Data Dome Resources – White Papers: Motivating: Not All Fun and Games

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Motivating: Not All Fun and Games

Motivate: v. To stimulate to action, provide with an incentive or motive.

Spurring employees to action is an age-old problem employers have been attempting to address for ages. How do we get employees to do what WE want them to do? This has proven difficult for a number of reasons.

The crux of the problem is the central misconception. The fact is, we cannot motivate people to do what we want them to do. People do things for their OWN reasons, not for our reasons.

YOU cannot directly motivate them.

This leads to two common problems when attempting to motivate.

The first problem is the assumption that, even though we place people in a situation (job) they don't like, they can learn to like it, once they get used to it.

They may adapt their style to the situation by changing the job, but the more they try to change themselves for the job, the more energy is spent changing. That energy would normally be focused directly on the job itself. Stress is also a direct result of stretching your personality to fit the job. This type of situation is DEMOTIVATIONAL.

Those who are in well-matched jobs still need motivation, but actual motivation is considerably different from those de-motivating processes.

To stimulate increased action, the employer must realize exactly what this individual's "hot buttons" are.

Decades of study have finally made companies realize that not all employees are motivated primarily by money. U.S. studies have indicated other key motivators as well - the quest for knowledge (theoretical), the desire to help others (social), the need to influence others (political/individual), the need for inner harmony and wholeness (aesthetic) and the need to have direction from outside (regulatory).

One's needs by priority - their values - determine what motivates them.

Values change as needs are met and others take priority, but they do tell us how this individual makes decisions and how he/she prefers to be compensated.

(Arthur G. Schoeck, Competitive Edge!, March/April 1997)

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