Motivating People – Part 1


Effective managers know that a well-trained and highly-engaged workforce will perform better – in fact, 50% more according to research by the Hay Research Group. We can provide you with the training – but you need to engage your people, and a key part to this is knowing how to motivate them.

As a manager you cannot simply rely on benefits or perks introduced by the company to motivate your people. Such motivation is too short lived. Instead you need to know what an individual’s motivational driver is. Recognising your own, and your individual team members’, main motivational driver can make a big difference in the way you lead and motivate people.

There are nine individual motivational drivers and whilst we have a blend of them all for a given individual some of these will be much more important than others.

Each of the nine motivational drivers has its own set of ‘triggers’ – those things that lead to motivation. Good managers use these to align these triggers with an individual’s roles and responsibilities as well as knowing what to avoid doing so as not to ‘turn off’ the motivational drive.

In this blog we will look at the first three motivational drivers.

The first type of motivational driver is the searcher. A searcher is someone who wants meaning and a sense of purpose in what they do and need to make a difference. They therefore need to feel that the work they undertake is adding real value and is worthwhile. Searchers need a clear reason “why” in order to be motivated to do something.

Therefore when motivating a searcher the manager must give them important, meaningful work and clearly link the objectives of this work to the organisation’s goals. Regular feedback is also motivational to searchers as it gives them tangible proof that they are making a difference.

Searchers are demotivated by repetitive work. If giving a searcher a repetitive task is unavoidable, then you should find ways in which to demonstrate to them that the task genuinely does add value or ask them for ideas on how to vary the work or the routines and then act on these suggestions.

The second type of motivational driver is the spirit. Spirits, as the name suggests, are motivated by situations where they are given freedom, autonomy and independence. Spirits do things for themselves, not for the business.

To motivate a spirit empower them by giving them ownership over something. Give them the goal and the constraints but then let them get on with it. Remember flexibility is the key – so don’t have too many rules and avoid intrusive monitoring. Setting up a regular weekly meeting with a spirit to discuss issues works well with spirits.

The third type of motivational driver is the creator. As the name suggests, these people are motivated by situations where they are able to be creative and innovative. Routine work is highly de-motivational to a creative, who look on such tasks as boring -and a bored creative is prone to making mistakes.

To motivate a creative give them an innovative project to do. If no such projects are available then get them focusing on finding ways to make small continuous improvements to what they currently do.

In the next blog we will look at the remaining 6 motivational drivers. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about motivating people, then consider attending one of our management courses.