One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about managing people is that motivation is personal. Regardless of any blanket schemes that have been put in place, it is always best to ask people individually what motivates them.
An obvious assumption many businesses make is that employees are all motivated by money. Whilst that’s true in so far as most of us need to work to make a living; it would be inaccurate to think that it’s always the primary inducement.
For example, a big incentive for some is being given the flexibility to manage their own work schedule, so that they can get to the gym or spend time with their children before bedtime; whilst others would respond well to the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities and to be acknowledged for delivering on them.
I have always paid attention to the things that interest the people I work with and; wherever possible give them every opportunity to pursue those activities. And, by the way, I include myself in this equation too. Like everyone else, my productivity increases when I’m engaged in meaningful work.
So, what motivates you?
Whether you lead a large team or only have responsibility for yourself, there is benefit to you in answering and acting on this question. Not only will your own output increase, you will become more efficient with your time.
Even better, this approach is great for sustaining relationships and will have a positive direct impact on the people around you. They will be inspired by your passion and motivated to follow suit. What a healthy way to increase employee productivity and improve business performance, wouldn’t you agree?