Inspiring Motivation

in the Workplace

Improving and Maintaining Motivation in the Workplace is a challenge all leaders face at times. The question is: Can you truly motivate someone?

Improving and maintaining motivation in the workplace is a challenge all leaders face, at some point. Let's make sure that the next time your team needs to complete the dreaded "employee job satisfaction survey," your team's results are exceptionally positive.

How inspiring and motivating is your leadership?

Unfortunately, most employee engagement and job satisfaction surveys point to a lack of team member engagement. Furthermore the research is clear: workplace motivation, engagement, and satisfaction are driven by an individual's direct leader. 

Research by Gallup provides us with these statistics:

  • Only 20% of people strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates
  • Managers account for 70% of the variance in performance
  • One in two people have left an organization to get away from a bad manager
  • 21% of people said their supervisor does not create an environment that is trusting and open
What you do matters! 

As a leader you have a massive influence over how well people perform. 

Yet, the truth is you actually can't motivate anyone. However, you can influence it.

What's your impact on motivation in the workplace?

In this series of four articles we are going to set you up with the mindset and tools to impact the motivation levels in your workplace.

As an aside, I prefer to use the term inspiring than motivating - however, it seems not too many people are searching for that inspiring workplaces ... so for you to find this page and site I have had to use the word motivation. :(

You become a compelling, and in demand, leader when you can inspire people to want to come to work ...

to want to come to work with a spring in their step!

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 going 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 punishment. Those threats or rewards got me to take action." For example, you might have worked long hours, showed your commitment and you got a promotion. 

Threats or bribes will get people rolling ... but don't expect excellence

Furthermore, you may have even successfully motivated others using threats or bribes. For example, saying to an 8 year old, "If you tidy your room, I'll take you to the movies."

But there are two questions to ask:

  • 1
    Were you (or the other person) doing the job to your best?
  • 2
    The moment the threat or reward was removed, did you continue the behavior?

And that's the kicker. For many people, the answer to both questions is no.

The minute the threat or inducement disappears so too does the behavior.

Inducement or threats get short-term behaviors...

 but not a long-term commitment

Inducements or threats require the punisher or rewarder always to be there, prodding and poking to keep you going. Otherwise you'd probably go off and do something else that is more engaging to you.

Furthermore, over time, the person dangling the carrot or wielding the stick has to up the ante to get the same level of performance. Regardless of whether you're looking at workplace motivation or home motivation, these principles hold true.

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 an environment that will encourage people to feel inspired to give of their best.

If you want to go into greater detail on how to create inspiration rather than motivation in the workplace, then access "How To Motivate Employees".

Bribes & Threats Get Action, Low Performance and Low Commitment

High Performance Comes From People Taking Inspired Action

Related Articles

Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


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