The following information was presented at Dairy Days March 2008 by Lee Astridge / Sarah Watson, and provides some insight into Motivation for your employees:
What Motivates People?
There are a number of different theories around why people work. These attempt to explain the complex sets of behaviours that lead people to not only come to work, but to actively seek out work in preference to other activities. In considering why people work it is important to remember that every individual’s circumstances are unique. When considering the topic of motivation it is important to consider not why people work, but what makes them work at their best.
Discretionary effort is that level of effort people can give if they want to, but is beyond what is required. In other words, since discretionary effort is more than what is expected, or even paid for, there is no punishment if it is not applied.
The only behaviour over which we have total control, is our own. Therefore, it is within our power to give or retain our discretionary effort. People who are using their discretionary effort are much happier and self-fulfilled.
It is our job as leaders to ensure that we know and understand the individuals who work for us in order to enthuse them to use their discretionary effort. We have to generate a situation to which people will respond because they want to.
The key steps are:
– Understand what motivates YOU and develop a plan to capitalise on these motivators
– Understand each member of your team and help them to develop a plan to capitalise on their motivators
– Review these plans regularly
To do this, have a discussion with them around what is important to them, record essential information, and help them to take responsibility for making it happen. Give them support, opportunities and resources, communicate with them about their progress, and help them work through obstacles. Encourage them and celebrate.
Herzberg’s Two Factor Motivation Theory
The American psychologist, Herzberg, suggested that the best way to interpret motivation, or lack of motivation, was to consider two factors: Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction.
Herzberg noticed that the causes of satisfaction at work lay in the contents of the job itself (motivators) and that the causes of dissatisfaction lay in the working environment (maintenance factors).
Herzberg’s Maintenance Factors
– Pay (basic pay, shift and overtime rates, bonuses)
– Job security (permanent vs. fixed term contracts, redundancy agreements, lay off history)
– Competent management (including things such as job knowledge, helpfulness, fair work allocation)
– Working conditions (all aspects related to working conditions on the job eg environment, the amount of work, facilities and tools available) Status (the regard – the organisation has for its members; these may often be seen as perks)
– Interpersonal relationships (the quality of the relationships within the organisation or work team itself)
– How the organisation is managed and organised Communications within the organisation
The importance of these factors is their power to cause dissatisfaction if they are not adequate. If these factors are provided employees will not be dissatisfied. No amount of improvement to these factors will motivate a person to work harder in the medium to longer term. Insecurity and uncertainty are strong de-motivators and you can see that many of these maintenance factors are designed to reduce these feelings.
The motivators appear to arise from the components of the job content itself. People will be motivated if the job gives them opportunities for:
– Recognition (acknowledgment and praise for a job well done)
– Achievement (the personal satisfaction of completing a job, solving the problems and seeing the successful results of their efforts)
– Responsibility (the degree of control a person has over the work itself, the extent to which the work is varied, stretching of skills and abilities)
– Advancement (the opportunity to exercise initiative in the workplace as well as opportunities for promotion in the organisation)
– Growth (opportunities to develop new skills)
It is important to remember that we all have something in common when it comes to ensuring the ‘maintenance factors’ are in place. However we are all different and individual when it comes to the ‘motivating factors’.
Basic Needs of People at Work are therefore:
– Tell me what you expect of me?
– Tell me the standards by which my performance will be judged?
– Tell me how I am getting on?
– Keep me informed about changes that will affect me?
– Teach me to develop and how to use my skills?
– Reward and promote me according to my contribution?
– Provide stepping stones along which I may advance?
Motivation is individual. What works for one person may not work for the next. Critical for leaders is to know their people so they can find the right things to motivate each individual?.even better if you can find some strategies that meet the needs of more than one person!