If leadership is about influence, influence is about knowing what motivates other person. Motivation is a driving force that determinates person’s level of effort and of persistence. Have you ever procrastinated an easy and boring task until the moment it became urgent? Yes, I can suspect you were not really motivated to do it. People like tasks that carry meanings. Meaning and purpose are strong motivators.
Several recent studies have shown that simple rule that money and material incentives are key motivator for performance cannot be fully applied for creative or analytical tasks. Motivation expert Daniel Pink even claims that for such tasks material rewards can backfire: when rewards stop people stop investing effort. Of course, here is important to make a distinction between fair compensation in given conditions and constant material rewards. Eric Barker explained Pink’s main points from the book “What makes people tick” in the article he wrote for the Time magazine. Here are the suggestions of what to do and what not to do if you want engaged employees.
Make them feel something. Feelings are powerful motivators. Information will not make people change or act if they don’t feel something about what they know.
Emphasize Progress, even small one. Harvard’s Teresa Amabile‘s research found that nothing is more motivating than progress. A consistent amount of minor success produces much more happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant.
Share a belief, tell a story. Build a positive company culture, make people feel they are part of something important
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