Motivation is Owned by the Individual

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Motivation is Owned by the Individual
David Whitfield, Professor, United States

Motivation is a slippery slope. I believe Wlodkowski who says: one cannot directly motivate another since motivation is owned by the individual; it comes from within us. It's the same as telling one to stop thinking abut sex. You have no control over that person's thinking, though you may provide an ambiance of sorts to do so; the same applies to motivation.
However, the leader can foster motivation by addressing two questions:
1. What do you need that you're not getting?
2. What can I do to make this relationship better, different, or more...(you choose the word)?
Then listen carefully to the response. Most, if not all want to be recognized, validated, and respected. Performance expectations and metrics must be crystal clear; finally, leaders must be consistent in their behavior--no Jekyll and Hyde--of integrity, trust, rewards, and punishment.

Motivation Through Discretionary Effort and Retention
Keith Whenmouth, Australia
A measure of motivation is the willingness to expend discretionary effort and the willingness of staff to stay with an organisation.
What motivates people above all else - no matter the generation is a sense of connection. The nature of the connection may be different, but all of us need to be connected to the mission/vision/aims of the organisation. Everyone needs to understand his/her role in achieving the vision (ie a sense of worth) and everyone needs to have the right tools and skills to fulfill our role.
Research by the Corporate Leadership Council found these three criteria were the best at achieving both staff retention and in securing expenditure of discretionary effort.

The Constituents of Motivation - Fair & Sqare
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan
If the corporate vision is clouded – or if there is no vision (a common feature in many organizations in my culture) – motivation is an impossibility.
Performers are then not in sync with one another – everyone working at his pace in a direction of his choosing.
Further, since out of nothing, nothing comes, if the appropriate tools along with timely ethical information are unavailable – then we can say goodbye to motivation, and surrender to chaos!

The Extent the Motivation is Owned by the Individual
Nelson Mwape, Student (University), Zambia
Motivating employees depends on which motivation theories are used as a reference point. Some theories state that employees are motivated by (a) interesting work (b) full appreciation of work done and (c) feeling of being in on things (Kovac 1987). To some they only concentrate on point (a) but (b) and (c) are not key.

How Motivation is Owned by the Individual: The Influence of Culture
David Whitfield, Professor, United States
- I agree with Mr. Whenmouth re: a willingness (a form of intrinsic motivation) to stay with the organization. People don't leave organizations. People leave leaders. And that's because leaders don't do what leaders "ought" to do. When it comes to vision, mission, and goals, buy-in from all relevant parties is vital; this can results from a genuine culture of inclusion. Culture here is "The way we do things around here" (Schein).
- If we posit vision, mission, goals on the 10th floor and try implementing them on the first, good luck. If vision, mission, goals are cloudy, re: Mr. Arif Ur Rehman's point, we can be rest assured that goals and roles will too, be clouded, leading to low efficacy of effort.
- Re: Mr. Mwape's point: "being in on things", most of us want to feel connected to, and be a part of, something of substance--ergo, total buy-in: a culture of inclusion, or "the way we don things around here".

The Constituents of Motivation - Fair & Sqare
Nelson Mwape, Student (University), Zambia
I support Arif's sentiments employees are motivated when they feel needed and when they are appreciated. Many a time you find that workers are only used as tools andmanagement do not attach any value to them. When that happens you have a breeding ground for problems.


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