A study by Harter et al., encompassing 152 organisations and over 950,000 employees, highlighted the very real negative impact on a business when some staff are not well motivated. Their results indicated:
- An 18% decrease in productivity when compared with the productivity of highly motivated staff
- A 60% decrease in quality, measured by defects in products
- A ten-fold increase in errors compared with errors made by highly motivated staff
- A 37% increase in the rate of absenteeism
Clearly, it is critical for business that you know how to motivate your team, and how to keep them motivated.
Factors That Influence Motivation
Much has been researched and written about motivation, from as far back as Aristotle to the current cross-disciplinary research being carried out with its strong link to neuroscience.
We do know that there are a number of factors that influence motivation, and that people are individually motivated.
One of the common mistakes we make is to assume that what motivates us will motivate everyone else.
You see this frequently in sales teams. The monthly results for each sales person are recorded on a board for all to see. The intention is that this visible ranking will motivate everyone to strive to be the number 1 salesperson for the month.
It is highly probable that this is what motivated the Sales Manager when she was a salesperson, so she thinks it will also motivate everyone in her team. After all, consistently being the best salesperson earned her the position of Sales Manager (without her necessarily having many strong management skills).
For those who are strongly motivated by recognition the sales board will probably have the desired effect. These people will be highly motivated to increase their sales so that they can be number 1.
However, there will also be people in the team who are not motivated primarily by recognition. The sales board does not motivate these people; in fact they often find the board demotivating.
And those sales people who never rank in the top three, no matter how hard they try, will most likely become less and less motivated, too. The goal for them is unrealistic, and people do not strive as hard for goals they don’t believe they can achieve.
As the CEO, everyone expects that you will be highly motivated, and overtly motivated, and at all times. So it is critical that you know clearly what your key motivational drivers are and that you use them well.
To your success,