I could write an endless story about motivation and how historically it’s been achieved. I would rather focus on key issues that have shaped our ideas on motivation and in particular things that really work and that you can apply in your work place.
Most of the motivational theories you know were written year ago – before the modern age and before computers and todays working environment existed. Regretfully, these old theories are still taught at business schools and its not until managers try to apply them in the real world they realize; they don’t work.
In today’s business, motivation is about creating an environment or situation where the employee wants to do something, either for self satisfaction or to achieve an objective, rather than being pushed cajoled or pressurised to do.
A new motivational model copyright Dr. Tony Miller
The model starts with a winning methodology – Peter Drucker’s Management by objectives. Setting objectives is still the best way to get things done. These objectives are normally set when we do performance appraisal. At appraisal we should examine whether the employee needs training. If the answer is yes then we should make sure the training is done before they carry out the objective. After all we want people to be successful right from the start.
When the person is doing the objective, MBWA, makes sense. Its taking an interest in what’s happening and providing coaching where needed. The concept here is unaltered. We want employees to be successful.
Three things to improve motivation
1. Making the difference – Start the week right
Mondays – the dread of back to work or the start of a great week? The choice is yours, but as the leader you need to set the tone for what the week will bring. A quick upbeat briefing on key targets for the week is the best way to get everyone energised. This briefing, 2 – 5 minutes at the most, it is designed to get everyone in work mode and productive.
2. Power coaching
Coaching takes many different forms. The one I have found to be most beneficial in terms of producing improvement in performance is power coaching. People respond to coaching for many different reasons. Extroverts like it because they get lots of attention and thus it stimulates their ego. Introverts like it, but for different reasons. It is personal and somewhat private.
Ask most managers what motivational techniques they use and you will end up with the carrot and the stick! As the managers don’t have that many carrots – then all that’s left is the stick. There needs to be agreed funding for Goodies as the principal sits outside any official bonus or rewards function.
The basic concept is simple you set an additional target to be achieved and whoever get hits the target get a prize. Prizes can be:
- Paid holidays at a resort
- A Car
- Shopping vouchers
- Dinner for the family at a superb resteraunt etc.
The key element is that goodies are fun and raise motivation levels within the company. In the great scheme of things the cost is minimal – the fun is massive.