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Business Coaching and the Fundamentals of Motivation

Aug 17, 2007
Working in the present stressed environment is very tough. Every individual has to face number of challenges in his workplace, irrespective of his job profile. No wonder entrepreneurs actually come across very few motivated staff members. Unfortunately, motivation is not a very widely discussed issue, though the word motivation is very popular with the entire business community and they use it quite often in their conversations and speeches. However, when it comes to developing strategies for boosting the motivation level of the employees, not much is said or done. Motivation is one topic that managers are not taught about in detail, during the training period.

Fundamental principles on motivation:

If the motivational topics are not discussed, it does not mean that entrepreneurs cannot do anything about it on an individual level. The fundamentals of motivation are the same for every organization and given below are some fundamental concepts about motivation:

Employee motivation is less about you motivating employees and more about employees motivating themselves or indulging in self-motivation. Motivation is not a skill or a technique that you can instill in an employee. It is a feeling that comes from within. However, an employer can encourage this feeling in his employees.

However, there are some people who are born pessimists and no efforts of a manager seem to motivate them enough. Usually dealing with these people becomes a very sensitive issue because they tend to work only so much as to get by. To deal with this set of employees, the best course is to include behavior and attitude patterns as part of required performance. Then their performance level can be tackled and they can be coached and managed through a performance review system.

As individuals, we all have different personalities and hence, what works for one may not necessarily work for others. An organization is a team of different personalities and so, to motivate everyone the manager needs to introduce multiple strategies and approaches. The best way to find out about what motivates each employee is to go and ask him personally. Some common motivational factors are-

. Work-related interesting changes
. Training opportunities
. Receiving public and private recognition
. Flexible working hours
. Getting a chance to work from home
. Working with the latest updated technology
. Rewards in the form of cash certificates or vouchers for dining or concerts
. Annual incentives like annual reward for exceptional performance

The management makes a huge impact on the professional lives of the employees and most of the time when the employees are not motivated, it is largely due to the management and their policies. Half of the time, the managers are themselves not aware of the impact they are having on their subordinates and usually they overestimate their skills. However, a prudent management does notice this and gives the manager timely training and support so that he can learn the skills for making a positive impact on his subordinates.

Another way is by giving the employees new roles and jobs to perform, like cross training, job rotation, multi-skilling and projects. Although money need not essentially be the only motivational factor, but if employers pay peanuts they cannot expect the employees to sport smiles on their faces while working.
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