What motivates people? How is today’s workforce different from earlier generations, and once you have selected and onboarded them - how to develop talent.
One thought as we start. Nobody in this or any other industry has a nursery out back growing future employees. We are all competing for the same talent and the question to consider - how are some companies attracting the right people?
Motivation - Expectancy and Motive
A short discussion on motivation is very ambitious. It is a topic I have studied and dealt with in over 40 years of managing. Here are a few insights picked up along the way. First is to understand that all behavior is rational - yeah I said rational - to them. Let me explain.
When people plan a response or just react, the behavior they choose makes sense to them because of expectations or expectancy. If the last time this situation arose you did X and it worked, guess what you will next time in the same situation? It can look absolutely bizarre to everyone else, but it makes sense to them. So the first test of any leader is to understand the situation from their viewpoint, to make it rational. If you can, dealing with the immediate situation and the individual over the long term becomes easier. This doesn’t mean you agree, it means you get it and have a point of reference that will prove invaluable.
If you are successful getting under the hood of somebody's personal computer, you will find the following operating code: motives drive behavior and its consequences reinforce or disrupt expectations. Let’s take these three apart. Motives are internal to the individual and driven by 3 needs - power, affiliation, and achievement.
One last thought, each of us has a primary motive that drives our behavior most of the time. Valuable information to know about your people. How about you - which is your primary motive? Is it the need to control your environment and keep everything predictable? Is it a need for approval to prove what you are doing is right? Is it the need to show your smarts or a bucket of blood work ethic?
You also have a backup motive - what if the first one fails? What do you resort to now? This knowledge is significant because of the insight into and the predictability of future behavior. Here are potential combinations and notice which do not mix:
There is no Achievement & Affiliation combination because the pursuit of these are mutually exclusive.
Based on which motive drives me, I will select a behavior that has the highest expectation of success. My expectations are formed from prior experiences, from prior employers. The good news is if you run a professional operation, it will exceed the experiences of many people. The bad news is everyone brings baggage to a new employer, even the first time employee.
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