Principles for Using Motivation

Some practical suggestions or principles to follow and use have been gathered from a
number of sources. These suggestions of how to use motivation should help the leader.

People are motivated more by reward than by punishment.

1. Use a carrot more than a stick.

2. Be positive and give praise frequently.

3. Focus on the strengths of the worker and not the weaknesses.

4. Let people know where they stand.

5. Give praise, if doing a good job. A worker that feels a sense of satisfaction from doing a good job will usually be a motivated employee.

6. Give correction, if they are doing an unsatisfactory job.

7. Money or financial incentives will motivate people, at least up to a point.

8. Status and position are also important.

Workers who have a part in planning and in decision-making will be more motivated. Keep workers informed of changes that will affect them. A lack of information about changes will reduce motivation.

Set clear, well defined, reasonable, and attainable goals that the workers understand and accept. If the goals and objectives of the organization can be the same as the goals and objectives of the employees, then they will be motivated to achieve the goals and objectives. Communicate standards to subordinates, and be sure they understand them. Be consistent from time to time and person to person in interpreting standards.

Assure the workers that the leader believes in them, trusts them, and has confidence in them. People who feel they are trusted will feel more motivated.

Motivation is an individual matter, and the leader must find and use the significant motivators within each individual’s life. These motivators do change with time.

You can turn people off by giving them a job that is very narrow, highly specialized, extremely routine, dull, boring, repetitive, and lacks the opportunity for advancement. You can turn people off by using a leadership style that is autocratic, vindictive, blame-oriented, distrustful, punitive, negative, or pessimistic.

When motivating a large group, use a variety of appeals.

Motivation and pep talks

Many leaders feel that pep talks and inspirational meetings will motivate followers. Some organizations have regular motivational meetings at which programs are dedicated to uplifting the spirits and inspiring employees to do a more effective job. Some of these businesses are sending their employees to hear successful motivators like Zig Ziglar, Robert Schuller, and Wayne Dyer. The main problem with any extrinsic motivation program of this type is that it only has a short-term value. The participant leaves the meeting all excited about his potential, but in a few days the enthusiasm has all but disappeared.

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