Many people believe that the best way to motivate themselves and their employees is to use money. It has been proven that this can work; however, the findings with some experiments have proved that this form of motivating people is a short term fix. Think about how you would motivate someone using money for a moment. It would be a bit like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey in order to get it moving. This is the approach that a man by the name of B.F. Skinner takes. He basically believes that you should reward people with giving them more money and punish them by limiting the amount of money they can make. This in turn, creates motivation.
Another man by the name of Edmund Deci who works as a psychologist actually believes that whilst the method mentioned above can work, it will not work in the long term and has carried out experiments to prove his theory.
In one of his experiments he asked two groups of people to create some designs out of different sized cubes that he had provided. Incidentally, the designs were quite complicated; therefore, a need for brain power was required. Once the 2 groups were tackling the task in hand, he removed himself from the room 3 times during each session. When he was out of the room he was able to see if the 2 teams would continue with the task in hand as adequately and with as much attention to detail as when he was in the room.
The first time he left the room both teams were treated in the same way, the 2nd time he left, the 1st team was told that they would receive a monetary bonus for each design that was completed to his specification. The 3rd time he left, the 1st team were told that the pot was empty and they would not be paid for their task.
What is interesting here is what happened with the 2nd team; obviously the 1st team stepped up to the plate when they were told there was more money to be had and then reduced their output once they were told that they would not be paid. However, the 2nd team who had not been given an incentive at all continued to take the task at hand and actually improved when it came to their interest in the project they were given.
This experiment proves that it is not just money that motivates people but it is also the opportunity to use their brains. If someone is working on a project that interests them, they are more likely to be motivated than if they are doing something that bores them.
The message here is that if you want people to be more motivated and in turn, boost productivity, ensure that they are in a job they are happy with. This is also something to consider when you are someone who works at running your own business. You need to be in an industry that keeps you interested and allows you to be as creative as you like. Some of the world’s leading businesses are run by people that started out with nothing and worked their way up, not just because they were driven by money but because they were interested in their chosen market place and wanted to make a difference.
Business and life coaching experts all agree with these findings. These experts are the people that you turn to learn how to motivate yourself and others. They have been doing this for years and they all really know what they are talking about. If you want to be a success as an employer you have to understand that it’s not just money the people that work for you need. This is not to say that you can forget about rewarding people with a monetary bonus, this does help motivation but you need to make sure that they are happy at the work as well.
The key things to remember are:
- Encourage your employees to give you their opinion; this will make them feel they are really a part of the organization.
- Ensure that set goals are achievable and that people know what is expected.
- Create an environment that is challenging and has room for growth.
- Give personal attention to your employees, this way you are a person and not just a name.
About the Author:
Morris N. Mann, P.D. – Morris helps solo business owners and professionals achieve success in business and greater happiness in their personal lives. For over 15 years he worked as a business executive responsible for marketing and systems management in international product and service companies. He has a Ph.D. in psychology and has been offering business coaching services for more than a decade.