“How can I boost the motivation of my team?”
It’s one of the most common questions I am asked. Some people question if it is possible to motivate others. They would argue that a person can only ever motivate themselves. However, let’s look at it another way. Is it possible to de-motivate someone else? If so, clearly we can have an impact on the motivation of those around us. That doesn’t mean that we can inject people with motivation. What we can do is to create a motivational environment. We can build a culture and an environment in which motivation thrives!
How do we do it?
Here are the 5 Key elements.
– Know the reason.
To be motivated, we need a compelling reason. In order to master our motivation, we need to be acutely aware of this reason. It has to be meaningful. We really have to want it!
– Find intrinsic reasons.
Your motivators can either be extrinsic (external motivators such as money, recognition or reward), or intrinsic (internal motivators such as the love of doing the job). Although both can be powerful, intrinsic motivators tend to be more stable and enduring.
– Understand the difference between success and failure.
Understand why it is important to do the job exceptionally well. Why is important not to take short cuts? What is the difference between doing an exceptional job and an above average job? What are the benefits of doing a job well, and the consequences of doing it poorly?
– Have a clear focus.
Normally we are motivated when we understand what we need to do. Most of us are motivated when we have a simple, clear job and when we know we have the ability to do it. We are also motivated when that job is stimulating and challenging. Not too easy. Not too difficult.
– Motivation is personal!
Not everyone is motivated by the same things. Therefore any motivational strategy should take into account the differences between individuals. It is the same for incentives. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to incentives is not likely to work for many people.
When We Get It Wrong…
In business, motivating yourself and your team has an enormous impact on performance. When lack of motivation becomes an issue, people often start to take their foot off the gas. They start choosing to do the easier things rather than the difficult things. They don’t push themselves quite as hard. They get despondent quicker. Rather than sticking with something until they make it work, they might try a few times but give up because they think ‘it’s just not working’. They take on less challenges and stick to their comfort zone more closely. If there is a choice to do a something now or postpone, they start to postpone. The end result is a negative downward spiral of reducing performance, reducing confidence and reducing motivation. Ultimately, the results suffer!
When We Get It Right…
When we are motivated, we normally find a positive spiral of high performance, confidence, achievement and enjoyment. Creating a motivational environment can have a huge impact on the long term performance of a business. Leadership, performance management, incentive structures, understanding the strengths, weaknesses and personality of staff, knowing how to structure challenges, build confidence and hone focus are all key elements in creating a motivational environment. Getting these elements right often takes a little effort, but the prize is enormous.
To find out how to master your own motivation and create a high-performance, motivational environment, download ‘Master Motivation for Business’ at http://www.be-world-class.com/webinars/business-webinars/master-motivation-in-business-webinar.
Simon Hartley is an Olympic Sport Psychologist, Performance Coach and the author of Peak Performance Every Time (published by Routledge).