Why do you think so little attention is paid to motivation within organizations? What could account for this neglect?
From experience of using motivational maps in the work place we have found that the majority of people are not highly motivated. Motivational Maps has had over 20,000 Map profiles completed with hundreds of organizations and very few score in the higher motivation range. In many cases they are de-motivated and even at a crisis point. People need to work and their commitment to and engagement with their employer extends no further than the next pay cheque.
This is not a desirable state of affairs, and there are many reasons for it, but perhaps the most unnoticed aspect of the whole business is how little attention employers pay to the issue. It’s as if most of them live in a world where the motivation of employees – and of themselves, yes, of themselves too! – is the least important thing, and having the least impact of all on the bottom line. Unfortunately this assumption is wrong, but if we look deeper, matters are much worse.
The decision not to consider motivation as part of the business or organizational bottom line has profound psychological roots. It’s not just that business owners, directors and executives don’t think about motivation – much – it’s that they can’t. This becomes clear when we look at the four major areas that underpin any business or organization.
First, there is finance – the money! The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that drive the business are return on equity, profit, turnover, cash flow and so on. When we think about these metrics, they are a yes-no or 1-0 situation: either we have the cash flow or turnover or relevant number (yes or 1), or we don’t (no or 0). In other words we always know where we stand with the finance; we have certainty even when the news is bad.
This principle also applies to sales and marketing, and also production and operations. Managers check on a daily, weekly, basis – how many leads, prospects, conversions, sales etc and Ditto for marketing:
The point being that even when times are bad we know how we are doing through metrics which are critical because of measurement which is the foundation stone of monitoring progress – or regress – in our organizational work.
Notice in this that whether the business or organization is doing well or badly one thing remains constant in the three dominant areas of the organization: namely, the psychological certainty of knowing where we are, yet in the fourth (people) we really haven’t a clue how motivated people are and how they are feeling about their work in relation to what matters to them…
To be effective as an organization all four areas need to interact and support each other. But also note, specifically, that in the area of people motivation, leadership and culture we find that given in-puts do not necessarily produce predictable outputs. The most frequent and outstanding example of this occurs with money: pay increases often demotivate employees despite the fact that a wage increase is often what they say they want.
The reasons for this are complex; but all MDs, CEOs, and executives will have stories not just of the failure of money to motivate, but the failure of dozens of other initiatives too: be they re-structured flexi-time, increased time off, more training, better social events, environmental improvements, and so on – what would seem obviously a ‘good thing’ becomes for some reason a cause for disgruntlement. In short, the ‘good thing’ does not actually address what people really want and usually this is because no one (no one in management that is) either wants to or knows how to find out. The staff satisfaction survey many organisations employee sadly too often becomes a tick box exercise with little relevance to those in senior positions.
So what we have then are 4 areas of an organization, three of which – Finance, Marketing and Sales, and Operations – produce emotional security in the way they are set up and designed to be measured. This means that directors and senior managers, by and large, have a massive disposition to want to deal with these areas AND, correspondingly, subconsciously or otherwise, an aversion to actually dealing with the fourth and final area on which the other three really depend: the People!
At the end of the day all significant organizations depend upon their people: their skill and knowledge, their loyalty, commitment and engagement, their innovation and ideas, and their energy driving all these good things: their motivation. The finance, the marketing and sales, and the operations on their own can’t produce a great organization; only people can – highly motivated people!
So managers and directors have to move away from their comfort zones and start more actively embracing the ambiguity that is people, and start making motivation a core organizational issue, even if the people area concerns itself with all that is not clear, measurable and secure! How are we going to do that?
James Sales new book mapping motivation is starting to take you on a journey in which we provide not only a language of motivation but also some metrics too.
For the first time in organizational development we can confidently use a tool so that we know exactly what motivates people, how motivated they are and what we can do to improve the motivation of our team, department and organisation. Through understanding the differences between people’s motivations we can find the right management style and reward strategy for each person and each team and beautifully we can re-map the team to demonstrate the intangible improvements in motivation to go with the tangible performance improvements which come about from having a motivated team.
This is an astonishing advance that James Sales new book mapping motivation demonstrates and allows you to experience.
For further details on motivational mapping and or to order your own copy of the book “mapping motivation” or to trial a free motivational map yourself please contact [email protected] or by phone on 07764758460…
Bevis is one of five senior trainers of motivational mapping in the country (based in Cambridgeshire) both working locally and internationally to help organisations improve motivation and coaches and consultants to add an incredibly powerful tool to their existing skill-set to add value in business.
*The above is an excert from James Sales book “Mapping Motivation” available on amazon or with a £5 discount when using this code #motmapcambs and purchased through [email protected] 07764758460