The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
Many managers tell me that they want to get closer to their staff to motivate them and keep them enthusiastic in their jobs, but they lack the social skills to determine how best to do it.
Some express the concern that they feel isolated from their teams, even though they might actually be working in the same office.
This article title has been requested by one of our regular readers, so glad to oblige. If you would like to request a subject then please let us know.
This blog will assume that the person concerned already has a key goal and that they are passionate and motivated to achieve it. If that is the case then what are the factors that can cause motivational dips? I think that motivational dips can be catergorised into three types, which are:
Tony Robbins has identified six basic human needs and believes everyone is—or can be—motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs.
You may want to consider these needs when thinking about developing your team members The question to ask is, “What need or needs do my team have that will enable them to fulfill their job roles effectively?”
1. Certainty/Comfort. We all want comfort. And much of this comfort comes from certainty. Of course there is no ABSOLUTE certainty, but we want certainty our computer will start up, the canteen will be open when we want it to be and our job will still be there when we wake up tomorrow morning .
2. Variety. At the same time as we want certainty, we also crave variety. Paradoxically, there needs to be enough UNcertainty to provide spice and adventure in our lives.
3. Significance. Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. Can you imagine looking back on your life and wondering whether you made a difference and coming to the conclusion that you didn’t? There’s not many things worse than that.
4. Connection/Love. It would be hard to argue against the need for connection with other people. We want to feel part of a community. We want to be cared for and cared about. Abraham Maslow called it our need to ‘belong’. It’s the essence of teamwork. It’s what we crave for when we work with others.
5. Growth. There could be some people who say they don’t want to grow, but that’s probably because they have goals that don’t inspire them (or no goals at all). To become better, to improve our skills, to stretch and excel may be more evident in some than others, but it’s there. Try creating goals for the team that will provide rewards other than money, and see which team members go for it. Those who don’t may have died mentally, but not told you!
6. Contribution. The desire to contribute something of value—to help others, to make the world a better place than we found it is in all of us. Take that need away, and you lose all motivation.
Evaluate this list to better understand your personal motivations and examine which ones seem the most significant to you. Then, look at what you do to fulfill the needs of other team members. It will likely make a difference in what and how you do what you do. It also should make a difference in the way you describe and explain what you and your products can do.
During your time working with your team members and employees you are going to find that some are more motivated than others. During those times when certain team members seem less motivated you are going to have to find ways to get them back on track. Before you can do so, it will help you to understand that there are three main types of motivation.
The first type of motivation is the promise of some type of reward. The reward may or may not be tangible (recognition, an extra few hours off, or financial). Regardless, people are sometimes more motivated when they believe they are working towards a goal. A paycheck, in this example, simply isn’t enough.
The next type of motivation is the fear of loss – or a fear of being punished if the job isn’t done. You may find that you have to pull a team member aside for a meeting or review in which you lay down an ultimatum – start getting your work done or you may lose your job. This is, of course, an extreme example but in the end those who fear they’ll lose out on any level at all (no bonus, no extra holiday) tend to stay motivated.
Finally, those who have a sense of responsibility or obligation tend to stay motivated. They feel as though they have a sense of duty. Some people can find a sense of responsibility on their own while others may need help finding their purpose. The point is that once they have a sense of purpose they’ll begin to work for and with it.
Are you and the members of your team motivated? If not, what can you to do give them a little push in the right direction?