Motivate your people by helping them self-motivate

If you want to motivate your team, you need to dispel the Money Myth.

Money isn’t truly a reward that drives employee engagement. The type of motivation that really sparks creativity and makes people more productive, is motivation that comes from within. This is called intrinsic motivation.

If you’ve read Rev up your motivation in 4 steps you know there are four basic ways to build intrinsic motivation at work:

  • Tap into the power of self-direction
  • Set approach goals, not avoidance goals
  • Align goals to signature strengths
  • Avoid focusing on reward systems

So how can managers and leaders put these principles into action at work? Here are some practical tips I teach leaders in my Positive Leadership Programs.

Involve your team and involve them again

As a team leader or manager, it’s crucial that you involve your team in problem-solving and decision-making whenever possible. Get rid of punitive policies that involve red tape and stifling rules. Ask your team to have skin in the game and then make sure not to discount their suggestions.

Set goals carefully

Try to find a happy middle ground between goals that meet the company’s larger objectives and those that align with your team members’ individual and collective strengths. Never hand down goals during performance reviews – instead, make goal setting and plan-of-action meetings separate sessions.

Do a strengths workshop with your team

Your team members may not actually be sure what their signature strengths are. If you haven’t done so already, consider inviting a professional to facilitate a workshop for your employees. Eleanor Shakiba offers strengths workshops to help you match your company’s goals and tasks with your employees’ best attributes. Contact her today to hear how strengths assessments can enhance your team.

Eliminate formal reward systems

This can be tricky if you already have a bonus or commission structure in place. However, it may surprise you to learn that your employees aren’t motivated by money alone. Involve them in deciding what additional incentives are suitable. You may find that they would like to have a greater stake in the direction that the company takes. Consider incentives like weekly high-point celebrations or the occasional surprise team outing.

Motivation is so important that it should be a main objective in your business plans. When your team is highly motivated, they are more productive. And when productivity is high, you’ll be more likely to achieve your business goals.

About the author of this article

Eleanor Shakiba has dedicated her career to teaching talented people how to use tools from positive psychology at work. She is a well-known Australian trainer and coach, who has helped more than 50,000 professionals to build confidence, presence and influence at work. Find out how Eleanor can help you or your team here.

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