Managers know that they need to keep their employees’ motivation high, or else there may be performance problems. But many people ask me how they can motivate the de-motivated. And they also ask why there is still poor motivation even though they have tried all the motivation theories taught out there.
There are, however, challenges when it comes to motivating others, and many managers make common mistakes when they try to motivate. Are you making some of these motivation mistakes?
1) Thinking that everyone is motivated by the same things that motivate you. You may be driven by achieving targets, hitting objectives or attaining goals, but these are company goals and many people, when you ask them, deep down care for many other things before they think of the company.
2) Thinking that offering money as an incentive should motivate people. Extra money may be a motivator in the short term, but most team members will view it as a reward for work already completed, rather than an incentive for future performance.
3) Thinking that everyone should be motivated by the same thing. You may offer a reward for the whole team for achieving a performance goal. Then you may be puzzled because some really go for it and some don’t. The truth is that motivation is individual, and a team goal may be good for some, while others feel they they need something else to drive them forward
4) Thinking that external motivators should work all the time. Actually, it’s the internal drivers (or intrinsic motivators) that persuade someone to carry out a task. External motivators (e.g. money, responsibility, recognition, status, better company car, promotion) may work for some, for some time, but it’s the internal motivators (e.g. pride in the job, achievement, growth) that really drive a person to do something because they really want to.
Motivation has to be dealt with on a personal basis, and no two people will have the same drive for motivation, simply because no two people have the same conditioning, responsibilities, resources, needs, desires, background or life circumstances outside of work. Keep you eyes open for what motivates a team member and then supply more of it, if you can.
Originally published: 28 April, 2011