Motivation matters – or does it?

Posted by Leadent Solutions on May 9, 2013

If you’ve ever tried to get someone or a group of people to do something they don’t want to then you’ll know that motivation matters. Providing the carrot before the stick is universally known as an approach that should yield the results you want, but what do you do when that doesn’t work?

Introducing change into a mobile workforce is even harder due to the dynamics of the group. In this blog I’ll briefly take you through some of the tools and techniques that we use to help organisations deal with embedding new ways of working brought about by new technology solutions.

In this world of social media and smartphones, some organisations are playing catch up and some older employees are suffering from ‘future shock’, watching the world around them being governed by technology, which is playing an ever increasing role in people’s lives. Gone are the days of having an inbox, outbox and a pending tray on your desk! Decisions are being made quicker and communication methods in the workplace are moving at an unprecedented pace. Research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control, so consider the following when looking at how we motivate your employees:

  • Make the changes real – take employees on a journey and help them understand how the changes will affect them. It’s as old as the hills, but the change curve is still an excellent temperature gauge to show you where employees are on the change journey
  • Walkthrough the top 5 key processes – everyone likes to stick to the familiar world they know, but with technology this can’t always be the case. Employees’ lives will change as they grapple with the new ways of working. Help them picture what this will mean by walking through with them the top 5 key processes that may be 80% of their working day
  • Get into their head – using techniques such as adapting your leadership style will help pinpoint how motivated employees feel. Also adapt your coaching style to help the transition and understanding of complex changes
  • Target the correct group of line managers – these are often a key group between senior management and the field staff and will have different motivations in their role. This group will be getting varying levels of challenge both from above and below so it’s important to understand and support them through the changes. Using DILO’s (Day in the Life Of), balance scorecard dashboards, quality reviews and supporting team participation through the changes will all help line managers adopt new ways of working and new technology
  • And finally a mental crib sheet for you. Remember that motivation has three states;

Arousal – this is what initiates the action (matched to their lives)

Direction – how am I going to achieve my goals

Intensity – how much energy can be channelled to achieve my goals

Shaping our approach and understanding of what motivates our employees can really help to embed new ways of working or new technology. It’s best to frame this experience as a shared outcome both for individuals and the organisation as a whole for best results