How To Motivate People

Motivating a team of people is one of the biggest challenges facing leaders and managers.

Trouble is so many managers and leaders believe, often incorrectly, that money is a motivator. Yes, people need to feel like they are fairly rewarded for what they deliver. However, as research shows, money in itself is not a long term motivator.

So how do you find out what motivates people? Well, you could simply ask them. After all, it’s important enough to ask at the time of recruiting, why would it not be useful to check with people you have not employed periodically?

Once you have an idea what motivates people, you might want to:

  1. Regularly praise people when they have done a good job.
  2. Learn to see challenges and problems from their perspective and acknowledge their point of view.
  3. Give them new challenges or opportunities to build their skills.
  4. Get them to deputise for you at a meeting or while you are on holiday.
  5. Make time for staying in touch with your people rather than just being tied to your desk.
  6. Understand and help them to achieve their career aspirations.

The reality is that a lot of motivation is common sense. Sadly, it is often common sense which is not all that common.

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and health professionals to achieve success and realize their professional potential through being highly effective leaders and managers. For more information and to sign up for his free audio e-course click here

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment:

Nick Hill says 10 May 2010

Knowing how to motivate people relies on some key areas. Firstly, what is important to the person in that context and secondly, if they are driven to ‘achieving it’ or avoinding the consequences of ‘not achieving it’.

This is known as ‘towards and away’ motivation strategy.

People can be:

Towards motivated
Away from motivated
Towards with Away
Away with towards

To find out what is important to someone in their environment you need to ask them. In their answer they will provide a ‘value’ based word.

To find out their motivation strategy ask: Why is that value important to you? They will answer in one of the following ways:

– By stating what they will get
– By stating what they will avoid/not have
– By stating what they will get and avoid
– By stating what they will avoid and get

By understanding ‘how they answer’ uncovers that persons motivation strategy.

Why is this useful?

Take a person who has a TOWARDS strategy and ‘being organised’ is important (their value) in the context.

Communicating to a person about they will avoid as a result of being organised will not hit the hot buttons of that person because they are being communicated to as if their strategy is away from, rather than towards. Great managers know their team, what is important to the team and what ‘direction’ they are spoken to to motivate them in the right direction.

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