Motivation … what is it?

Team BuildingMotivation is a word that has become a big part of our popular culture as few other psychological concepts have.

So what is motivation? Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behavior. It represents the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as what causes a person to want to repeat or avoid a behavior.  A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way.

In a professional context, each profession, business or job has some qualities that will motivate many professionals, owners or associates. Even a “crappy” profession, business or job probably offers at least one motivational factor. However, if you are a team leader, you will want to know what motivates your team members.

Research has revealed that there are some common and recurring motivational factors in any profession, business or job. We have designed three (3) questions that will help you to gather this information. So, first we will present the three questions and secondly, provide a list of some of the most common responses.

You can begin to get some insight if you ask them these three questions:

  1. What are the top three (3) things or conditions that motivate you at work?
  2. Describe how or to the extent these motivators are being met now?
  3. How could your motivators be more completely met?

Here is a list of the ten (10) most common and frequent motivational factors offered by respondents:

  1. Achievement – Meeting increasing work challenges
  2. Challenging work – Working on difficult or demanding tasks requiring substantial effort and commitment
  3. Compensation – Receiving a high salary or generous monetary compensation or stock options for work
  4. Continuous learning – Increasing knowledge and skill when circumstances call for additional learning
  5. Formal recognition – Receiving formal recognition, inside and outside the organization, for accomplishments
  6. Physical environment – Working in a physically comfortable and attractive environment
  7. Position or status – Holding a position with a highly respected title or status relative to others in the organization
  8. Promotion opportunities – Earning positions of greater responsibility and status
  9. Recognition for expertise – Receiving reward or recognition for expertise in a technical or other specialized skill area
  10. Task variety – Working on several different tasks or projects

Armed with these questions and some of the possible responses, you can effectively take the next step to increase your team’s performance.

Related Articles –   5 Steps to More Productivity4 Business Rules You Must Break and  5 Imperatives For Workplace Innovation

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Motivation, Performance Management, Professional Skills, Team Building

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