What you’re really meant to do
Motivation is a huge topic right now. In a business setting getting it right can pay huge dividends, getting it wrong can play havoc with the bottom line. A motivated team will go that extra mile, think bigger and more creatively, seek to make a difference. An unmotivated team will sap morale, watch the clock and save their best for elsewhere.
Something has to be done you say. And you are right. Most businesses focus on tackling the extrinsic aspects of motivation – those that can be manifested visibly. An obvious one is money. The more money you can get access to the higher the motivation and the greater the benefit. Status is another. Hitch up the job title another notch, the bigger desk, the cooler office location. The list goes on. Power, authority, bonuses. If we can tackle the tangible then the intangible will occur. Right?
Well maybe. But another way of looking at the issue is to seek to enhance engagement through the intrinsic motivators. These are the things that motivate us internally. For instance you may be passionate about your business’ culture , the unique way things get done. Or you might seek to engage and relate with work on an intellectual stimulation basis. You love the challenge of a difficult problem to grapple with and receive thanks for the efforts. Some might seek to forge strong bonds with others and create a team spirit that delivers.
The problem as you can see immediately is that extrinsic is easy to see and manage and can be effected corporately, whilst intrinsic focuses on what cannot be seen and is centred on the individual.
But it’s worth the effort. Break the mould of stereotypical views of success by measuring it through benchmarking, goals, objectives, all forms of visible milestones. Seek instead to motivate by digging deep and uncovering what really motivates us – our values. By doing so you release untapped potential.
How? Take the time to ask the team members what it is that they value and how they can make that happen at the workplace. I met a business owner who values where he works. He is hard working, diligent, creative and resourceful. But he likes to work in a variety of settings. Placing him in an office would stifle his energy and eventually lead to him either leaving or working sub-optimally. Another loved to walk and talk. The place and the pace were the key to him achieving his inner or intrinsic motivational platform.
Insanely simple and yet difficult to make happen. Which is why most organisations prefer extrinsic measures. Why not break through the outer hard shell and engage with the living person beneath. It might surprise you.
Let me know how you get on.
PS – the inspiration for this blog came from reading this book – “What you’re really meant to do.” by Robert S. Kaplan