What Motivates People?

Employee motivation is one of the key components of employee engagement. Employees who are motivated are willing to invest discretionary effort to go above and beyond the call of duty. They are more likely to go the extra mile to help the organization succeed.

There are a variety of ways in which companies and managers seek to motivate their employees. Some of these succeed and some don’t. I thought it will be a good idea to jot down a few basic principles or broad themes you should keep in mind, while designing programs for employee motivation. Basically, one needs to keep in mind what really motivates people. These serve as a good starting point for initiating & refining the thought process around employee motivation programs.

  • Enjoyment Motivates: People really feel charged up when they are doing things they like to do. They feel motivated when they do things which utilize their talents. For instance, it is extremely difficult to motivate and employees with sharp analytical skills, when he/she is put in a role that focuses on raising invoices and collecting dues from customers.
  • Positive Thoughts Motivate: Positive psychology is super critical. For instance, recall the teacher, friend or parent who motivated you to do well by telling you that you can succeed. Employees need to be brimming with positive emotions.
  • Sense of Significance Motivates: People feel motivated when they derive a sense of significance from what they are doing. If they feel that their contribution, ideas and suggestions matter, they feel motivated.
  • Success Motivates: Being successful at a task makes one feel as being a part of a fruitful endeavor and triggers positive motivation. Try setting up your employees for successes (no matter how small).
  • Benefits Motivate: This is dead simple. All humans ask “What’s in it for me?”
  • Clarity Motivates: People can feel very unmotivated towards tasks and activities, if the instructions and objectives are unclear.

These are just top of the mind thoughts. What are some of the other things that you have found to be powerful motivators?

10 thoughts on “What Motivates People?

  1. I wrote something a few days ago on the 5 rules of motivation for the lazy psychologist.

    Will you have a look and tell me what you think?


  2. Pingback: What Motivates People?

  3. Pingback: List of the Top Blog Posts of 2009 « Mumblr

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