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The Value of Understanding What Makes Your People Tick – motivation in action

Hilltops and Highland Cows

The benefits of working with a team who enjoy their work and the company of each other is tremendous, however achieving that harmony is not always a straightforward journey.

My first mistake was the assumption that we all want the same out of life – I thought if we all did something I enjoyed when celebrating our successes, then everyone would have fun.

I soon discovered this not to be the case and it puzzled me.

If we look at some general studies, most believe that people, especially in a work environment, are motivated by money. While we can all agree that without a wage life is a struggle, interestingly money generally comes out at about number four*in the top motivators listings.

So what are the top three?

Number one on the list is ‘Being treated with respect’ followed by ‘being able to contribute to the success of the organisation’ and third, ‘being in on things’. These all relate to a good relationship and rank above money. Sadly many managers do not act on these findings.

I was surprised by this and motivated to investigate further. I wanted to move from what ‘generally’ moves people to act to more ‘specific’ reasons.

My studies led me to Gallup where I completed a thirty five question questionnaire.

Considering thirty five different statements, I selected my top five and from that my top one.

How powerful is that?

In contrast to most people want to be ‘treated with respect’, which is a fair expectation, we now select from statements that include:

• Reading your success story in your trade journal
• Being nominated as father/mother of the year by your child
• Managing a complex project
• Winning a company award
Considering this from a team, rather than a management, perspective and completing this exercise together with you colleagues, you not only become aware of what you want (not everyone really knows what they want) but also recognise what those around you want too.

The whole team then has a heightened awareness and stronger understanding of each other which helps them strengthen the power of the group.

If one person wants a promotion but another wants to make the biggest impact right where they are, they will have a very different approach to their responsibilities, their work, their interaction with clients and their reporting back into the team and to you.

When you understand this, it then becomes much easier to delegate as you know who wants what, your staff become more productive as they will also be happier at work and do a better job for you.

Here’s to a happier, healthier, productive team!
When you understand this, it then becomes much easier to delegate as you know who wants what, your staff become more productive as they will also be happier at work and do a better job for you.

*Hunter, J (1998) The Servant. Prima Communcations Inc

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