Motivation is one of the most common work-related issues I hear from clients (â€œthese people are unmotivatedâ€ or â€œwe want high scores on the climate survey to improve everyoneâ€™s motivationâ€). Â Yet motivation, especially from a performance perspective, tends to be oversimplified by most managers and executives.
First, no-one (well, other than perhaps someone whoâ€™s dead) is completely unmotivated. Â We all have motivation. Â Itâ€™s simply not true that a group of employees is unmotivated. Â The problem is that motivation is usually a complex issue with a range of factors playing a role. Â I may want to do a good job and get praise from my supervisor. Â But I also donâ€™t want to end up doing work that some slacker didnâ€™t doâ€”that isnâ€™t fair. Â And while I may believe in working hard I also donâ€™t want to have to stay late and get caught in bad rush-hour traffic. Â Plus, my favorite TV series is on tonight and weâ€™re having an early dinner so Iâ€™m preoccupied by those thoughts. Â And I like dealing with the immediate project Iâ€™ve been assigned but find two members of my project team to be boring or irritating so I want to spend as little time with them as possible. Â And our staff meetings run on too long. Â As a result, I work hard but try to look busy as quitting time approaches and on Tuesday Iâ€™m going to come up with any excuse I can to avoid extra work or find a reason to duck out early (while on Wednesdays Iâ€™m willing to stay late) and I have a reputation for sweating the small stuff and producing good work product. Continue reading “A Few Thoughts About Motivation”