A person's motivation is combination of desire and energy directed at achieving a goal. Influencing someone's motivation means getting him or her to want to do what you know must be done.
People can be motivated by beliefs, values, interests, fear, worthy causes, and other such forces. Some of these forces are internal, such as needs, interests, and beliefs. Others are external, such as danger, the environment, or pressure from a loved one. There is no simple formula for motivation -- you must keep an open viewpoint on human nature. There is a complex array of forces steering the direction of each person and these forces cannot always be seen or studied. Also, if the same forces are steering two different people, each on will act differently. Knowing that different people react to different needs will guide your decisions and actions in certain situations.
As a leader you have the power to influence motivation. The following guidelines form the basic view of motivation. They will guide you in your decision making process towards influencing motivation.
. Allow the needs of your people to coincide with the needs of your organization.
Nearly all people are influenced by the need for job security, promotion, raises, and approval of their peers, and leaders. Internal forces such as value, morals, and ethics also influence them. Likewise, the organization needs good people in a wide variety of jobs. Ensure that your people are trained, encouraged, and provided the opportunity to grow. Ensure that the way you conduct business has the same values, moral, and ethic principles that you seek in your people. If you conduct business in a dishonest manner, your people will be dishonest to you.
. Reward good behavior. Although a certificate, letter, or a thank you may seem small, they can be powerful motivators. The reward should be specific and prompt. Do not say, "for doing a good job." Cite the specific action that made you believed it was a good job. In addition, help your people who are good. We all make mistakes or need help to achieve a particular goal.
. Set the example. You must be the role model by setting examples that you want your people to grow into.
. Develop moral and esprit. Moral is the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of a person. Almost everything you do will have some impact on the moral of your organization.1of 2 You should always be aware how your actions and decisions affect it. Esprit means team spirit - it is defined as the spirit or the soul of the organization. It is the consciousness of the organization that you and your people identify with and feel a part of. Is your workplace a place where people cannot wait to get away from, or is it a place that people enjoy spending a part of their lives?
. Let your people be part of the planning and problem solving process. There are several reasons for this. First, it teaches them and allows you to coach them. Second, it motivates them. People who are part of the decision making process become the owners of it. It gives them a personal interest in seeing the plan succeed. Third, communication is clearer. Everyone has a better understanding of what role they must play as part of the team. Next, it creates an open trusting communication bond. They are no longer just the doers for the organization. Now they are part of it. And finally, it shows that you recognize and appreciate them. Recognition and appreciation from a respected leader are powerful motivators.
. Look out for your people. Although you do not have control over their personal lives, you must show concern for them. Things that seem to no importance to you, might seem extremely critical to them. You must be able to empathize with them. This is from the German word, einfuhling, which means "to feel with." This is the ability to perceive another person's view of the world as though that view were your own. Empathy differs from sympathy in that sympathy connotes spontaneous emotion rather than a conscious, reasoned response. Sympathizing with others may be less useful to another person if we are limited by the strong feelings of the moment.
. Make their jobs challenging, exciting, and meaningful. Make them feel that they are individuals in a great team. People need meaningful work, even if it is tiring and unpleasant; they need to know that it is important and necessary for the survival of the organization.
. Counsel people who behave in a way that are counter to the company's goals. You must let people know when they are not performing to acceptable standards for further improvement. Some time you need to protect your performer. For example, if someone in your department is always late arriving for work and it is causing disruptions, and then you must take action. On the other hand, if you have an extremely good performer and once in a while he is few minutes late, then do the right thing...protect him from the bureaucracy!