How Do You Motivate An Employee? — How Do You Motivate Yourself?
• Some observations:
1. Different jobs require different approaches to motivation.
2. Different people require different approaches to motivation.
3. The extrinsic motivation of the last century works best for “routine” jobs.
4. Extrinsic motivation can actually de-motivate for creative jobs.
5. Jobs that require a great deal of creativity and innovation require intrinsic motivation.
6. Intrinsic motivation is related to the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy, and to the concept of Flow popularized by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
7. The new workplace is one that must evolve into a workplace of intrinsic motivation.
• Some questions/implications:
1. Are you primarily intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated?
2. How do you know which approach is the one that works best for you?
3. When have you found yourself in the “state of flow?”
4. How can you provide more autonomy for yourself, and others, in your workplace?
5. How can you better affirm the desire for/need for mastery in your workplace?
6. How can you help yourself and others strive to fulfill a higher purpose in your workplace?
I have long recommended Encouraging the Heart: A Leaders Guide to Rewarding and Encouraging Others by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner as the best book available on how to get the best out of employees.
Here’s my current reflection… First, look at my first two observations: different jobs do require different approaches to motivation. A person repairing potholes likely needs a different set of rewards than a person who is tasked with coming up with a new marketing campaign. And, two different people likely are motivated in different ways. Kouzes and Posner strongly argue that all rewards should be personalized – i.e., designed for the person as in individual.
But for an increasing number of us, we work “alone.” We have to manage our own work, we have to schedule our own time, and we have to “motivate ourselves.” Though clients and others might encourage us some, we have to get going, day in and day out, on our own.
So – the question for me, and for a lot of you, is this question — how do I motivate myself?
That is the challenge.