What Really Motivates Employees?

It’s not recognition, incentives, interpersonal support, support for making progress, or clear goals that motivate workers. Based on the data collected by Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer, in a 2010 article in Harvard Business Review, none of these were number one.

Number one was progress.

Note: It was rated dead last by some 600 managers from dozens of companies. The authors of the article conducted a multiyear survey to come up with their conclusion.

So, what do you think motivates workers as we end in 2017 and go into 2018? Personally, I like the 7 steps outlined list “D” below. I believe they show that not much has changed in terms of motivation from 2010.

A. In an article in Inc., Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO, AudienceBloom, list the following:

  1. Individual attention matters
  2. Advancement opportunities are enticing
  3. Leaders set the example
  4. Environmental motivators can make or break you
  5. Socialization makes people more committed
  6. Transparency is the key to communication

https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/6-motivation-secrets-to-inspire-your-employees.html

B. In Hays Viewpoint blog, Marc Burrage, Managing Director, Hays Japan, notes his favourites:

  1. Learning and development
  2. A clear path of progression
  3. Recognition
  4. Autonomy and responsibility
  5. Work environment

https://social.hays.com/2016/04/26/5-things-that-motivate-your-employees-more-than-money/

C. On the TalentCulture website, Sarah Landrum, in 2015, laid out her perspective:

  1. Peer motivation
  2. Opportunities to grow
  3. Strong work culture
  4. Engaging, interesting work
  5. Employees are motivated by being involved

Sarah sums up her article with this synopsis.

What Employees Want

  1. Appreciation of work done
  2. Feeling of being in on things
  3. Sympathetic help with personal problems

What Managers Think Employees Want

  1. Good wages
  2. Job security
  3. Promotion

https://talentculture.com/what-truly-motivates-employees/

D. In the Huffington Post blog, David Vollmer Jr., the owner and CEO of Isolator Fitness Inc., proposes the following:

  1. Communicate and train
  2. Take time to listen
  3. Harness proper management techniques
  4. Recognize their accomplishments
  5. Pay it forward
  6. Be professional
  7. Make it fun

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/young-entrepreneur-council/7-ways-to-motivate-employ_b_9932156.html

While the business each of these authors is engaged in may impact their list, remember, we all have one common commodity—people.

Treat them like they want to be treated, not as you want to treat them.

Garth Roberts, CSP     www.garthroberts.com

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