TPG believes that a positive work place is only created by listening to, and understanding what each employee needs to inspire and motivate themselves. The points outlined in this article give you a road map to accomplishing great things by focusing on what motivates your team and the organization around you. Motivation is central to the success of any business. So what is your strategy to keep your team focused and motivated???
What’s the Best Way to Motivate People?
The fact that motivational courses have flourished for decades means that people want to be more motivated. At the moment there are increasing reasons to feel exhausted, unmotivated, and eventually burned out. Motivation is decreased by stress and pressure, by economic insecurity, by overwork, and so on. Many people feel subject to these things, especially in an economic downturn. So what’s the best way to remain motivated, and if you are in a position of leadership, to motivate others?
There are two kinds of answers, internal and external, which comes down to psychological motivation versus changing the conditions surrounding your work. For the most part people are skittish about psychology, which they consider mysterious and unreliable, so it’s no surprise that the biggest motivator one encounters is money – to get someone more motivated, you offer a bigger carrot. Promotions are also a favorite, but both of these motivators have a drawback. They unmotivate the workers who get passed over. In today’s business climate, where the top salaries of CEOs have quadrupled over the past two decades while lower-level workers have barely seen an increase, unmotivation is tied into resentment of the haves by the have nots.
There are good external motivators, however, of the kind popularized by idealistic workplaces like Google where various amenities have been made available, from exercise facilities and child care to company transportation to work. But again, as with big raises and promotions, these workplaces at the moment benefit only the few.
Which leaves us with internal, or psychological motivation. As it turns out, the least effective of these are the high-powered pep talks delivered by motivational courses, because the jolt of enthusiasm that they deliver wears off, and usually sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are excellent psychological motivators that last much longer, and the best ones very effectively prevent burn-out. Here’s a list of proven motivators:
Seven Major Motivators
1. Having your work be noticed and appreciated.
2. Setting long-term goals that lead to satisfying results.
3. Doing work that you are passionate about.
4. Feeling that your bosses are loyal to you.
5. Open communications between workers and managers.
6. Feeling that you have job security.
7. Mastering a skill.
As you can see, none of these motivators are specialized – any job could have them. If you can’t check at least five off the list as it applies to your work situation, you need to make a change. The biggest unmotivator, in my experience, is low expectations. People don’t ask enough from themselves and the life they lead. Consider the opposite of these seven motivators, which would be a job where your work is mostly taken for granted, you don’t know what your bosses think about the future, you see a lot of layoffs, and the work you do requires no special skill. Unfortunately, countless workers endure jobs that fit this description.
Life evolves when you set higher aspirations for yourself. In the field of motivation, the highest level is inspiration, the best motivator of all. When people are inspired, they are willing to undergo trials, setbacks, and discomforts because they have such a strong belief in what they’re doing. Whatever you might think of religious missionaries, Arctic explorers, and sailors who cross the Atlantic single-handedly, their aspiration gives them endurance, courage, and the ability to overcome hardships. To be motivated by inspiration involves the following:
How to Be Inspired
1. Have a role model or hero.
2. Believe in higher values like courage and altruism.
3. Identify with a religion or spiritual movement.
4. Find an inspiring mentor.
5. Shift your allegiance to a higher power that represents your vision of human destiny.
I know that these sound like lofty ideals, but in every age there is enough inspiration to keep human ideals alive. Sometimes these invisible aspirations give rise to concrete expression, as in the great cathedrals or Europe. Sometimes they inspire religious communities or a movement like the New England Transcendentalists. But the greatest impact of inspiration is always personal. It comes down to one person at a time wanting to aspire to something greater than themselves. In the end, the wide range of psychological and spiritual motivations gives you many possibilities to explore beyond waiting and hoping for a Christmas bonus.