Your people are one of the most powerful forces available to you in realising your goals and ambitions, and the way you culturally think about your people strategy is critical to your commercial and business success.
Getting the most out of your team is pivotal to a thriving business, so motivating your employees isn’t an optional extra.
The key to really energising your staff is finding their motivational triggers. Best-selling author, Royston Guest, explains how you can do this.
Gallup released numbers in 2015 indicating that only 13% of employees worldwide are truly engaged in their work. The other 87% vary from partially to fully disengaged.
They come to work, go through the motions without any sense of enthusiasm that would encourage them to take ownership, and push to improve their own performance.
One of the greatest assets of your business walks out the door every night. What are you doing to get them to return next day inspired, motivated, and enthused to be the best they can be?
Understanding motivational triggers
The first thing to remember is that your people do things for their own reasons not your reasons. You can’t motivate someone to do something they don’t want to do, especially if it is not aligned to their personal values and beliefs.
You can make them feel inspired or engaged but motivation is actually a personal choice, which comes from within.
What you can do is understand what their motivational triggers are; what drives them to perform or take action. It could be reward, recognition, responsibility, flexibility. It could be social engagement, work-life balance.
Whatever the trigger, it’s personal to them and creates a response. Tap into it and you’ll unlock their potential helping them achieve great things.
Imagine a picture of a triangle (or scroll back to the top of the page) – the WHY being at the base – the WHAT on the left side and the HOW on the right.
We tend to spend most of our time in the WHAT we are doing and the HOW we are doing it but very little time in the WHY we are doing it. The WHY being the foundation of the entire process.
Finding out your employees’ motivational triggers
Now, who’s great at asking why questions?
Children of course. Go and tidy your room – Why? Go and put your jacket on as we are going to the supermarket – why? Children are so intuitive!
I believe one of the challenges when we get into adult life is that life conditions us to stop asking the why questions, we lose that childlike instinct. Perhaps now is the time to time to get that back by asking more why questions;
- What are your personal goals for the year?
- What is it you want to achieve?
- Why do you want to achieve it?
- What financially do you want to earn?
- Why do you want to earn that amount?
- How can I help you achieve those goals?
Now we start to understand the WHY from the individuals prospective.
I think one of the keys for creating a motivational environment for our people is to understand clearly their personal goals and how work can be one of the vehicles in order to help them deliver those goals.
The moment we help create the bridge in their mind – the link between their personal goals and business goals – self motivation kicks in.
Bridging personal and business goals
One of my clients was so excited by this idea he went and sat down on a one to one base with all his people to understand what they wanted to achieve and why and how through working with him he could help them do just that.
One of the team wanted to earn a £10,000 bonus in order to take his wife and two children to Disneyworld (his motivational trigger). Here’s the important part it’s not the money that is the critical factor – it’s what the money allows them to do in their lives.
Once the manager knew the why, he then could talk about the what and most importantly the how – what high-performing weeks need to look like in order to get to Disneyworld.
Emotion is more powerful than logic
Engaging with your people at a deeper emotional level not just a logical level and really understanding the WHY from their prospective will give you knowledge of their motivational triggers.
Emotion versus Logic…
Now, take the triangle again, adding a horizontal line two thirds of the way up with the word logic above the line and the word emotion below the line.
In all buying decisions emotion is far more important than logic. In fact, it is my firm view that all decisions are made emotionally… not logically. It’s the emotion that creates the motion, moving an individual to take action.
I often encounter stressed managers in the hospitality trade; despairing bankers who don’t see their children; pressured recruitment consultants trying to seal the deal.
Their emotional wellbeing is not a luxury; it’s the energy source powering their performance. When it’s low, their performance is low, which has both a short and long-term impact on the business for which they work.
What can you do?
Acknowledge your people’s emotional wellbeing on an equal footing to their physical wellbeing and you will fuel their inner self-worth, igniting their self-motivation, building their confidence and their loyalty will be inevitable.
Money isn’t a great motivator
And finally, remember It’s not all about the money.
In a world that has become impersonal, where the big things make little difference, it’s the little things which make a big difference.
Personal job satisfaction and motivation is driven by far more than financial factors such as salary and benefits. Your people strategy must have the right blend of employee perks and non-monetary rewards.
This can include relocation services, career development, choice of work location, flexibility to spend time with children and attend school functions and sports days. Increasingly, these types of non-monetary rewards are becoming key differentiators, highly valued by employees.
Every person experiences important moments in their lives, but in business, there is one that stands out above all others: the moment a person changes from someone with a job to someone with a purpose.
Whilst the motivation to do so must come from within, the triggers that compel them to make the switch are the ones the business and its leaders can create.
About the author
This guide has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Royston Guest, a global authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. He is CEO of Pti-Worldwide, author of #1 best-selling business growth book, Built to Grow and founder of livingyourfuture™.
More from ByteStart
ByteStart is packed with lots of help and great advice on all aspects of starting and running your own business. Try some of our most popular guides and articles for starters;
Motivating your staff
- How to motivate employees and create a loyal workforce on a budget
- How to design an effective incentive scheme for your small business
- Using staff benefits to motivate and retain employees
- How businesses can encourage a healthy work/life balance and benefit from more engaged and productive employees
Leading your business
- Why the best leaders do less
- Becoming the type of leader people want to emulate and do business with
- How to lead inclusively
- Why you must build on your strengths, NOT focus on trying to fix weaknesses
Funding your business
- Invoice Finance – What is it and how can it help fund my business?
- 6 Things you need to know before launching a crowdfunding campaign for your business
- A Guide to ‘Alternative Finance’ – the new funding options for startups and small businesses
- Revolving credit facility – The short term funding solution every small business owner should know about