With all the global, national, and economic uncertainty, it's harder than ever to keep employees motivated. But we also know that recessions never last. The job market will loosen up soon. You wouldn't want to lose your best employees to a competitor, would you? So, you might start considering ways to motivate and retain your existing employees now, before it's too late.
The Values Question
The key to employee motivation goes to their core values. In Motivate Everyone I describe this in more detail, but here's the essence…You can find out anyone's values using a simple question:
What's important to you about your work/job?
The exact words or phrases employees use to respond to this question are the "anchors" to their internal values. If you were to ask me this question, I'd answer: "Sharing life-shaping ideas with people who care."
In Motivate Everyone I discuss the five core human values:
Motivating with Core Values
If you examine my answer to the values question, you'll see "ideas" (knowledge/learning) and "people." Those are my core values: people and knowledge.
Do you think you could motivate me with a kayaking trip? No, because activities aren't on my list. Could you motivate me with clothing, gadgets, or stuff? No, because things aren't on my list.
What would motivate me? The opportunity to go to a conference where I could learn something, share ideas and meet people.
Would this work for someone with a different style? Not a chance!
Would I be interested in a job working alone climbing telephone poles to repair telephone service. Not a chance. Are there people who would love that job? Sure, just not me.
Got the idea?
How to Use Values to Motivate Others
- Ask your boss, your employees or your co-workers: What's important about your job/work?
- Write down EXACTLY what they say. Their words or phrases are the freeway to their core values.
- Tailor your requests to match their core values: "Jay, we need to introduce this new product to our customers. Would you consider 'sharing these ideas' with the 'people we care' for?"
- Tailor your rewards to match your employees core values: I might like a book filled with fresh ideas. Someone else might enjoy a round of golf. Someone else might prefer a special jacket.
- Tailor your job offers to match their core values. One person's ceiling is another person's floor. Far too often we move people from a job where they're happy and move them into a job they hate.
Help your co-workers and employees design a work life that celebrates who they are and what they want. Your productivity and profitability will explode.
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