Princeton University defines “motivation” as “The psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior”. Frederick Irving Herzberg showed that to truly motivate employees – that is, to arouse an ‘organism’ to action, you need to create conditions that make the organism feel fulfilled at work. Herzberg was a noted psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management. His book “One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees?” has sold over a million copies and was the most requested article from the Harvard Business Review.
Herzberg defined a key difference between ‘movement’ and ‘motivation’. He said that you can move an employee by ‘a kick in the ass’ – i.e. reward and punishment – bonuses or more pay for good work, and penalties for poor work. However, workers that move are not the same as workers that are motivated.
According to Herzberg if you want to motivate employees you need to create a series of ‘satisfiers’ which are different from the typical reward/punishment structure. Herzberg’s 5 satisfiers are:
1. Recognition of effort and performance
2. The nature of the job itself – does it provide the employee with the appropriate degree of challenge?
3. Sense of achievement
5. The opportunity for promotion and improvement.
I believe that one of the problems in today’s tough economy is difficulty providing sufficient motivation for employees. When the business environment becomes difficult, we tend to adopt this attitude of “retrenching” and “holding back” regarding goal setting. This has a very negative effect on motivation levels for everyone in your organization. When we are ‘enthusiastic’ about goal setting, and challenge ourselves and our workforces to reach new heights, we are being Bold. And being Bold fulfils all 5 of Herzbergs satisfiers.
The most crucial step in staying motivated to achieve a goal is to get out there on the edge and make the goal big. In the words of Donald Trump If you are going to think anyway, you might as well think big. When you bite off more than you can chew and declare to the world that you are going to do something amazing, this boldness motivates and excites you to tackle your challenge and invest the appropriate amount of energy into it. Anything less and you just won’t care enough. And that is exactly why a BOLD attitude works. If your chances of succeeding at anything in life are directly proportional to the amount of energy you invest into it, then being Bold is really all about ramping up your commitment level regarding your goal.