Motivation – What does it mean today?

17 October, 2019 | by Staff

Motivation? Again? We hear you. Through how many decades and through how many books, articles, talks, workshops people around the world have been trying to simplify this vastly complex phenomenon called Motivation. Any answer we seem to get, seems small and insufficient.

Truly a million dollar question - How do I get someone to do what I want?

For the past few decades, we have been conditioned to think of two systems when it comes to Motivation – Monetary incentive and Position-rise. However, monetary and position-rise are not always and necessarily be the best motivators, as we all have come to know, contrary to the popular belief (or say assumption?).

What does Motivation mean today? When one sits down to think about Motivation in particular, somehow what remains are only questions. Are we still clinging onto money and promotions as the best of motivators, just because our previous generations have done so? Is it because we can’t find the real answers yet? If every individual is unique, won’t every individual have a unique motivator that will be best for him? While it is true that rewards / recognitions hold good for a generic set-up or for mechanically routine jobs, will it work in an era that is more of “I”- Individuals who constantly look for change?

Let us for once try to look at motivation by breaking out of the status quo. Motivation, like creativity, is a personal concept. And the best motivation for anyone will be from within, rather than being provided by any external force. The extrinsic motivators like money, can only be a supporter and not the motivator by itself. On the other hand, intrinsic motivators are long-lasting, sustaining and thriving. Thus an employer can best motivate, by providing a terrain on which the employee can motivate himself. Organizations should start to specifically think about how they can create a platform that intrinsically motivates an employee rather than looking only at rewards / external recognition as motivators.

There may be many creative ways in which organizations can go about creating terrains of motivation. For example, we may think of something like “My Time” that will aim at creating intrapreneurs, providing autonomy to Employees to choose any specific firm-related project that interests them. Setting their own challenges and work-area, this project will not be supervised by anyone. However, in frequent intervals, the work progress and ideas will be shared to other teams viz presentations. If found suitable and cohesive, like-ideating individuals can join the project. Every individual will be allocated resources for them to work. Further resources should be claimed by the individual, viz pitching presentations.

While deploying any new initiative regarding Motivation, there may be challenges such as Preliminary fears such as fear of time wastage, fear of failures, fear of judgment, fear of accomplishments etc, all of these can be very well prevalent in the beginning stages of any new project. As squishy as it may sound the answer for this will be effective management (and that sets the preface of the next challenge). What gets measured gets managed. To manage motivation, the biggest challenge is to measure it. In exercises like “My Time”, measuring motivation will be possible not by objective metrics, but through facilitated subjective real-time reports.

This is just an example. The core belief is that Motivating employees must work on important aspects like autonomy, euphoria and purpose. When such thriving and motivated workforce is created within organizations, success will be a norm.