Great leaders understand that performance and outcomes are based on much more than accomplishing tasks and maintaining status quo. Real change within an organization CAN happen, if team members produce quality work, driven intrinsically to thrive personally and professionally.
In his response to an article in the Harvard Business Review, Alfie Kohn states, "I find it useful to think in terms of three C’s: choice, collaboration, and content. Choice means that employees should be able to participate in making decisions about what they do every day. Collaboration denotes the need to structure teams in order to facilitate an exchange of ideas and a climate of support. Content refers to what people are asked to do: as Frederick Herzberg said, 'If you want people motivated to do a good job, give them a good job to do.' An organization that provides these three ingredients in place of artificial inducements like incentive plans will not 'lose its best people,' as Beer worries. Innovation and excellence are the natural results of helping people experience intrinsic motivation."
Additionally, several powerful books including Motivating Your Employees and Taking People With You have been published, and countless HR and internal employee surveys have been done, and time after time, research shows that team members are motivated by much more than a paycheck or monetary compensation. In fact, most employees DON'T rank monetary compensation as the highest factor contributing to job or workplace satisfaction. So how do great leaders facilitate this internal drive?
One of the first strategies to employ is to simply tune in. Whether you decide to conduct one-on-one discussions with your team members over a casual lunch, or whether you use individual employee surveys, finding out what motivates each of your team members can begin to put you on the right track towards providing a more satisfying workplace, and creating that internal drive within each member of your team that will motivate them to produce the quality outcomes you are looking for.
Results of this may surprise you. Maybe some team members are seeking more autonomy, or even better yet, more responsibility. Perhaps some team members would like more flexible hours. Some employees may be motivated by educational or volunteer/philanthropic opportunities which your organization can provide. Assuming everyone is motivated by quarterly bonus, profit sharing or an increase in pay of merely a few cents is a mistake.
Learning what motivates the individuals on your team can truly set you apart as a leader. It can help you gain the loyalty of your team members, their permission to lead them, and best of all their own INTERNAL drive to produce quality outcomes which can help move your organization forward.