Want to boost motivation in your team? This study suggests you need to increase meaning and purpose in their work.

Higher motivation in employees leads to better work performance. This is no secret. However, there are ways to effectively manage motivation to accelerate team strength and productivity. Positive psychology is a powerful tool that can inspire teammates to motivate themselves, so the burden is not completely on the manager.

In fact, managers who understand that they alone are not the catalyst for team change often do much better in leading their teams. Inspiration should be outsourced to those who are really benefitting from the work that your organisation does.

Here is a great example. Harvard Business Review published a study on a growing body of research that shows how effective different types of motivation can be. It showed that the best way to inspire others is by having customers, patients and clients spread positive word about your organisation all on their own. A radiology patient showed a photograph of an x-ray to a team of radiologists who didn’t even work with this particular patient. But seeing that photograph inspired them to take a more focused approach to their x-rays, which improved their diagnostic accuracy by 46%.

This is effective proof that that hearing from the patients and customers is a great way to inspire a team towards more positive change. Managers and leaders are great at delivering speeches and pointing out positive deviants in their field. But when partnering with those who benefit from your organisation’s services, motivation can be boosted even further.


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Here is another example. Wells Fargo bankers were shown a series of videos from customers talking about how much their lives improved since they were able to take debt-saving loans. This was the biggest catalyst of inspiration for these bankers, who improved their productivity rates afterwards.

Want to know how to stay motivated and inspired? Follow Eleanor Shakiba on Facebook or LinkedIn for more positive psychology facts!

About the author of this article:

Eleanor Shakiba is passionate about helping talented people flourish professionally. She coaches and trains high performers who want to excel in business. Her core expertise is in positive psychology. Eleanor is the author of the Positive Psychology Toolkit for HR and L&D practitioners. She also runs master practitioner level retreats and workshops for trainers and facilitators.