Improving and maintaining motivation in the workplace is a challenge all leaders face, at some point in time. I want to make sure that the next time your team needs to complete the dreaded 'employee job satisfaction survey' that your team's results are positive.
Employee engagement and job satisfaction surveys often point to a lack of team member engagement, inspiration and good leadership, so this is the first of four articles designed to help you inspire your people.
As an aside, I prefer to use the term inspiring than motivating - however it seems not to many people are searching for that term ... so in order for you to find this page and site I have had to use the word motivation. :(
The ability to inspire and get people to want to come to work with a spring in their step is one those great leadership qualities that you should make sure you have down pat!
You Must Understand This ... You Can't Motivate Anyone!
How do you motivate someone to be fully engaged and passionate? Well you can't. Motivation comes from within. It is not something that can be externally driven.
Sure at times your encouragement, inspiration and support ... or your bribes and threats ... will get people rolling, however, it won't keep them rolling for long or coming to work with a spring in their step.
You may be thinking, 'look in my own experience I have either been motivated by the offer of reward or the threat of a punishment and it certainly got me to take action (work long hours, get a promotion)'. You may have even successfully done it with others (tidy your room up and I'll take you to the movies).
But there are two questions to ask,
- Were you doing the job to your best? and
- The moment the threat or reward was removed did you continue the behavior?
And that's the kicker. For many people the answer is no.
The minute the threat or inducement disappears so too does the behavior. Inducement or threats certainly get short-term behaviors, but not long-term commitment. And they require the punisher or rewarder to always be there and more often than not over time they have to up the ante to get the same level of performance.
Motivation generally requires someone else to be there prodding, and poking to keep you going, because you would probably rather be doing something else. Inspiration is self-generating. Certainly, there may have been an outside influence initially, when someone role-modeled, or set the circumstances that enable a person to feel inspired, but once inspired it is self-fueling.
Okay. So now we've got out of the way why you can't motivate anyone ... let's take a look at what gets people out of bed and what you can do to create the environment that will encourage people to feel inspired to give of their best.
If you want to go into greater detail in how to create inspiration rather than motivation in the workplace, then access "How To Motivate Employees".
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