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Motivating Staff - 4 August 2009

There are many people who make big sacrifices just so they can own something that has Gucci or Versace or another designer’s brand name sprawled across it. It might be the sacrifice of money, having paid a month’s wages for one item; the sacrifice of convenience, having travelled to the city from afar; or the sacrifice of ease, having dealt with snobby retail assistants.

And yet despite giving up so much, millions of people continue to stretch beyond their limits simply because they’re so motivated by what those luxury goods will do for them. These individuals are driven to go down this path by five different factors, each of which can also be tapped into to get people motivated at work.

Hopes: This is what people will become as a result of their purchase. At work, it might be the hope of a job promotion, the hope of a pay rise, or the hope of growth in development.

Image: This is about desirability where people care about how they look. At work, it can be the image of status, the image of connections, or the image of being publicly recognised.

Culture: This is who they’ll be able to associate with now that they’re dressed up. At work, people are fuelled by the strength of the relationships they have with peers and managers.

Values: This is the congruence between their inner and outer selves. At work, this has to do with purpose. Employees need to clearly see the meaning behind what they do.

Quality: This is the excellence associated with a product’s features. At work, this is related to what people do in their jobs. If they’re using their talents and strengths, then this is met.

These five factors are most likely already present within your team. Your task is to simply make your employees aware that what they do will help them to achieve their hopes; improve their image; strengthen their relationships; live their values; and enhance the quality of their work. By understanding these benefits, motivation will rise.

In the film Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts enters an expensive boutique store wearing cheap clothes, and unsurprisingly, she’s ignored by the sales assistant. She returns the next day with her arms full of upmarket shopping bags, and walks straight up to the same assistant that had previously ignored her with a message that’s just as relevant when managers ignore the above five motivators in their employees: “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”

 

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