What motivates people? How about you and your staff?

What motivates people?

Start by thinking what motivates you? If it’s not just money, why do most companies use hard cash as the only motivation – other incentives may well have a much higher value.

As Dan Pink says there is a mismatch between what science knows and business does. It’s shocking to say but business doesn’t know best – that is apart from those businesses that have used this knowledge to their advantage. But they are so few it’s not worth mentioning.

I can hear it now – “I don’t believe you, it’s all about the money”. Beliefs are really strong but if you’re prepared to challenge them, and go with Dan Pink’s years of research, you’ll know it’s also true that what motivates you may also be completely different to your peers, staff or your boss. It might be money and tangible incentives but it might not.

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think.

Dan Pink is well known but is not a lone voice with this research into human behaviour and what motivates people, but it’s only a few companies that have embraced it. When they did, and they unraveled the puzzle of motivation the result was amazing … it has transformed their business.

Take a look at Apple and Google – great places to work, effective, high performing? Through design or being lucky they seem to know what motivates people. And what’s more, their blend of motivation, attracts the right people to apply for jobs.

Now many reading this will think it’s difficult to change things. But what if you started the change today. Take a simple action – ask your staff what really motivates them. Of course, it all depends on what relationship you have with them as to how they might respond. If they tell you what  they think you want to hear, that could be even more revealing. either way you’ve started.

We can of course accelerate the process and include motivation as part of a Mind Fit  programme specific to your team. Dan Pink also mentioned about one team doing better than another – motivation is linked to performance, so whatever you do, don’t ignore it.

As ever you have the choice.