There are many myths about the topic of motivation and how to achieve it. In this article, I will shine a light on the most common misunderstanding and describe a better way to create motivation.
Root of the Problem
Most managers and leaders use the word “motivate” as a verb. They believe you can “motivate” people if you find enough perks to throw at them. You might hear this come from the mouth of a manager, “We need to motivate the team to higher productivity. Maybe we should give everyone a five percent raise in pay.”
Why this Logic is Flawed
Over 50 years ago, Frederick Herzberg did some research on motivation and satisfaction. He found that a certain set of factors have the ability to make employees more satisfied. He called these actions “Hygiene Factors.” These things would include such concepts as physical cleanliness, pay, status, security, and office layout.
Herzberg’s research showed that while improving the Hygiene Factors has an impact on satisfaction, another set of factors leads to higher motivation. He called these “Motivating Factors.” These things would include autonomy, authority, trust, growth, and reinforcement.
The typical mistake made by many managers and leaders is to increase the hygiene factors when they are trying to achieve higher motivation. That is a poor strategy because the hygiene factors govern satisfaction rather than motivation.
What to do Instead
If you are truly interested in obtaining more motivation in the workforce, seek to increase the level of motivating factors. Do not rely on an improvement in Hygiene Factors to have an impact on motivation. You will be much more successful if you follow this advice.
Here is a brief video about motivation and trust.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations