A Look at Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is when a person is motivated to do something based on external factors, which come in the form of rewards. The offer of money is a particularly common extrinsic motivator. This is opposed to the concept behind intrinsic motivation where a person is moved to do something in order to help others or simply to make himself or herself happy.

Sometimes extrinsic motivation can be of the positive kind while other times it can be negative. Positive extrinsic motivation can come by way of incentives, money, discounts, etc.

For example many airlines offer discounts as well as air miles and bonuses to convince customers to fly with them instead of their competition.

Many workplaces offer promotions, cash incentives or trips as a form of positive extrinsic motivation in a tangible way. Other forms of extrinsic motivation that are commonly found at offices are intangible forms such as public commendations or praise for a job well done.

When students are offered the chance for a fun class trip or a pizza party for the class that sells the most chocolate bars for the school, this is a form of positive extrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation has its negative side as well. Negative extrinsic motivation can also be used to push people into doing something.

Negative motivation often takes the form of threats, blackmail, bribery or pressure in one form or another. Extrinsic motivation, whether it is positive or negative is usually very effective and easy but also it can take a cruel or crude form.

When someone is threatened with physical harm or their loved ones are threatened with physical harm by an unsavory individual, negative extrinsic motivation will get the aggressor what they want but by way of fear and intimidation.

It is important to note that extrinsic motivation focuses an individual's attention on the reward they will receive in the end as opposed to the action or the "doing" aspect.

In most cases what happens is that if the reward is taken away from the person they will then stop doing the action. The same is true with regards to negative extrinsic motivation-a person is motivated by avoiding pain, embarrassment, disappointment by others, public humiliation etc.

This however can work well if a person is engaged in a behavior that another person wants them to stop doing. First give the person an extrinsic reward for doing said behavior and then take away the reward.

With no reward in sight the person is very likely to stop doing the unwanted activity and the problem will be solved.

Extrinsic motivation is very much a part of many workplaces. Tangible rewards such as promotions, money, newer office equipment or a bigger, brighter office are very common, as are tangible rewards that have to do with being "dressed down" by a superior or being punished in one form or another (such as a demotion or being made to take leave without pay).

Intangible rewards work as extrinsic motivation, which include praise for one's accomplishments and / or a public acknowledgment of work that was well handled or well done.

Intrinsic motivation does not work as well in the working world because the number one reason people work is to make money to pay their mortgage or rent and all other bills, feed their families and build a life.

As well not every person chooses a job based on how much a given field of work means to him or her.

Many people simply take jobs as a means to an end or look at things such as how close in vicinity the job is to their home, the hours, the rate of pay, etc.

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Find Your Motivation

What motivates you?

It’s an answer you have to find out for yourself. There are so many things that can make you feel motivated, but to choose just one of them may be the hardest part.

Get negative people out of your life for starters. Criticism is always going to happen. Constructive criticism is a good thing and helps growth, but negative criticism isn’t beneficial. I found that when I was being told that my writing wasn’t all that good (on a regular basis) I started to believe it myself. Remove yourself from negative environments and surround yourself with positive people. Smile and think happy thoughts.

Ask yourself questions like-

• What goals do I want to achieve?

• Why am I doing this?

• How soon do I want to see these goals reached?

Have visual goals. Make whatever you’re working towards a visual. Maybe it’s something material like a car, or a vacation you have been looking forward to for the longest time. Take or cut out a picture of it and post it in your environment where you will see it most often. These visuals can be looked at when motivation lacks, and the feeling of continuing towards your goal seems pointless. Picture yourself obtaining that goal and tell yourself you are capable of reaching it.

Draw up a to-do-list. Research has shown that people who write down to-do-lists tend to achieve their goals. Break down the activity into small doable steps instead of having just the final goal. As you achieve each of the smaller tasks, it will help build your confidence that you are indeed on the right path. As your confidence builds, so will your motivation. You will feel encouraged to continue and reach your ultimate goal.

Read books and literature that will help to inspire you. Reading stories about other peoples success can boost motivation levels. Not only will you learn from others peoples’ experiences, but it will also be beneficial in motivating you to keep following the path to reaching your goal.

Find forums and communities within your interest and join up. Talking to other members can be one of the biggest motivational kicks. Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have groups where you can discuss ideas, get tips from other members to help you get back on track.

Positive statements on Post-It notes around your environment, can also help boost motivation.

MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! Keep on aiming high and go for it!

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The Five Levels of Employee Motivation

Employee motivation can be quite a challenge. The decision on how committed an employee will be towards the organization, division or team, depends entirely on the individual. Therefore, the first step to employee motivation is to engage with each individual. Find out what makes him/her tick. The purpose of this article is to know what to look for when you engage with the individual.

Many leaders make the mistake of applying a single motivational strategy to all their employees. The fact of the matter is that different things might motivate different employees. So how do you find the right formula for each employee?

The Loyalty Institute at Aon Consulting did extensive research on employee commitment. They came up with the five drivers of employee motivation, also known as the performance pyramid.

It works a lot like Marslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where the first level of motivational needs first need be satisfied, before a need arise in the next level. It wasn’t intended that way. It just happened to work out like that.

The performance pyramid can provide some wonderful guidance to know what to look for when you engage with your employees. Let’s have a look at the five levels and see how it can help you to find ways to motivate employees.

Level 1: Safety and Security

Along with a physical sense of well-being, there must be a psychological belief that the environment is free of fear, intimidation or harassment.

Level 2: Rewards

Yes, you knew it. Most people won’t come to work tomorrow if they win a big lottery today. This is the perception that the organization attempts to satisfy the employee’s compensation and benefits needs.

Level 3: Affiliation

This is a sense of belonging. It includes being “in the know” and being part of the team. This is also where a difference in personal and organizational values can have a big impact on motivation.

Level 4: Growth

Employees want to have the belief that achievement is taking place. I might feel safe, get all the money I want and feel part of the team. But if there are no growth opportunities, I might think about leaving the company.

Level 5: Work/Life Harmony

This term speaks for itself. Someone might have all the rewards that he/she wants, but he/she will burn out sooner or later if they don’t have the time to spend it on the other things they want.

What Should You Do With These Drivers Of Employee Motivation?

While all five levels are important, the key is to pinpoint where the individuals and the workforce are not having their needs met. Start by offering a safe, secure work environment and equitable compensation and benefits packages. This is the foundation. However, before you launch those new and trendy benefits, engage with each individual and take a good, hard look at the basics. The young smart upstart employee might not be as exited about that benefits program. His needs might be to use that money to buy a new sport scar. The opposite might be true for the 40 something baby boomer.

Some other pointers to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of the five levels of employee motivation when you engage with your employees.
  • Make your own assessment of what the needs of each individual are.
  • Engage with each individual. Explain the different levels and ask them where they find themselves on the pyramid. What are his/her biggest needs?
  • Engage with bigger teams and eventually with the whole organization about these levels of employee motivation.
  • Do something about it. If someone wants growth, give it to him or her. If they want work/life harmony, make a plan. And Ditto for the rest of the drivers.
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Tips on How to Motivate Your English Language Learners to Study ESL

Rod Ellis defines motivation as referring to “the efforts which learners put into learning an L2 as a result of their need or desire to learn” (1995).

The two main types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, can affect the learning process. Intrinsic motivation is task motivation that derives from an inherent interest in the learning tasks while extrinsic motivation refers to the external influences that affect the strength of learner’s motivation such as that which comes from teachers and parents.

While some students have their own intrinsic motivation or external motivation, other students need to be motivated to learn. There are many things that you can do as a teacher in order to motivate students to learn. These strategies are based on various articles I have read below.

Students are more likely to want to learn when they appreciate the value of the classroom activities, and when they believe that they will succeed if they apply reasonable effort. Hence, “student motivation to learn is an acquired competence developed through general experiences but stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by significant others – especially teachers and parents” (Brophy, p.40) When it comes to lower performing learners, teachers realize that such learners are accustomed to experiencing failure, hence, the teacher’s task is to help them experience success.

Here are some strategies and tips that may motivate students and stimulate them to learn.

  • Provide a supportive environment and establish a trusting bond. “Motivation is the feeling nurtured primarily by the teacher in the learning situation” (Ellis, 1994). Greet your students, interact with them, indicate a personal concern about them as individuals.
  • Cater levels of activity to students’ level – try and make sure that the learning tasks pose a reasonable challenge to the students – neither too difficult nor too easy.
  • Help students recognize links between effort outcome – learning is a long term plan of effort and investment.
  • Break down learning steps into digestable pieces.
  • Minimize student’s performance anxiety during learning activities.

Articles on Motivating Students

Brophy, J. Synthesis of Research for Motivating Students to Learn. Educational Leadership, Oct. 1987. p.40-48. (article summary)

Ellis, R. (1994) The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Drive: Tapping Into Lawyers’ Intrinsic Motivation

Daniel H. Pink’s 2009 book entitled “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” (“Drive”) is filled with information that is highly relevant to the legal profession today.

The central thrust of Drive is that motivating professionals like lawyers requires law firms to go beyond the traditional use of sticks and carrots, punishments and rewards. Pink argues that instead of focusing on these external motivators, what law firms need to do is tap into the intrinsic motivational drive of their lawyers. This will result in more engaging and ultimately more satisfying work. Pink argues that this will not only reduce lawyer turnover and burnout, but that it is in fact the secret to high performance.

Pink highlights three key aspects of work that make it more inherently satisfying: (i) autonomy; (ii) mastery; and (iii) purpose. He argues that these components of intrinsic motivation are interdependent and mutually reinforcing – that, like the legs of a tripod, the apparatus of excellence cannot stand without each component in place.

If there is any merit to Pink’s argument, then law firms would be well advised to pay careful attention to each of the three components of intrinsic motivation in their human resource strategies. Here are some ideas on how to do so:

(i) Autonomy: There are five main ways firms can increase their lawyers’ overall sense of autonomy. These include giving lawyers greater leeway over: (i) what to work on (subject autonomy); (ii) when to do their work (time autonomy); (iii) where to do their work (place autonomy); (iv) who to do their work with (team autonomy); and (v) how to do their work (technique autonomy). The idea here is not that firms have to grant their lawyers full autonomy over all aspects of their work. It is simply that law firms have at their disposal five separate channels along which to promote greater lawyer autonomy, and that an increase in autonomy along any one of these five channels will result in a higher level of work satisfaction.

(ii) Mastery: Law firms can promote lawyer mastery by aligning the difficulty of certain tasks with their lawyers’ overall level of skill or development. Pink calls these “Goldilocks tasks” – tasks that are neither too hard nor too difficult. The idea is that in order to develop mastery it is important for lawyers to be engaged; and in order to be engaged they must be presented with challenges that are well suited to their skill level. Tasks that are too challenging result in a sense of being overwhelmed; tasks that are too easy result in boredom; tasks that are neither too hard nor too easy, but “just right” result in engagement. Engagement, in turn, leads to mastery. Law firms that care about developing masterful lawyers should ensure that they are neither overwhelmed nor bored – that overall they are engaged by their work. If firms are able to strike this balance, their lawyers’ work becomes its own reward.

(iii) Purpose: To make their lawyers’ work more satisfying, law firms would also do well to consider increasing the emphasis they place on meaningful, not just profitable, work – that is, work that gives their lawyers a sense that they are making a positive contribution to something greater than themselves. This does not mean rejecting profit as a motive; it simply means making greater room for non-profit driven contributions. This might mean crafting a mission or vision statement that espouses genuine non-profit related values, and ensuring that incoming lawyers share those values. It might also mean placing greater emphasis on pro bono work, and perhaps including it as part of performance reviews. It might even mean hiring professional coaches to work with their lawyers. Whatever the approach, taking steps to instill a greater sense of purpose into the work life of many lawyers will ultimately make them more committed, creative, resourceful, and yes: satisfied.

It is no secret that lawyers are, in general, a notoriously unhappy lot. It is also clear that lawyers are the most important resource of any law firm. Firms that value this resource would be well advised to take seriously the ideas put forth in Drive. In the end, when lawyers are satisfied with their work, everyone stands to win – not just the lawyers themselves, but their colleagues, their firms, and most importantly their clients.

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The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Motivation

Throughout the past couple of decades, many studies have been done regarding the physiological and psychological effects of motivation. Medical professionals and scientists that focus on the areas of neurology, biology, and similar branches of sciences have conducted these studies in an effort to assist individuals who suffer from the effects of low self-esteem, severe depression, and even extreme levels of anxiety. Throughout this article, we will explore the physiological and psychological effects of motivation.

The following was taken from an online report acquired from the ever-popular Psychology Online:

“Although our society is largely extrinsically-motivated by external rewards such as money, fame and power, research has indicated those who are intrinsically-motivated by inner desires for creativity, fulfillment and inner satisfaction are psychologically healthier and happier.”

This indicates, based on a number of studies, that we are not entirely driven by the motivation that is considered to be based on external achievements. In most situations, society drives individuals to seek the gratification of these particular types of rewards. Making more money, purchasing a new vehicle, owning a large home, and even achieving a high level of fame does not constitute happiness at all. Individuals who base their happiness in these types of external motivators often find themselves struggling with their self-confidence, and their general perception of life and their place in it.

Individuals who are driven by internal motivators, such as their basic level of creativity and the ability to develop themselves into the absolute best that they can be, are often more content with themselves, and their life in general. Psychologically, these individuals experience a higher level of self-esteem, and a lower level of depression, anxiety, and other types of mental complications. It has also been established by the conclusive studies that individuals who are content on a psychological level are healthier on a physiological level. Psychology experts consistently strive to prove the correlation between our physical health and our mental health. The study of motivation has led these professionals to believe that if someone does have motivation, not only will they be successful in life, but they can also combat stress, mental illness, and even physical illness.

The Power of Motivation

Motivation is a powerful, moving force that we all have to some degree. We put motivation to work for us on a daily basis. It is a key essential to basic survival – psychologically and physiologically. Motivation is the impulse, obsession, or pure desire to achieve specific goals in our life. In order for motivation to be effective in our lives, the energy that each of us has must work together in an effort to put the power behind the motivation. Motivation moves us – it strengthens us – it puts us exactly where we want and need to be in life. If the motivation that we experience is positive, we are able to optimize our physical and mental health in general.

Individuals who lack enough or the right type of motivation often experience a number of complications in their life. These may complications may include negative emotions, lack of self-worth, frustration, discontentment with life, and even depression. In addition to this, physical symptoms and issues such as an elevation in blood pressure stress on the body, and even ulcers may be effects that linger around the unmotivated individual. If you want to optimize your health, it is important to understand the role of motivation when it comes to physiological and psychological aspects of who we are.

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Pedagogy and Motivation

I was asked an interesting educational question recently about motivation and pedagogy: to wit, what pedagogy is used to create classroom strategies that each motivator prefers?

Pedagogy is a word that one does encounter as frequently as one did, say, in the Seventies; what does it mean? Pedagogy is the science of teaching, of instruction, of training. It answers the question of how people learn effectively. Just preaching to people may make the preacher feel good, but will the audience learn anything? An exceptional preacher, possibly, may well impart knowledge and information, even rouse people to take action; but in the real world if every teacher in the classroom used 'preaching' as their dominant pedagogy, there would be even more disaffected and bored youngsters than there are now.

To teach – or train – effectively we must understand how people learn effectively. This understanding then informs the way and ways we present, communicate and offer information, knowledge, concepts, ideas and even practical skills.

There is a definite correlation between Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and motivation itself; Further, the nine motivators – as defined by Pink in his book Drive, and by others in their work – are themselves grouped into three categories of three: some motivators, those relating to control, wealth and expertise, are predominantly about thinking. And this is obvious (if you think about it!): Exercising control, creating wealth and developing expertise all have in common a planning element to them. They are the typical motivators of high achievers in the work place; they are also, to use NLP terminology, synonymous with the 'visual' – the what-you-see-is-what-you-get, with plans that are logical, coherent and highly visible.

By contrast, three other motivators are highly geared to feeling. These reflect the needs for security, belonging and recognition. Security is something that fundamentally we can only achieve through relationships; belonging is equally about relationships with others; and recognition can only come from others – and from positive relationships with them, usually. Relationships, then, are less about the NLP 'visual', and more about the NLP 'auditory'; for it is in listening to others that the strongest relationships are built.

Finally, three motivators are related to knowing, which is intuitive and direct, rather than being logical and considered like thinking. These motivators are creativity, freedom and meaning. These motivators are at the peak of Maslow's Hierarchy – they are self-actualization motivators. And they are very direct. To take one example, creativity: everyone knows, or should know, that one doesn't think one's way to being creative, although much thought may precede the 'creative' moment. The universal testimony about creativity is that it comes in a flash – in poetry it is called the 'muse' – and immediately solves complex problems and produces outstanding works of art. It is instant, and invariably the creative, him or herself, knows they have been a conduit for inspiration. In NLP terms, then, this knowing corresponds with the 'kinaesthetic', because the creative moment goes through the body – it is felt , although that is not the same as being a specific feeling.

It should be clear from the foregoing that the pedagogy that motivation needs to use to create effective classroom strategies is NLP or the three modes of perception called Think-Feel-Know (TFK), and these two correspond. To take the latter, then, what are its characteristics?

Think-orientated people prefer detail, data, statistics, evidence, proof, references and generally lots of information. In complete contrast to this feel-orientated people like stories, examples, pictures, anecdotes, metaphors, analogies, graphs, diagrams and more generally and literally getting the picture! Finally, the know-orientated people like plain, simple facts – get to the executive summary as quickly as possible.

Each of us has all three modes of perception, but we tend to be dominant in one, and have a secondary backup. Thus classroom strategies need to reflect on how a balance of all three can be achieved; and better still, if the classroom and individuals can be profiled, then to weight the balance towards the dominant one or two tendencies. This is even more critical where special needs are involved.

And a curious thing also arises. It could be that the profile is done through a Think-Feel-Know or NLP test to establish which modes are dominant in any given student. But it can also be reversed engineered: namely, a motivational profile of the individual or class, based on the nine categories of motivation, and the three triads I mentioned, would give the teacher a clear idea of ​​which of Think-Feel-Know modes of perception were most likely to be effective.

It can hardly be emphasizing enough that an appropriate pedagogy for classroom strategies is essential, and equally, if you don't want to think about in that pedagogic way, presenting learning in a way that motivates students is core. Let's learn, then, more about motivation.

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Self-Motivation: How to Keep Yourself Motivated

Keeping one's self going is a difficult thing to do. There are a million distractions that occur every day and that can mean that we do not stay on track with what we should be doing. Self-motivation is something that does not come easy to a lot of people and that means that there are some steps that need to be taken before you can become motivated to the fullest extent. Of course there are some other matters that first need to be taken care of. If there are a lot of distractions that keep you from doing what you need to be doing then you need to make some changes. This is really the first step towards becoming self-motivated in any form.

To be self-motivated means that there is no outside force or person pushing you to become what you want. The whole concept of succeeding lies within yourself and that means that you will need to make the effort yourself to be who you want to be. The doing away with the distractions means that you need to be completely self-reliant. If you have many distractions then you will not be getting the things done that need to be so you are not being self-motivated in that sense. Take the effort to make sure that you are completely absorbed in what you are doing, especially when it comes to work. This will mean that everything else takes a back seat and you are working to the best of your ability.

If you are a person that needs a push to get going on something then you will need to devise a plan to become self-motivated. If you are one that requires the motivation then you will need to be sure to have something nearby that reminds you of what you need to be doing. For instance, a photograph depicting an event will be sure to move you along whenever you look at it. The same goes for a saying by a famous person that has succeeded in the way that you wish to succeed.

To be self-motivated is to be the one person that gets it done without having to be told to do so. Moving along through the ranks and being the one person that succeeds where others fail is above all the rest. Take the time to become self-motivated and you will be much happier with yourself to say the least.

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Immediate Productivity Increase With One Simple Habit, "Motivation Through Recognition"

Information Technologies have become critical and an integral part of any organization’s delivery, and indeed it is difficult to imagine any modern organization effectively and efficiently delivering without IT. In the current economic environment, IT departments operate with reduced budgets while striving to deliver best services. In today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing global marketplace, it is increasingly important to maximise productivity of Information Technology employees.

This article is a call to pause and reflect on the importance of motivation and how best to create a highly motivated and therefore more productive IT workforce.

Motivation is defined as the reason or reasons that someone has for acting or behaving in a particular way or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. It gives the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs.

Managing IT personnel is challenging, and when motivational tools that are available to the managers may be limited, there is a need to seek proficient methods and styles in order to keep employees motivated. When you understand the thinking and behavioural triggers of employee and the employee understands the strategy and objectives and the value of their contribution, then you are able to maximize their enthusiasm and engagement and rapidly move in the same direction. One of the most effective methods of providing positive feedback is by “Motivation through recognition”.

One of the primary roles of management is to state and define the work objectives and mission, and identify strategies to achieve the stated goals with scarce resources. In an environment where there is a continuous drive to do more with less, it is easy to focus on what is broken and try to fix it and give less importance on pointing out where employees are doing well.

Having an employee work for an organization for many years should be considered an asset to the workplace, but can you imagine going a full year without receiving any type of recognition? It is essential that employees feel that they are valued for the work that they are producing and that by recognizing their achievements their rewards will go beyond productivity by making them feel part of the solution, part of the strategy and success of the organization as a whole. Recognition should focus on an employee’s contributions and efforts and not focus only on how long they have held the position. If they have done a great job, let them know that on the spot.

While building the recognition programs, we must always remember that in a multicultural environment, there is a need to recognize that individuals visualize problems and solutions from different perspectives and that consideration and appreciation needs to be made for the diversity of approaches. Having a vision that is malleable and encourages employees to come up with new ideas is a skill of a good manager. Nothing will motivate an employee more than knowing that he or she has contributed something unique that has changed an approach in a positive way.

By leveraging an effective recognition program within the organization managers could avoid one other issue, employee turnover, which is expensive and slows down productivity. Companies with recognition programs have a lower voluntary turnover.

Gratitude is one of the most effective forms of showing and gaining that trust from employees. Appreciating employees for their work and letting your employee, say, take free rein over a project, is one of the non-verbal forms of showing recognition (you have trusted them to do their job).

Good productive employees need to feel valued at work and there really is no such thing as “too much recognition”. If you really want to increase productivity and keep your employees, motivate them through recognition. That simple validation has the power to exponentially increase productivity in the workplace.

Below is the Cost-benefit analysis of employee recognition as stated in the article “Why employee recognition is so important – By Kim Harrison”. http://www.cuttingedgepr.com/articles/emprecog_so_important.asp

“The cost of a recognition system is quite small and the benefits are large when implemented effectively. Meta-analysis conducted by the Gallup Organization of the results from 10,000 business units in 30 industries found [a meta-analysis is the statistical analysis of results across more than one study]:


Increased individual productivity – the act of recognizing desired behaviour increases the repetition of the desired behaviour, and therefore productivity. This is classic behavioural psychology. The reinforced behaviour supports the organization’s mission and key performance indicator.

Greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work – more time spent focusing on the job and less time complaining.

Direct performance feedback for individuals and teams is provided.

Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.

Teamwork between employees is enhanced.

Retention of quality employees increases – lower employee turnover.

Better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.


Time spent in designing and implementing the program.

Time taken to give recognition.

Dollar cost of the recognition items given.

Time and cost of teaching people how to give recognition.

Costs of introducing a new process.

In conclusion, it is clear that recognition is a critical component of any organizational workforce strategy. By encouraging and supporting effective recognition practices, managers can improve delivery of their mandates, which results in a more effective workforce. Developing motivation and providing recognition to employees are relatively simple and inexpensive strategies. Employees are motivated by different factors and managers should get to know their employees and tailor the ways in which recognition and motivation are provided to each individual. When efforts are made to create motivated teams and support recognition, employee commitment to the organization and motivation are more likely to increase.

Four Motivational Mantra:

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” –Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” –Doug Conant, Fmr. President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company.

“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” -Dr. Bob Nelson, Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker.

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” -Dale Carnegie, Leadership Training Guru.

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Motivation Using Dean Spitzers 8 Desires of Motivation

There are many motivational theories out there, but one of my favourites I’ve come across in the past has to be Dean Spitzers 8 Desires of Motivation.

In his book ‘Supermotivation’, Spitzer describes 8 desires which causes inner motivation. These inner motivators are closely linked to Hertzberg’s Internal Motivators.

Spitzers 8 Desires are:

Desire for Power – People want to be in control of where they are going. In organisations with top-down structures this can be difficult. People want their power to control where they are going. You can do this by allowing people to set their own objectives, providing they are in line with the organisations vision.

Desire for Activity – People want to be involved and active. In our lives we try to avoid boredom and monotony, yet at work we tend to accept jobs that are like this without complaint. However, internally we know that we don’t want to be doing these. As leaders, we could involve people in decisions that affect them and in team decisions to provide that power of choice.

Desire for Recognition – People want to be recognised for a job well done and feel appreciated by others. A simple thanks or some feedback on a job or task carried out can go a very long way. This is a great way of energising people to want to do more.

Desire for Affiliation – People want to feel part of something, whether it be the local team or the wider organisation. Doing things to create a team environment will energise those who are social and will create a stronger team bond. Help people to see where they fit into the organisation.

Desire for Competence – People welcome opportunities to become more competent. Training and developing people to be better at their jobs can provide the energy these people need.

Desire for Ownership – People want to feel as though they own tasks or jobs that they do. Physiological ownership can be even more powerful than physical ownership. Delegate ownership of tasks and don’t just use GOFER delegation. Agree objectives and ensure you discuss what THEY are going to do.

Desire for Meaning – People want to understand what they are there to do. If they have to press a button all day at work, ensure they know why and what the consequences of not pressing the button are. People want to know what difference they are making.

Desire for Achievement – People want to achieve what they set out to do, whether its climb a mountain or a work based objective. Help people to understand how realistic their goals are, envisage what problems they may encounter and what they will do to overcome them.

What can you do to understand what individuals motivators are? Simple answer is ask them. Share the above motivators with them and question them on which of these motivators relate to them.

Remember the pneumonic PARACOMA.

We have a free self assessment questionnaire for you to use available at our website or on request.

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