Understanding Motivation for Better Performance

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Two women working together to motivate each other and succeed.

Motivation is the quintessential thing that inspires people to want to do a good job. It is the fire that burns within, rather than the fire that sometimes needs to be set under a person. So, if you rely on others to “make things happen, get things done”, then your ability to motivate them is a crucial skill to understand and develop. 

Motivation is about the individual and what they require to feel appreciated and valued.  When time is taken to understand what motivates people, the payoff will be in the form of commitment, engagement and above average performance.

Businesses pay attention to motivation because it can:

  • Keep people engaged
  • Retain top performers
  • Retain and encourage average performers
  • Provide confidence for low performers to do better

Even if the importance of motivation is understood, it is not always easy to understand what people find motivating. Experts have described motivation as falling into two categories – tangible and intangible.

Trophy is an tangible motivator

Tangible Motivators

Tangible motivators appeal to people who appreciate recognition that can be touched or consumed – like trophies or gift certificates for a favourite store or restaurant.

Intangible Motivators

Intangible motivators appeal to people who appreciate recognition that is based on positive feedback and praise.

Unfortunately, motivation isn’t a “one-size fits all” endeavour!  It requires observation and conversation to discover what a person finds personably valuable and satisfying.  Although individuals usually have a preference for either tangible or intangible recognition, it is also possible that a combination will be required to truly motivate someone to get the level of performance desired.    

If you wish to know more about motivation and how it can be increased using incentive or recognition programs, we can help!  Give us a call or send us an email.  We are happy to share a coffee with you to discuss your needs and answer your questions. 

Kathy Majkut

Kathy Majkut

Content Development, Copywriting