We measure the finances, but what about motivation?

Businesses spend much attention on tracking data around the finances, operations, productivity and marketing, but what about motivation?  If your people are not motivated, you can be pretty much guaranteed all the other numbers will start to take a downward trend.

To understand what motivates your team you can start by asking each team member (and yourself) the following questions:

  • What do you like most about your role?
  • What is important to you in your role?
  • What do you want from your work?
  • What is missing for you in your work?

On asking these questions you may see some common things emerging.  For some people coming to work is all about relationships, wanting stability, valuing work friendships and receiving praise and recognition.  For others the motivation may be around achievement, reward and recognition or the ability to deepen their expertise and knowledge.  Or perhaps people like their job because it gives them a chance to be creative, make independent decisions and to do work that has true meaning and makes a difference.  Of course people will probably be motivated by a combination of these things.  Once you understand this at a much deeper level, you can communicate more effectively.  You can assign projects that really allow your team to satisfy their key motivators resulting in a happy team.

However, here comes the caveat.  Don’t assume that this will remain fixed.  As we know, things are constantly changing in organisations, and this can impact on motivation.  Even your best and most engaged performers can suddenly go off the boil.  You need to be doing a regular temperature check to ensure people are still feeling their key motivators are being satisfied.  Failure to do this can have big implications.  At best, you will have a sluggish team that is underperforming, which will cause frustration for your high performers.  At worst you will start losing people, which is costly and time consuming.

For now, here are some top tips you can put into immediate use.

  • Challenge the team by providing stretch goals
  • Give positive feedback when you see them doing something well.
  • Involve the team in decision making so they take greater ownership.
  • Listen and really hear the things your team are telling you.
  • Set goals and measure progress. It helps people to know how they are performing and provides focus.
  • Trust the team to get the job done. Don’t fall into the micromanaging trap.
  • Ensure you feel motivated and you are showing that in your day to day interactions.

Extracted from: ‘How to Coach your Team’ Jones, Holton & Jowitt, 2016

However, if you want to get a really accurate measure of your team motivation and know how well those motivators are being satisfied, drop me an email at enquiries@dolphintd.co.uk and I will show you how.  Don’t leave motivation to chance.  After all, you wouldn’t do it with the finances would you?


‘How to coach your team: Release team potential and hit peak performance’ by Pam Jones, Viki Holton and Angela Jowitt.  Pearson, 2016.