Principles of Human Motivation

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Hawthorne Effect > Best Practices > Principles of Human Motivation

Principles of Human Motivation
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
1. Have a reason. Adults want to see a purpose in what we do.
2. Develop a sense of responsibility. People should be proud of their accomplishments.
3. Employees need to know that we take them into account. Involve them in the task, enrich their work.
4. Give recognition, stimulation and approval. The greatest human need is the need for appreciation.
5. Link rewards to performance. In life and in work, there are values.
6. Provide rewards that are valued.
7. Promote healthy competition to avoid disloyalty. The team spirit must prevail as mutual support.
8. Be accessible. Barriers in communication creates misunderstanding.
9. Welcome people in public and correct them in private.
10. Practice active listening with your team, set up meetings, promote coexistence.
11. A high self-esteem of the head will spread to the others.
12. Consider the internal reasons.
13. Give opportunities by delegating in your team.
14. Let people make mistakes and teach them what is correct: itīs part of learning and training
15. Helping others to feel good, starts when you feel good.
16. People do things for their own reasons, not for ours.
17. Finally, create a good working environment and treat people as people.
After many years of working with many persons, I've discovered these by means of readings, experiences, lessons, dialogues, definitely, by means of livin myself. Life and abilities of observation are great teachers. High doses of curiosity are necessary.
 

 
Wow. Who can suggest #18?
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Hi Antonio, your list of motivation principles is amazing and comprehensive.
Still I challenge 12manage members to come up with additional principles of human motivation...
 

 
18. Motivation is a Dynamic Process
Jaime Fernandez V., Professor, Chile, Member
A very good and useful list. I might add a personal preference - on which I would appreciate your feedback.
Motivation is a process; never a means only, never an end in itself. "Systemic thinking" applied to management shows that no motivator provides the same result each time. Motivators are dynamic and wear out slowly.
The simplest example is monetary incentives (or "rewards" as you say): after you pay the first amount, it will progressively be considered too low and you will have to increased it in order to maintain the same level of results. Self esteem and confidence motivators work when you start at low levels; after a team of people develop high self esteem and confidence, motivators will lose effectiveness.
The motivators have to change with the dynamics of each situation, team and each individual. There is no 'mass production' with motivators.
 

 
19. Belonging to a Group
Andrew Clark, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
I suggest 19. People need purpose and belonging and appreciation from the groups they belong to.
Principle 1 (reason) and 4 (appreciation) need to be in context with their work group and larger organisation so that people can find meaning and purpose in the work they do and how it impacts and enhances the group they are closest to.
A highly functional, cooperative, socially friendly and cohesive group will significantly outperform a group with dysfunctional relationships. In sport this concept is expressed as "a star team will outperform a team of stars"...
 

 
On 16: Motivation is an Inside Job
Frederic A Parker, Consultant, United States, Member
Similar to # 16. Motivation is an inside job. I think this is an umbrella (overarching) principle for motivation for which all of the above are facets.
As we begin to allow people opportunities to expand / grow and provide guidance / feedback when they are ready to receive it, they will motivate themselves for reasons we may never know.
After all, 'why' is never as important as 'what.' Like the old TV commercial, "All I needed was a chance."
The rest is up to them.
 

 
On 14: Allow people to Make Mistakes
Jose Wilson Massa, Consultant, Brazil, Member
Many leaders forget this one. If you do not permit a mistake margin, people won't try to find new ways to solve problems or create new solutions.
Congratulations for the list!
 

 
20. Have the Will to Motivate
Mirella
Unfortunately, what I see in most cases is that we have bosses not leaders... Bosses will never have the good will to inspire and motivate their employees because they are afraid to lose their jobs to them.
But congratulations to the list, for those that decide to be a leader it will be very helpful!
 

 
On 17. Treat People as People
samir mahoud elgamal, Project Manager, Egypt, Member
This one means a lot to me and I believe it is key to improve many good things.
 

 
20 Principles of Human Motivation
Stefano Segato, Director, Italy, Member
Dear Antonio Barranco Ruiz, I agree with the editor, your list is amazing and comprehensive really. Thanks for supporting the development of Human Resources Management.
 

 
Human Motivation in Practice
sonia.sun, China, Member
Great summary. On the other hand, practice is much more than such summary.
 

 
On 9: Correcting People in Private
Margaret Kilonzo, Manager, Kenya, Member
I totally agree with principle 9. I have seen how bosses have lowered staff self esteem by correcting them in public.
This has resulted in low productivity, because the affected staff cannot contribute their ideas openly in case they are told off in the presence of other staff members.
It also makes junior staff lose respect of their supervisors if she/he is corrected in their presence.
 

 
21. Tell People Where you are Going
Antonio Cucurachi, Italy, Member
Allow me to suggest an additonal principle to the excellent list of Antonio Barranco Ruiz...
The number 21 could be:
Tell always to your team where you (and they, obviously) are going; one of the most daunting situations I have seen is people operating without a route, a logical path. Tell them what will be the end status of their effort, give them the route and the necessary support.
Don't leave your team without a clear indication of the destination and the (approximate) route; nobody likes to be at the mercy of the wawes.
 

 
22. Recognize the Positive Impact of What we do on Others
Abiola Yusuff, Business Consultant, Nigeria, Member
Antonio, that was a great write up! And I agree with Jaime that human beings are dynamic in nature, so also motivation should be dynamic.
Our needs change over time as well as our psychic.
Recognizing that what we do makes a positive impact on others can also be a powerful motivation.
 

 
In Agreement. But Complex
A.J. Bierman, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
I'm in total agreement with the comments and contributions of the members.
It is only once you have worked with people that you realize that the list of what you should / should not as well as could / could not do, is much more complex due to human individuality.
What I do agree with is that the approach / leaderhip style from the manager will have a definite if not defining influence on how employees perceive not only their working environment, but the company as a whole. Failure to provide them with the bigger picture may leave employees in the dark not knowing what exactly is expected from them.
Some manager are also so busy climbing the corporate ladder that they forget to look down from time to time to ensure that the rest of their team is still following. This may lead to a situation where they finally reach the top of the ladder only to discover that they have been climbing the wrong ladder which may also be standing against the wrong wall...
 

 
17 Principles of Human Motivation
Lucio Reyes Barranca, HR Consultant, Mexico, Member
Hi, Antonio. Incredible! How simple it looks to obtain motivation by applying this list. Obviously it requires a lot of effort, but it's time every one of us begins with the challenge.
 

 
23. Communicate your Focus
Romy Sson, Management Consultant, Philippines, Member
People are motivated to do something if they know and understand what you expect them to achieve.
 

 
On 5. Link Reward to Performance
Khalil Rajati, industrial enginer, Iran, Member
Many people think their reward does not match their performance.
The manager should convince them through a face to face meeting.
 

 
On 11. Self-esteem and Conduct of Leader
Damith Baduraliyage, Student (MBA), Sri Lanka, Member
I strongly support on no 11. The self esteem, self conduct and manner that the leader carries himself/herself will be infectious in a subtle manner throughout the team!
So the boss always needs to maintain a high emotional intelligence level and a dynamic and high energy level despite all daily issues.
 

 
24. Encourage Co-operation Amongst Team Members
Tinus van der Merwe
I would like to add "encourage co-operation amongst team members".
 

 
25. Eliminate Demotivators
Andrew Clark, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
Many organisations and groups could get an instant productivity lift by eliminating the demotivating policies and management attitudes and practices that plague their organisations.
These are usually not difficult to identify, just go out into the workforce and ask people what bugs them! Inequity and favouritism, unclear direction and leadership, lack of opportunity to contribute or lack of recognition of contribution, dehumanising policies, lack of flexibility to balance personal issues, blaming, scapegoating, job insecurity, and many more.
All take away motivation and the ability to form cohesive work groups which as per my previous post are the most significant and ongoing source of motivation for anyone in any situation, work or otherwise.
 

 
On 25. Eliminating De-motivators
Jaime Fernandez V., Professor, Chile, Member
What a great word: de-motivator! I congratulate those who used it. In the management "state of the art" - where anti-democratic leadership styles are most frequent - focusing the attention on de-motivators will probably be more efficient than focusing on motivators. Eliminating them could become a motivation method.
The age-old problem is the lack of democratic aptitude of current organisations and their incapacity to open themselves, learn about their malpractice and implement change. And, letīs not forget that change is political.
 

 
26. Provide Reasons to Work Beyond Just Earning Money
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
Provide a reason for employees to go to work other than just the bottom line... Think of other people than themselves. Do something for the poor. Allow all employees to participate in a project that helps to better the world. Provide an infrastructure for this.
 

 
27. Avoid Discouraging your Team
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
If you donīt want to motivate the persons in your team, at least, donīt discourage them. This is indeed one way of motivating.
Keep your team away from bad influences, especially yours. What you do with them in a negative sense is much more harmful and painful for them.
 

 
Hertzberg, Mc Gregor and Motivation
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
Herzberg gave us 2 factors:
1. Maintenance and hygiene factors: wages, working conditions, competition chiefs, command style and relationships.
2. Motivating factors: recognition, accomplishment / achievement, work itself as a challenge, promotion and responsibility.
Both are compatible. The first provides the necessary environment and conditions have and discipline and the second the emotional energy that moves the world.
I think interesting adding also McGregorīs theory. The assumptions of the theory of McGregor factors are as it follows:
Theory X:
1. People do not want to work or responsibilities.
2. People are selfish and do not want to cooperate.
3. They havenīt got any ability or criteria.
4. People are motivated primarily by fear.
Theory Y:
1. People want to work, and enjoy the responsibility.
2. Theyīre unselfish and want to work.
3. People have criteria and ability.
4. People seek personal development.
Each course implies a certain way of managing. Choose!
 

 
Incentives versus Motivation
Andrew Clark, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
There is a difference between incentives and motivation.
Motivation is the intrinsic nature of a person that spurs them to action.
Incentives are external rewards that may trigger personal action when they align with the internal nature and desires of a person.
Incentives need to be renewed and changed to align with company goals. So whilst money is always a useful incentive, the circumstances for achieving the reward must still fit with the persons internal motivation factors, such as feeding the family, new car etc, and also be linked to a company goal.
Motivation factors are more stable as they derive from human nature and personal maturity and because of that they will change only slowly over time for a particular individual.
 

 
Incentives versus Motivation
Jaime Fernandez V., Professor, Chile, Member
Andrew, your comments are very useful. This distinction that you made deepens our understanding.
 

 
Motivating Forum
edward sevume, Sweden, Member
For some few weeks back, I came upon Antonioīs principles on what motivates us - what Antonio himself labled as lessons learned from management literature and life experiences.
I became so exhilarated that I posted the link on my LinkedIn profile with some comments recommending my contacts to join this forum in order to read and enrich!
I rejoice as I do make rebounds from time to time in order to read about this energizing filter of life given experiences that do energize me inside. I rejoice and humanity should on the enriching exchange of ideas that make us strive towards achieving our goals. Thanks to all of you here!
 

 
On 17. Treat People as People
X Mbane, Manager, Member
I fully agree with Antonio B. Ruiz especially number 17.
People are not interested in any manager until they see how much does he cares. Any human being deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
Once people feel free to express themselves and they see that they are part of the organisation a lot comes out of them. Money alone cannot motivate people they need an environment to express themselves.
People will produce more and will be more ceative when they are given that chance. It is a shame that up to this day you still have managers that cannot treat their workforce as human beings.
 

 
On 17. In 'Workforce' the Human is First, the Employee Second
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
Agree, I have heard somewhere that it is more important to get along with people in the workplace than the actual work you are doing. Translated: relationships are more important than the non interpersonal transactions, paperwork etc...
I am motivated when I believe that I'm cared for as more than a producer, but as a person who has to balance life and work. It is important to me to build strong trustworthy and productive relationship with co workers.
 

 
On 16. People do Things for Their Own Reasons
Grijseels, Coach, Netherlands, Member
People move towards something they want or like and move away from something they dislike. All context related.
People only move towards something when it is in their own subjective interest.
 

 
28: First Understand Each Individual Person
Abdul Rahman, Management Consultant, Malaysia, Member
I think the toughest job for a manager is trying to understand each team member before even thinking of motivating them.
We tend to generalize them as our "staff" or "employees" and fall into the trap of one size fits all. Knowing them takes time and this is a major constraint for everybody. Perhaps managers should be equipped with some psychology competencies and body language reading skills.
 

 
10 Laws of Human Motivation
Syed Noman Mustafa, Manager, Pakistan, Member
Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within. It comes from the personal enjoyment and educational achievement that we derive from doing that particular thing. For example for people who love music, their motivation to practice the instrument, attend classes etc is intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from things or factors that are outside the individual. For example being motivated to work hard at the office because you are looking for a promotion is a type of extrinsic motivation. Social recognition, money, fame, competition or material achievements are all examples of extrinsic motivation.
The 10 laws of human motivation are:
1. An individual has to be motivated in order to motivate others: A person cannot expect to motivate others if he/she is not individually motivated.
2. Motivation requires a goal: Without a specific goal in mind, it is impossible for a group or team to be motivated.
3. Motivation, Once Established, Never Lasts: Motivation should be an ongoing process. It cannot be a once a year booster.
4. Motivation Requires Recognition: People will strive harder for recognition than for almost any other single thing in life.
5. Participation Motivates: It is vital to get people involved and to seek their opinions.
6. Seeing Progression Motivates: When individuals progress as a group, moving forward and achieving, they will always be more motivated.
7. Challenge Only Motivates if there is a Potential to Win: If targets for results are set to high, they may actually have a de-motivating effect. If the consensus of the group or team is that the targets are out of reach or impossible to achieve, de-motivation will be the result.
8. Everybody Has a Motivational Fuse: Everyone can be motivated. Everyone has a fuse, it is just a matter of knowing how to ignite it.
9. Group Belonging Motivates: People want to have a sense of belonging. The smaller the group or team, the greater the loyalty, motivation and effort. Extra-curricular activities can be used to draw people together.
10. Inspired Leaders are Motivational:
 

 
On Principles of Human Motivation #4: Create a sense of Win-win Achievement
veronica gordon, Student (University), Jamaica, Member
The work place should allow employers and employees to feel a sense of achievement liken to a win-win situation.
 

 
29. Give Ongoing Education Opportunities
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
I believe it is also important to provide employees with ongoing company/industry specific and university training education opportunities.
 

 
30. Ask Each One in Person How they Evaluate Their Own Strength and Knowhow, and How they Could Contribute in the Best Way
Karin Mogard, Consultant, Norway, Member
People often have good knowledge on several items, but they can have a great passion for one particular item - and would love to show it. You can motivate people to do their utmost if they feel they are just the right person on the right place.
 

     
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