“Motivators are factors that stimulate people to perform over and above the call of duty…
Money is not a motivator”. (Arthur Pell, PhD)
Staff and teams value recognition, but not necessarily in the form of money. Money is something that satisfies. It pays the bills. It brings staff to work each day for that purpose. Staff gets the job done and then goes home where they live their real lives. Teams carry out their tasks. Motivators are so much more. They are what have staff smiling and striving for excellence every day. Motivators are the factors that get ordinary people to feel extraordinary from within. A leader who can do that is transformational.
So what are these factors called motivators? They are how leaders behave toward followers, how they provide structure and support yet open up the workplace to greater things. They are the freedoms that leaders offer followers to be the best they can be. They are the keys that unlock the potential within people to strive for excellence, to step out of the expected mold and into a world where exploration is fun, creativity is encouraged, empowerment and autonomy is the name of the game every day. They are the principles of the organization that value and respect people and believe in their potential to be great. They are the factors that allow the talent that is within staff and teams to emerge, evolve and motivate them to greater things. They are unique to each person or team.
All well and good; but, when the rubber hits the road, how do you motivate staff and teams? As a leader you will be challenged with many personalities among your staff and within your teams. Some of them will exude enthusiasm. These are the staff and teams that are motivated from within on a daily basis. Others will require direction and, most importantly, permission to be great. There are some factors that you can put in place to assist staff and teams to strive for excellence…to do their best. However, motivation comes from within. All you can do is make the offer with what they think works.
Staff and teams are often asked to complete an assessment of what motivates them. The literature is rife with that feedback. However, often their suggestions are not acted upon so nothing changes, which in itself is a powerful de-motivator. Here is whatthey say about factors that motivate:
Having the freedom to think outside the box in my day-to-day role with my company
Having a workplace where I can have fun and not punch a time-clock
Having a flexible time schedule so I can respond to family needs in a timely manner
Working from home one day a week without suspicion of what I am doing with my time
Receiving kudos and thanks when I produce something extraordinary
Professional development or educational opportunities which are self-selected and compensated
Being challenged at work with something new
Start your plan to assist staff and teams to strive for excellence. Ask them three questions: What are the motivators you have now? What would you like to have here? How can we make that happen now? You will be surprised with what you learn and the staff and teams will become motivated and strive for excellence just knowing that you care.