Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours. It can be anything that causes you to act – whether it is to reduce thirst or increase knowledge. Being motivated is when multiple psychological and psychobiological forces give you the energy to complete a task. It’s also what pushes people in everyday life to make decisions based on their beliefs and aspirations. Motivation can be defined as the need for a person to uphold their best interest, and ultimately, do what they love. It can be broken into two types: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is the drive that we receive from external factors such as money, grades, and praise. Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive to complete tasks because they are inherently fun or interesting. There are several different psychological theories out there, such as Two-Factor theory, ERG theory and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, the reality is that different types of people behave for different reasons and we’re still exploring what these reasons may be. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a type of motivational theory that explains why we behave certain ways. These five broad categories drive our actions: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization. According to Maslow, people are drawn to the pursuit of self-actualization. To be successful, they must fulfil more basic needs including food, safety, love etc… and most people will try to satisfy their most basic needs before aspiring to more complex wants. It is important to understand that there are different types of motivation for humans. ERG Theory builds on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and suggests that humans have three main types of needs which are Existence, Relatedness, & Growth. They can differ in priority depending on the person, and it is important that these be satisfied by any goal setting you do. However, Two Factor Theory argues that there are two ways to influence motivation in the workplace. First, there are motivational factors that can encourage people at work to put in even more effort. Second, there are hygiene factors which will not directly encourage employees to do well but they can cause people to become unmotivated if they are absent. “Hygiene” are important factors when deciding where to work because it includes company polices, supervision, relations with people in your work environment. Other examples of “Hygiene” would also include work conditions, salary, and work status. Some motivators factors include Achievement, Recognition, The work itself, Responsibility, Advancement and Growth.
We’ll go into more detail about these theories during the workshop, but the key question is how to motivate and inspire a team?
As I said motivation is the process of getting someone excited and eager to do something. You can inspire people by creating an environment that encourages them to work hard and produce their best. To get the most out of your team, it’s important to keep them motivated and excited. We will explore it more during the workshop but here are some ways to accomplish this and work towards your goals right away:
Share your vision with the team and come up with a list of goals to achieve.
It’s important to communicate your goals and the vision you have for the business. Knowing those goals, it will motivate and inspire everyone in the team to work together on achieving it. People need to know what they’re working for so they can work harder and be more productive. Set SMART goals and regularly review them: they will help you and your team to track progress towards your vision. And it’s easy to see when things go well! Supporting alignment between and across teams makes people more productive which can result in an increased sense of ownership and motivation.
Communicate with your staff and get them involved in decision making.
Clear goal setting requires effective communication with your team. Make sure that there’s a two-way street of communication flowing both ways because that’s how you’ll be able to achieve success. This way you can not only stay on top of what needs to be done, but you can also listen to their ideas. You may never have thought of this before, but your team could be approaching things from a different angle more effectively. Keep in contact with your team and make yourselves available when they need you. Be open to chats and foster a supportive atmosphere when communicating. Giving your team the ability to participate in your business decisions will make them more interested and motivated which will ultimately lead to a better productivity rate.
Create a healthy office environment, it is an important motivation factor.
Our office space has a significant effect on our mental and emotional well-being & productivity. A happy & healthy employee will be more likely to work better and feel more motivated. Create a workplace that is pleasant for your employees, where they can excel. Privacy, noise, air quality, natural light, areas to relax and the general ambience should be considered when building an office. Businesses can improve their work culture by encouraging healthy attitudes. Providing healthy snacks and physical activity facilities (e.g., membership to a gym) will help employees maintain good health habits. Making a company rich in office perks will not only motivate your staff, but also reduce stress and help them to be more productive. You can promote healthy habits with staff to maintain their energy levels and improve their wellbeing. Keep in mind that you need to pay just as much attention to your remote employees, who can stay productive, employees who work from home probably have different issues than your office-bound employees. Consider running a Pulse Survey for your team to make sure you address any problems they might be having and create a positive work environment.
Foster teamwork within your team will improve motivation.
The best team atmosphere is at those organisations where everyone works together closely. Encouraging and promoting teamwork boosts productivity because it makes employees feel less isolated and helps them to feel more engaged with their tasks. You can do this by holding team-building activities that help employees get to know one another, through things like regular outings or more formal exercises. Consider how you can integrate new employees into the team and workplace culture, as this will impact how they work. Simply because someone has experience in their role doesn’t mean they will work well with others.
Consider development opportunities for your team.
When your team members see that their skills and expertise are developing, they feel more motivated, valued, and engaged. The best way to motivate and inspire your team is by giving them chances for improvement and development. These opportunities should be catered to address an individual’s needs, skillset, and tastes. Train your team with transferable skills that’ll prepare them for different positions. Push them to set their own learning goals. It is important to ensure that your employees remain motivated and inspired. If you do this, you will be able to produce the results you aim for.
Use positive feedback and rewards to motivate your team.
The power of positive reinforcement is sometimes underestimated but recognizing and praising achievements motivates team members because they can see themselves progressing towards the goals of the company. When employees do something exceptional make sure to be impressed & impressed them back. Make this known by telling them that you’re grateful and be specific in their praise. You can do this by using a phrase or compliment that’s specific to the achievements they achieved. For example, instead of saying ‘good job’ say why it was a good job & how it helped to benefit the company and its clients. This will not only motivate your employee but also help them succeed with future work. Ensure to reward your team for a job well done. Not only will the feeling of being valued and appreciated instil a sense of motivation, but also help foster an environment conducive for productivity.
- Rise Together: A leaders’ guide to the science behind creating innovative, engaged and resilient employees. By Dr Sam Mather, Henley Business School
- Instant Motivation: The surprising truth behind what really drives top performance. By Chantal Burns