Motivation is a tricky concept and depending on who you are and where you sit on the motivation spectrum, you are either someone who can happily self motivate or you are the type of person who requires a good boost of external motivation to get you moving.
Find the motivational balance
The people who work in your organisation including yourself will sit somewhere on this spectrum. You will be able to clearly see this through your team’s behaviour and work ethic. Even though it’s a business owner’s biggest dream to have a team of solely self-motivated individuals, this kind of dream is just that, a dream. A fabulous dream, which also probably showcases a few unicorns, pots of gold at the end of beautiful rainbows and permanently happy employees being 100% productive 100% of the time. Sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that aiming to have self-motivated people in your business is unrealistic. However it is unrealistic to think you don’t need to motivate your team. There needs to be a good balance between internal and external motivators. Absolutely, hire people who are self-starters and don’t need to be booted into action. Then ensure that you are motivating them when they need it the most. Motivating your team is a key part of your job as a business owner or manager.
So how do you motivate your team?
Do you motivate with a stick or do you dangle a “carrot”? Do you motivate through pain or pleasure? Do you motivate through rewarding them or through fear?
The concept behind Freud’s pain-pleasure principle is that people will instinctively move away from pain and move towards pleasure. As a business owner or manager you may see that using pain or the “stick” method is a win-win situation. Motivate through pain or the idea of pain or fear such as,
- “If you don’t complete this project on time, you may lose your job or your supervisory status”
- “If you aren’t in the the top 10% of the sales team you won’t receive your commission”
You may see that this type of motivator triggers a response. The team seems to work harder they are more competitive and driven to reach their goals. And I can tell you that the majority of them are hating their jobs and the first sniff of alternative employment and they are outta there.
As a business owner you want your team to work harder to be competitive and driven. But it should be for the right reasons. Let’s relook at the motivational pitch.
- “If you complete the project before the deadline and it measures all the necessary criteria, you could be in the draw to win the employee weekend away “
- “ If you are in the top 10% of the sales team, you earn an additional 5% commission on any additional sales completed over and above your set target.”
Motivate the right way
Do you motivate through pain or pleasure? Reward or fear? This is an important question as depending on what your answer is, it will radically affect your team’s working environment. Your motivational style will influence and define the corporate culture within your department or within the business as a whole. Your business reputation will be affected by how you motivate your team. Do you need to change your motivation strategy?
Need some assistance? Contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org for professional business coaching.
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