Pay, praise, and promotion may have some effect on motivation levels in the workplace.
But these three Ps pale in comparison to more personal factors such as the Top 5 of the oft-cited research by Rewick and Lawler: job challenge, accomplishing something worthwhile, learning new things, developing skills and abilities, and autonomy.
Take this true or false self-1uiz to see how you’re doing in lighting & kindling the fire of enthusiasm in your employees.
1. I know things about the personal lives of those who work with me, such as how many children they have or their special hobbies or musical tastes.
2. I try to ask questions rather than give direct orders.
3. When making a request, I match the benefits of the task to the goals and values of the person I am asking.
4. To let people know that I have noticed, I give specific and sincere praise for improvements in performance. I celebrate successes.
5. When I give criticism, I begin with an honest appreciation for what is being done well and right. I follow that with an “and” rather than a “but” before delivering criticism.
6. Put simply, I treat others the way I like to be treated.
7. I set goals that are reasonable, but that require stretching. Whenever possible, I work with individuals to set goals together.
8. I respect the professionalism and expertise of those I manage. I ask for their input in planning, and I give them autonomy and authority to complete projects.
9. I share my own thinking and values around the goals and projects set.
10. Rather than worry too much about others’ weaknesses, I focus on building their strengths.
11. If those I manage are not motivated, I look first to myself and what I need to change about myself or my approach.
12. I give constant feedback, both verbal and statistical so that my direct reports always know how they’re doing.
13. I am motivated, enthusiastic, transparent, and energetic. I have a good balance in my work/personal life, and I love what I do. In effect, I am modeling the traits I want to see in others.
14. I am always on the lookout for challenging tasks for those I manage.
15. Everyone I work with understands what the company’s mission and vision mean to them as individuals.
If you answered false more often than true, you might want to consider giving the topic more attention. Motivating others isn’t always easy. But because it doesn’t come from you (it comes from within your employees), it may be easier and more fun than you think.
It’s not about what you must control, but about what you can help unleash! If you’d like to work on motivation, or any other leadership issue, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Author’s content used under license, © 2010 Claire Communications