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The truth about motivation

2 min read


Today’s guest post is from John Roulet, author of “The Supervision Solution.”

Are you motivated to do good work? If your answer is “yes,” you don’t need a boss to motivate you. If your answer is “no,” you are relatively rare to our species and shouldn’t be on a payroll.

Countless times I’ve heard and read the words of business leaders who feel that their job is to motivate their employees. Yet not once have a heard a single employee say, “I need a boss to motivate me.”

It seems that many business leaders and HR folks think that the people working in their organization need to be motivated. Such misperceptions fail to recognize and respect the long human history of hard work and sacrifice. We are actually quite astonishing when it comes to how hard we are willing to work and what we will sacrifice for a cause. Consequently, a bit of advice is appropriate for those aforementioned business leaders and HR folks: Be more respectful to the people on your organization’s payroll.

Being motivated is rarely, if ever, the issue for talented employees. They don’t need to be prodded or cajoled to do great work. The problems they typically confront are work environments that have become de-motivating. Talented employees need information, knowledge, skills and to perform. Without these, they experience frustration and de-motivation. The business leader’s job isn’t to race around trying to motivate employees. His job is to build and maintain the leadership system that eliminates employee de-motivation. Once that is done, he can give incentives, award certificates and parties.

Providing employees with needed information is foundational to avoiding employee de-motivation. There is one piece of information my research has shown that most business leaders fail to provide:  their value to the cause. Without it, an employee’s natural motivation is diminished.

Does John’s advice ring true for you? How do you keep your team members from losing their motivation?

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