Motivation is different things to different people.

It does not need to be a ‘thing’ that you do. And if you see it as a culture rather than, ‘We’re doing Motivation today’, it becomes a whole lot easier.

Yet there is a place for those external ‘raft-build’s’, ‘away days’ and ‘paintballing’! Get them in context; there is work to do up front to leverage those experiences and get the best value from them.

Just build great relationships in your business or organisation, one-to-one – then have the fun day out and grow even more!

“Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top ups.”

Peter Davies

So a ‘people-focused’ way of being in your business generates Motivation permanently and ongoing.

Top Ten Things About Motivation

People get motivated in all sorts of ways – the key is to find out what the ‘hot-button’ is for each and every one of them – accepting they will be different. This is not as complicated as it might seem – if you do your homework!

The best at Motivation

  1. Get Basics Right – They have a culture which is enabling their people to get excited about their work. In their businesses, there are very few things to be negative about – so all energy is solutions focused.
  2. Have Charisma – Great motivators have not only good relationship building skills, but they have something else. They have a particular quality which allows them to expect and get more from their people.
  3. Are Trusted – Without fail, they are wholly believed in what they say and do. These people deliver what they say they will for their people, or they explain shortfalls.
  4. Work With – It’s part of the trust/charisma thing. Great motivators are able to be hands on if needed to build relationships – that makes them capable – their skill is that they rarely need to.
  5. Understand People – And boy are they able to read and deliver the needs of their people, one-by-one, as individuals. They seem to be able to treat everyone as someone special – very special.
  6. Give…Give…Give – For motivators to get the very best from their people, they are very, very generous. They support, guide, coach and even just give time such that their people just love them – and then do more, much more than average.
  7. Reward Appropriately – Sometimes there is the need to be tangible. Great motivators sense this and use it at just the right moment. Basing their decisions on trust and fairness, they deliver the right reward to those who deserve them.
  8. Blame Free – Ah, yes! The very best motivators operate in a blame-free culture. Their people know they can work safely and securely. If things go wrong they can trust the outcome and learn. They are encouraged to take risks, safe in the knowledge that the outcome, even if unsatisfactory, will be treated professionally and respectfully. It will be a learning opportunity.
  9. Share Success – Motivation comes from success breeding further success. Those who deliver receive recognition for their success. And excellent motivators fly the flag for their people’s successes.
  10. Get Motivated Themselves – Modelling the skill, those with great motivational skills get excited themselves – there is a buzz about them too and their people feed off that.

Ten Ways to be a Better at Motivation

  1. Start at the Beginning – You can’t motivate people to get excited if the core basics aren’t right. So you have to get the financial reward appropriate. Then you have to ensure that working conditions are right. How? Ask your people if they are! Example? Folks don’t feel motivated if they are cold.
  2. Dig Deeper – Apart from the basics, there is another level you have to get just right. How they are feeling. This is where it gets a bit more challenging. You have to ask them about this too. By creating the right sort of trusting and encouraging open relationships with them that they feel comfortable to tell you. This is about how you go about it. Big, important actions for you.
  3. Fix It! – To motivate your people the ‘hygiene factors’ have to be sorted
    out first. That’s your job and you can’t afford to miss anything. Nor can you start
    doing the smart stuff till you get this lot right. You can’t super-enthuse your team
    if you are not personally connecting with them at a high level.
  4. Moving On – Get all the basics sorted out, create feedback loops to ensure that you find out those little irritations for them early, and create the ongoing and open atmosphere. You can’t rush this stuff though – if you do, it won’t work.
  5. It’s Personal – Now you can get to the individual. Right now you have ‘comfortable’ people in a trusting and helpful workplace. Here’s where you have to build your personal relationships with individuals. There no quick way around this. Get to know what turns them on, one by one. Understand their strengths and preferences – and the bits they love about their work. Give them more of it!
  6. Become Emotional – By giving them more of what they want to do, they will be ready for more. And you can create that for them. Stretch and challenge them – build their confidence. People get motivated when they are excited. They get excited by being confident and looking forward to their work.
  7. Ask Them 1 – Now we are on a new level. So here’s the thing – to find out what
    your people need more of in their working life, you need to ask them. ‘What else
    do you need to get more from your work?’
    Find out how you can help them.
  8. Ask Them 2 – This is a bit trickier. You can’t ask them this. Observe what it is that you do, in your interactions with them, that gives them a buzz. Because it will be different for everyone, you will have to use a bit of trial and error here. You need to work this out for yourself.
  9. Things Like.. – Saying ‘Thank you’; encouragement; personal coaching; laughter; resources; physical help; conversation; touching base; actions; celebration; rewards; praise; acknowledgement; (private and public); standing up for them. There are lots more and to be honest, everyone is different. That’s why Motivation is so challenging. But it’s also why you are the boss – because it’s your job to deliver this
  10. What Happened To… – The raft building/paintballing/away day? Well, Motivation kicks in here at the very highest level. You can really motivate your people with these exercises. Use them before you’ve got the basics right and you won’t get a return. This is where it often goes wrong. And when it does, it’s like pouring petrol on a fire to put it out – it makes things a whole lot worse.
    Don’t chose this wrong level as an ‘easy’ option too soon.

5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!

  • Start listening to your people NOW. The sooner you start making those relationships, the better.
  • Ask them what ‘hygiene factors’ need to change. Yea, they’ll say salary; they’ll say staff numbers; they’ll say workload. So ask them for six things they need, not three! Then work on delivering the easy three FAST.
  • Notice the things you say that make a positive difference to your people, one-by-one. Try different tactics. See what works.
  • Catch your people doing things right. Consistently, from now on. Change your mindset from blame and fail to succeed and praise.
  • Become a facilitator of your people. Get them the resources they need. Deliver what  and when you say you will.

Read some great books like:-

“Motivation Management” – Thad B. Green
“Streetwise Motivating and Rewarding Employees” – Alexander Hiam
“The Peon Book: How to Manage Us” – D. Haynes
“Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge” – Gary Bellman
“The Tao of Motivation” – Max Landsberg