Motivating and Engaging your team

Most leaders know that at the heart of every productive and successful business lies a thriving organizational culture – an environment where hard working people collaborate intensely and passionately to produce great results. Because this culture is difficult to achieve and replicate, it’s also seen as a critical lever of sustainable competitive advantage. Leaders recognize
that “keeping people engaged, motivated and committed” as a critical part of their function.

However, leaders will also tell you that motivating employees and keeping them engaged isn’t so easy a task. Many factors influence an individual’s motivation ranging from day-to-day tasks, right through to the working styles of colleagues. What is motivating for one can be de-motivating for others. This is critical for talent management whether in terms of retaining talent or hiring new talent. As organizations flatten, companies need people who are self-motivated. “If you need me to motivate you said one CEO, I probably don’t want to hire you.”

It is self- directed behavior that we seek, which comes from intrinsic motivation that drives performance. Not the extrinsic motivators that come from the traditional thinking of rewards and punishments. There is enough scientific evidence that suggests that performance over time deteriorates as incentives increase. There is a complete disconnect between what the science is telling us and what organizations practice. Employees need to share ownership of the motivation process.

There is a growing body of new research showing that a large amount of employee engagement is driven by individual motivators not captured by a group survey method. Because of its individual nature it makes little sense to measure them at the group level.

According to the academic literature in this area individual motivational factors exist in four areas. Role motivational factors cover different day-to-day elements of work, like working with customers, enforcing rules and regulations, working at a fast pace or with challenging intellectual tasks. Management motivational factors are, in essence, different leadership styles from directive to empowering. Team motivational factors cover different team qualities like working virtually, having well-organized and planned teamwork or with highly ambitious team members.

Finally, organization motivation factors cover different organizational characteristics such as levels of remuneration and benefits, a commitment to social responsibility initiatives or clear levels of management and authority.

It is essential that the leadership knows exactly what expectations an individual has in terms of what motivates or demotivates him/her across each of these four key dimensions. Knowing this and mapping the individual’s expectations with the reality can establish the gaps and the individual’s motivation fit in the organization. It can also establish a job profile for potential hires.

Our Motivational Assessment is designed to measure motivational fit which is the alignment between what motivates an employee to work and the degree to which those motivational characteristics are experienced at work. A sample of a typical report is enclosed