous "Hierarchy of Needs" developed by social scientist Abraham Maslow, which states that basic needs must be met in each of our lives, and once these needs have been met, it frees individuals to increase their engagement and continue their development.

Employees progress up the hierarchy with the end goal being that of meaningful work.  At this point it's not about a paycheck, it's about a purpose.  (Please note - this is about motivating employees who actually HAVE a job, and are being paid fairly - it is very difficult to worry about purpose when you can't pay your rent.)  This is exactly the same conclusion the Wall Street Journal came to:

"…work must give meaning. As a manager, you are the maker of meanings. You need to make sure your team is personally committed to the goals of the organization, that they feel those goals are worth achieving, and that they feel they are playing a significant role in achieving those goals….The manager's job is to get his team to make a commitment - to each other, to the goals of the group, to a cause that is greater than themselves. That commitment, it turns out, is worth more than gold."

We couldn't agree more.

For more on motivation and the Employee Value Proposition, check out "This Revolution is not just about Talent" and "The Voice of Motivation 2.0--Dan Pink."

Michael Harms | Post a Comment | Email Article

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