MOTIVATION can be defined as a desire held in expectation with the belief that it will be realized. In other words, motivation is a “motive for action,” i.e. reason, purpose, or goal for doing something. Keep in mind that action, or behavior, includes both cause and effect. Motivation involves both the actions and the motive or cause behind the actions. Within reasonable limits, the needs, desires and drives of all people are fairly universal.
Our behavior is the action we take to satisfy desire, but different people take different paths to reach their goals. Two people may adopt identical behavior to reach opposite goals, or they may behave in diametrically opposite ways to achieve a similar goal.
Observe the behavior patterns of your employees as well as your own. Each person has his or her own set of conscious or unconscious goals, and these needs or goals motivate the chosen pattern of behavior. Therefore, all motivation is personal. To understand what it takes to motivate a person, we must know and understand the person as an individual. Each person has needs that must be satisfied.
An effective business leader identifies these personal needs and helps the employee translate them into personal goals. Then, you can help the employee see how these personal goals will help the organization achieve its goals. Since motivation is personal, you might ask: “How can I personally motivate an entire organization?” The answer, of course, is “one at a time.” There is no easier or simpler way. People are the medium through which all systems must pass. Without people, you will get nothing done.
Because all employees are people, and therefore reflect different heritages, environments and training, there is no single method or idea that will successfully motivate all of them all the time. Effective motivation can be accomplished only on a personal basis. However, business leaders can maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to personal motivation and individual growth. The leader can, by combining motivational management with desire for personal success, weld together a new and powerful force for improved performance and results.
Both of these vital elements are interdependent; individual managers and employees rarely strive to increase their personal motivation unless they are stimulated and led by enlightened and self-motivated leaders. As a leader, it is your responsibility to create a climate for growth and learn to deal with each of your employee’s motivation on an individual basis.
To do this, you need to be observant, spend one-on-one time with each person, ask questions, listen and take a genuine interest in each person.