“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz
“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Ever wonder what motivates people? Why people do the things they do? Why some are so focused on getting ahead, while others prefer continuity? Why some pour themselves in to their work, while others find great balance in work and family life? Or do you wonder what keeps people engaged with one organization when bigger opportunities or higher pay might exist ‘across the street’?
I’ve spoken about the importance of culture in developing a high performing team and I truly believe culture is a key driver in motivating people to remain engaged in their current employment. In the companies that I’ve managed, we worked hard to develop a culture that embraces its employees. One that rewards its team members for good performance, and supports them when they stumble. A culture of trust and respect, of integrity and honesty. I’m proud of that culture and of all of you who live true to it.
But culture is only part of the equation. In the end, if that culture doesn’t embrace the different “motivating factors” important to all its employees, it won’t succeed. Culture must be multi-dimensional, and it must “cultivate” the right drivers. And that’s where individual motivation comes in.
So what is motivating to our employees? What do we as individuals find important in motivating our behavior as part of the team and contributing to its long term success? The answer to that question holds the key to developing a culture for long term success.
I recently sat in a presentation with one of my colleagues from Right Management (Ron Raque) who spoke specifically to these questions. I thought it worth sharing – to help provide a better understanding of yourselves and your fellow team members. The following comes from a book titled Managing the new Careerists by C. Brooklyn Derr, and speaks to the five primary factors that motivate us as employees/team members:
- Getting Ahead – Those motivated by getting ahead. Those who view money, status, promotions/positions, etc. as measures of success.
- Getting Secure – Those who seek security – Financially; In their roles/responsibilities; In their career achievements. They see success as security.
- Getting Free – Those who seek freedom and autonomy. Free from rules and regulations. Free from corporate bureaucracy. They find success in their ability to control their own destiny.
- Getting High – Those who find excitement and passion in what they do; in the difference that they make.
- Getting Balanced – Those who seek harmony in their work and family lives, and measure success in their ability to balance those.
To be fair, no one measure/factor accounts for the entirety of an individual’s motivation. But they are important to understand – and building a winning organization includes acknowledging these factors and creating an environment where its team members can find success in all of them.
So, what motivates you?