Motivation is the greatest performance enabler. You cannot drive performance without it. In fact, it’s insane to even try.
Motivation is what gets us out of bed in the morning. It’s what pushes us to do our best, whether that’s at work or at home or in our hobbies. It’s the spark that keeps us going, even when we face difficulty or adversity. Yet what drives that motivation is different for everyone.
If you want to improve performance at work, you have to understand what motivates every individual, and support them to prioritise those drivers. It could be career progression, or recognition, or time outside of work to exercise or spend time with their family. Whatever it is, it is the key to unlocking better performance. The more their role enables them to prioritise the things that are truly important to them, the more passionate, driven and productive employees will be.
Elite level athletes are a great example of the importance of motivation. They put their bodies through gruelling training schedules, constantly testing their physical and mental resilience – and for what? Why go through all of that if the end result – an Olympic medal, or record-breaking time – isn’t really that important to them?
As sport psychologist, author and athlete Dr Jim Taylor explained, “to become the best athlete you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximise your ability. Without that desire, all of the other mental factors are meaningless.”
We’ve noticed a lot of organisations focusing on those ‘other factors’ that are, as Taylor put it, meaningless without motivation. Time, effort and resources are poured into performance initiatives that are doomed because they fail to take individual desire into account. A promotion won’t improve someone’s performance if what they really want is less stress. A pay rise won’t motivate someone if their priority is spending time with their family.
The right conversations, at the right time
So how do you find out what actually motivates your workforce? The obvious place to start is to ask them – but it’s easier said than done. Managers need to know how to have the right conversations, at the right time, and be empowered to take the right actions as a result. It’s not enough to just know what’s important to someone: to successfully drive better performance, managers need to help their teams to prioritise their key motivators and remove the barriers that might be getting in the way.
OpenBlend’s performance management platform provides a framework for people managers to not just manage performance but enable it, by understanding and unlocking employees’ key drivers. By facilitating open, honest conversation and getting to the heart of what motivates every employee through devices like the Blend Tool and GROW framework, OpenBlend turns every manager into a coach: one who can help their team to identify what drives them and help them to unlock their best performance.
To discover more about individual drivers and motivators, and the impact they have on your teams and on your business, download the OpenBlend guide today.