Workforce Motivation – How do we Engage?

What drives us has huge impact on the way we feel and how we behave.  When our values are aligned with what we are doing, we feel a sense of reward and when they do not, we feel a sense of stress or conflict. There are many theories on motivation and the truth is it is completely individual.  If that isn’t enough, our drivers can change over time, particularly due to life events.

In the workplace, motivation is a key ingredient when it comes to building high performing teams and to ensure your employees achieve the best that they can.  Capturing the hearts and minds of your people and keeping them engaged, will not only drive the team performance, it will provide an environment for someone to grow, however they choose to do it.

In our latest blog, we wanted to explore what motivation looks like, to do this let’s start by defining what we mean by motivation?

What is Motivation?

Motivation at work can be defined as:

“Inspiring teams or individuals to accomplish the goals and objectives set by the organisation”.

How to Motivate Your Teams

Here are four things to start you thinking about how best to motivate your people.

1. Get to Know Your People

A critical part of leadership is to understand your people and their drivers (remembering that this is a journey rather than a one-time conversation).  Considerations might be their stage in life (eg: new to the working environment, returning after a break, considering retirement), their levels of ambition, their interests or responsibilities outside of work and so on.  Not everyone wants to climb the career ladder and that is perfectly OK.  In fact, if you are leading a team you can’t possibly have them all on a fast track trajectory, so having a mixture of aspirations helps.  Understanding individual strengths helps to know where people’s skills are transferrable and how future work might be made more interesting. 

2. Recognise Your People

Once you are in a position to understand your people, it will be easier to know how to recognise them in a way that meets your intention.  For example, someone who is shy and doesn’t enjoy attention being drawn to them, may feel total embarrassment at being recognised at a large meeting.  A one to one conversation may be better placed in helping to achieve the goal, which is to show that person how valued they are.

3. Provide the Space for Your People to Grow

Development can vary from a transferrable skill into a new function or project, through to a promotion.  It is often believed that there is no development because no classroom courses have been offered.  We learn by the 70/20/10 model.  70% is experiential ‘learning on the job’, 20% from others, such as mentors, and only 10% from classrooms, books or webinars.  This holistic view of learning opens multiple opportunities that can be discussed with your people.

4. Trust Your People

Relationships can only be successful if there is trust on both sides. Let’s be honest, the contract of employment is a document of trust.  Give your people the space to innovate, support them to learn from their failures (we’ve all been there) and celebrate their successes.

In Summary

As a coach, one of my passions is to understand what drives my clients.  Understanding them at this core level is the foundation of all the coaching work we do together.  If you would like some help, either for yourself or for a member of your team, please do get in touch to arrange a no-obligation discovery call.

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Mia Tse

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