We know we need motivation but what is it and how do we facilitate it for our people? According to Psychology Today “Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining our objectives.” It is one of the driving forces of human behavior.
There are different types of motivation that happen on a personal and professional level. It does not matter if you are accomplishing small personal goals or large goals within a team. Knowing the catalyst to motivation is central to your people thriving, and results soaring.
Within the Christian framework, we know that our work in a secular of ministry setting matters and one of the driving motivators of our work is the work of the Lord, the gospel. As Paul tells us in Colossians 3:23-24,
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
This is a foundational tenant of Values-Driven Culture exists, read more about it on our about page.
The Power of Perspective
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the man who wandered around a major construction project. At the south end, he asked a worker what he was doing. Using a very negative tone, the employee growled “I’m laying bricks!”
The visitor wandered over to the other end of the block-long construction site where another bricklayer was working. Interestingly, when this second man (working under a different supervisor than the first one) was asked about what he was doing, his eyes lit up, he smiled, and he said excitedly “Hey, man, I’m helping to build a great cathedral!”
Wow! What a difference in the attitudes of these two individuals! How significant do you think having two different supervisors was to the worker’s perspective? The role and purpose of each worker varied significantly in their understanding of their job.
In my conversations with supervisors, managers, and officers of organizations throughout the country, they often ask about motivation on their team. Their questions are typically along the lines of: “What should I do to my people to make them have my sense of responsibility, dependability, and excitement about providing our customers with value-adding products and services that exceed their expectations?”
A team is made up of individuals who have their own experiences, roles, backgrounds, and families and therefore may be driven by different motivating factors. Understanding what drives the individuals in your team, whether you are a church, non-profit, educational institution or business is crucial.
There are two distinct lanes of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Though there are many theories to human motivation in the world of psychology. Understanding this basic distinction will help you cater to the specific needs and desires of your team. Let’s keep it simple.
This is when you use external factors like pay raises, bonuses, time off, getting written up, or job loss to get your team to do what they want.
In parenting, this is the consequence and reward system that is often instituted in the younger years. If you do not do your chores, you will lose a privilege or if you do all your chores this week you will get an allowance. It is often used to reinforce good behavior while deterring undesired behavior. There is something good and honoring about extrinsic motivation as it reveals a basic understanding of cause and effect. However just as it is used heavily in the earlier years of parenting, it is an elementary tool when used independently of anything else.
Extrinsic motivation is effective, when polled, 66% of employees said that they were motivated to stay at their job with a corporate incentive program.
In psychology, extrinsic motivation shows us that it is rooted in behavior and not in belief. It lacks the heart connection, which allows people to believe that their actions matter and are more than just cause and effect.
This is seen when Paul reveals that by trade he worked as a tent maker, while he was ministering on his missionary journeys in Acts 18. While working and sharing with the Philippian church Paul reveals that it is Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13).
Intrinsic motivation is the internal factors and desires to meet the objectives and goals that you’re working toward. It is a good measuring tool that reveals the engagement of your people. Statistically, engaged team members are 87% less likely to resign from their companies.
Only 15% of employees feel engaged and we know that people work 20% better when they are motivated, increasing results by over 21%. The reality is assessing our people’s motivation is critical to our team’s engagement, productivity, and results.
Knowing the internal factors of your team’s motivation will propel you toward people that thrive, and results that soar.
Don’t be alarmed! These questions constitute a survey, not a test! Your answers should reflect your beliefs and feelings – and they can’t be judged as right or wrong. How you feel is how you feel. Besides, nobody else needs to know how you answer each question.
So… here are the questions. As you read each one you might want to mark it with a “Y” for “Yes, agree, or probably true” or an “N” for “No, disagree, or unlikely.”
Motivation Survey Questions
_____ 1. I would rather be living in 1850, and I wish that I were an indentured servant.
_____ 2. I enjoy achieving goals and having recognition for my achievements.
_____ 3. I would rather be asked to do something instead of being ordered to do it.
_____ 4. I enjoy having someone ask me for my opinion or advice, and I feel good when others listen to me. I also appreciate not being interrupted.
_____ 5. I can get frustrated trying to explain something to someone who has already made up his or her mind, and who won’t even try to understand the additional information or point of view I am presenting.
_____ 6. I am likely to feel better (more interested, less frustrated, etc.) if I have at least some input and influence about matters concerning me.
_____ 7. Time goes faster for me when I am busy, and I tend to get turned on by a sense of achievement or recognition for achievement.
_____ 8. I would prefer to have 10% more income even if, to receive it, I had to work on a different job where the work was of no apparent value or importance.
_____ 9. When I make a mistake, it helps me become more motivated and effective if people point out how stupid or ineffective I am – particularly in front of others.
_____ 10. If I ask my subordinates for their ideas or advice, they most certainly will think I am weak, and as a consequence, respect me less as a manager.
Well, how did you do? Have you learned something about motivation? In my next article, let’s review these questions one at a time and see what we can learn about motivation.
Pause and Reflect:
- How do you motivate your people?
- How do help your employees feel they are part of a TEAM?
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