by Patty Azzarello
Motivation is Personal
Money is the easiest and least personal way to motivate people (if you have money). If you donât, you need to get down to the real business of making people actually care about what they are working on.
In any economy, itâs important to focus on the non-financial motivators for three key reasons.
- Those are always within your control
- They work better than money â people work for meaning, not money
- Money doesn’t buy loyalty, it only rents effort
Free motivators that work wonders
1. Remove Uncertainty about the work. The biggest de-motivator you can have is when people donât know exactly what to work on or why it matters. Make sure you keep people engaged in meaningful work, and always connect the dots of why it matters. Just because you are waiting for answers from above, donât keep your team waiting. Never pass uncertainty downward.
2. Communicate a lot, on a regular cadence. Clear consistent communication from above is a magical motivator that so many leaders miss. You get huge points for leadership and credibility when you communicate well. People are always more motivated to work for people they know and respect, than invisible, or checked out leaders. Even if you are not checked out, if you fail to communicate regularly, you will appear to be checked out.
3. Donât guess what people care about, ask them! Personally ask each person that works for you. Youâll be amazed at the answers, and how many things you can do without money that will make a material difference to them.
4. Say Thank You. Create a habit in your organization to recognize contributions. Donât over complicate it with processes, nominations, reviews, and spreadsheets. Just make it clear to your staff that you want to know when anyone in your organization does something remarkable, and then have one of the executives say, âthank youâ.
Want to know more?
Iâll talk more about each of these and share some great stories about what really works (and what really pisses people off) in my free webinar: Motivating Without Money, Wednesday, Aug 25.
Sign up now to learn more great motivation techniques.
Patty Azzarello works with executives where leadership and business challenges meet. She has held leadership roles in General Management, Marketing, Software Product Development and Sales, and has been successful in running large and small businesses. She writes at The Azzarello Group Blog. You’ll find her on Twitter as @PattyAzzarello
Eduard @ People Skills Decoded says
Influence and motivation are my favorite topic, so I just had to share my thoughts on it 🙂
I think that bottom line people feel motivated and want to do certain things if those things subjectively bring value into their lives. And this applies both at the professional and personal level. That is the only real way you can motivate or influence someone.
Now, the challenge is to understand the specific values of each person and to find a way of motivating her using her values, not yours. This does require good communication, and relationships management skills.
Andrew @ Blogging Guide says
Money can’t really buy everything and it isn’t a good motivator. They may do it but it’s half-hearted and it’s because of the financial gain. People work best if they put their heart to it and these are great tips you’ve said. I especially liked #3, asking them. It’s no good, guessing or assuming anything, you’ll just be wasting your time, energy and effort. So it’s best to be open and ask, it surely goes a long way and it builds relationship too.
Great post. It really isn’t rocket science to engage people. And truly there isn’t always a great investment of money but more and investment of time in people. Some of the worst motivation can come from presentations that ‘pump you up’ but give you no direction or information with actionable items on what to do next. I believe in what I call, ‘motivation with meat.’ You have to have some meat on the bones and not just empty happy phrases that won’t get you motivated in any direction but simply keep your head in la la land.
Patty Azzarello says
Hi Eduard, Andrew, and Gillean,
thanks for your comments.
“Motivation with Meat” – love it!
Work would be a much better place if more managers had your point of view. Thanks for contributing to the post!