I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about motivation.
The questions are typically a variation of this thought:
“Vanessa, what can I do to motivate the people on my team these days? They are so tired and have been through so much over the last 18 months.”
What motivates people is actually a complex question.
I’m going to answer it in two ways.
First, I’ll explain what science and research indicate.
Then, I’ll share my personal perspective with you.
In his book, Drive, author Daniel Pink describes the science of motivation from the perspective of top-tier economists, sociologists, and phycologists.
Daniel Pink’s research asks the question, “Does higher pay equal better performance? Is it money that motivates people at work?”
Surprisingly, the research actually indicates the exact opposite. Higher incentives (more pay) actually lead to WORSE performance.
Science indicates that money is only a motivator if you don’t pay people enough in the first place. Organizations should pay people sufficiently so that they don’t need to worry about money and can focus on getting their job done effectively.
So, what does motivate people at work?
Daniel Pink’s research indicates these three motivators:
- Autonomy: People want to be self-directed. So, as a leader get out of peoples’ way and let them do their job their way.
- Mastery: People want to get better at stuff. So, as a leader, challenge people, give them interesting work and invest in their development.
- Purpose. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. So, as a leader ensure that the people on your team understand why their contribution matters to the overall success of your business.
Now here is my perspective based not on research but on thousands of conversations that I have had with real people!
If you want to motivate people:
- Be nice. People want to work for people they like. Treat everyone with kindness and respect.
- Be caring. People want to know that they matter. Give them positive feedback and appreciation for a job well done.
- Be real. People want to work for transparent leaders. These are people who share their wins, losses, and vulnerabilities in an open way.
So, whether you resonate with Daniel Pink’s research, my “in the trenches” perspective, or perhaps a combination of both, take the time to consider how you can create a motivating environment for your team.
These days, the environment you create as a leader matters…a lot!
In other news
I had an idea that I’d like to share with you that is related to today’s topic of motivation.
I’ve been thinking, I’d really like to support you.
I had an idea for a free workshop for leaders.
It would be my gift to you to say “thanks for hanging in there and being a really caring leader.”
Would you be interested in a workshop that covered the following:
- Understanding the principles of motivation
- Knowing how to create a motivating environment for people with different work-styles
- Learning 2-3 activities that you can do in team meetings that are fun, engaging and will help create a motivating environment on your team
I was thinking of a one-hour session over the lunch hour one day.
What do you think?
If this interests you, can you email and let me know?
If I get enough interest, I’ll set it up.
I think we’d have a ton of fun exploring this topic together.
I look forward to hearing from you.