A study from Harvard Business School once again highlighted the notion that there are more powerful motivators at work than money. In this particular study, researchers found that salespeople would forgo financial incentives in favor of greater peer recognition and knowing where they stood compared to their peer group. Social recognition, in other words, trumped money.
Money, as I’ve so often said, puts bums in the seats and motivates people to come back to work week after week. But to get those bums energetically in gear, here are my 6 Ps of effective motivation beyond (or besides) money:
1. Purpose. Understanding why your work matters, how your work connects to the team and organization, and why your organization matters is critical. (A clearly defined sense of purpose has also been shown to be one of the biggest factors in the success of meetings and high performing teams.)
2. Passion. Passion without substance is an ephemeral force, but when combined with a strong purpose, amazing things can happen. I’m not talking about fake enthusiasm or charismatic leadership, but sincerely expressed passion, even in quiet forms, can help unite people around a worthy goal or cause.
3. Progress. Being able to measure individual and team performance is incredibly motivating. Knowing what the milestones are and seeing tangible results achieved is highly motivating. (Just imagine watching a Stanley Cup final game where they decide not to keep score!)
4. Pride. Regular recognition and sincere, timely, specific praise that is 100% positive and focuses on effort and growth is an essential part of a healthy workplace diet. (The number one reason people say they leave their job is because they feel unappreciated or undervalued.)
5. Play. When work doesn’t feel like work it becomes a whole heck of a lot easier to get out of bed on a Monday morning and a lot easier to stay inspired!
6. Personal. There are different strokes for different folks, so keep in mind that everyone in your workplace has different off and on switches related to each one of the preceding five influences. The more you can tailor your workplace to meet the unique needs of individual personalities, the more successful you’ll be at creating a truly inspiring workplace.
Copyright Michael Kerr, Humor at Work. Michael Kerr is a funny business speaker, very funny Canadian motivational speaker, and an international business trainer. Michael travels the world researching, writing and speaking about great workplace cultures and on how leaders and businesses can put humor to work strategically for less stress and more success. For phenomenal ideas on humor in the workplace and workplace culture, sign up for the free weekly e-zine Humor at Work
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