What is motivation?
Pick up any dictionary and look up the word motivation. Chances are you’ll see the meaning of motivation is a need or desire that compels a person to act. The term has originated from a Latin word “motus” which means “motion”.
Motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation
So why is it that the subject of motivation is such a hot topic in business management?
Business literature is packed with advice about personal and team motivation. In fact the phrase ‘get motivated‘ is searched in Google over 1,000 times per day by people trying to find answers for their own motivation and the phrase ‘employee motivation‘ gets over twice the number of daily searches, over 2,000 searches, every DAY.
It’s a popular topic and a common problem.
Staying motivated keeping your team motivated can be tough.
And here’s another interesting fact about motivation. According to a study done between 2001 and 2004 on 1.2 million employees of mostly Fortune 1000 companies, (Sirota Survey Intelligence, Purchase, New York), the great majority of those surveyed were quite enthusiastic and motivated when they first started working at their company, but within 6 months 85% of them had lost the majority of their enthusiasm for their work, and the deterioration of that motivation continued for years afterward.
Motivation = goal oriented action and energy. Demotivation is the opposite.
And what was the reason 85% of those surveyed lost their motivation and enthusiasm for their work?
The answer was it was how they were managed that was the underlying cause. How those employees were treated, how they were managed was the reason 85% of them became demovtivated after 5 months on the job.
Team motivation is the function of leaders and managers. It’s what you must do if you want a motivated team that achieves the goals that are set for them.
I’m sure you have some ideas on what motivates an employee and yourself.
I want you to keep these ideas of what you think these are in mind as you watch the following video (the 10 minutes it takes to watch is time very well spent)
OK, got the idea?
Here’s another exercise for you. Click on this LINK to go to a page where staff and employees from all different types of industry have left comments on what motivates them. As you read through these comments, the tips on how to keep yourself and your team motivated should become obvious. There are definite themes in these comments.
Here are some tips you can use today to help motivate your team (and yourself) in achieving your goals.
1. Choose the right team members (Employee Testing Center has an excellent tool to help you do that. Their system helps you find the right staff and avoid hiring the wrong one before you bring them into your business – and you can try their system out for free by clicking on the link above)
2. Motivating employees starts with motivating yourself – It’s amazing how, if you hate your job, it seems like everyone else does, too. If you’re critical, stressed out, and angry, it seems like everyone else becomes that way too. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you’re enthusiastic about your job, it’s much easier for others to be, too. Also, if you’re doing a good job of taking care of yourself and your own job, you’ll have much clearer perspective on how others are doing in theirs.
3. Instill an inspiring purpose. Be clear on what your organization’s goals are and what your goals for your team are too. A clear, credible, and inspiring organizational purpose translates for your team into a reason for being there that goes above and beyond money.
4. Have a clear-cut method of showing appreciation when a team member performs well. Written validation, a pat on the back, extra time off and recognition at staff meetings, as well and pay and incentive bonuses go a long way in keeping your team motivated. And if the team, as a team, achieves greatness, the celebration should shake the rafters.
5. Listen to your team and let them know you appreciate their input and their feedback. Make them understand they are valuable to you and the business. Encourage their participation in problem solving and suggestions and make a point in acknowledging these contributions.
6. Get with each team member to understand what motivates them. Make this a one-on-one meeting where you find out what their motivations are and discuss how their motivational goals can be met on the job.
7. Address non-optimum performance directly and remedy it . A poor performer who is allowed to remain part of the team only serves to demoralize the entire group. If the team member can’t be fixed he/she should be replaced.
8. Reward motivated performance and behavior it soon after you see it.
The shorter the time between a team members positive action and your reward for the action, the clearer it is to the person that’s the type of behavior that you want them to aim for.
9. Establish goals that are SMARTER. SMARTER goals are: specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, timely, extending of capabilities, and rewarding to those involved. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria has a good overview of this system.
And now your homework for today. Set aside some time to write down what motivates you and what you can do to better motivate your staff (including implementing the above steps). This homework lesson will be well worth the time you take to do it both to you and your team.