The Executive Summary:
Employee motivation significantly influences performance, productivity, and overall team dynamics.
Job crafting is a powerful approach to adapt roles to better fit individual motivations, fostering job satisfaction and improved output.
It's vital to recognise tasks that drain team members' energy and work towards finding more motivating ways to approach them or delegate them wisely.
Utilising Motivational Maps, leaders can effectively understand, guide, and adapt the roles of team members, encouraging a harmonious and productive work environment.
Motivation is akin to electricity - hard to see by itself, but palpable when someone possesses a lot or very little of it. Consider your team or work colleagues, both past and present; it's likely apparent who was truly motivated and who wasn't. Those with ample motivation radiate energy and drive, always going above and beyond in their work and eagerly pursuing challenges.
On the flip side, you've probably encountered people who seemed disconnected from their job or certain aspects of it. They would dither, prioritise other tasks, and evade some responsibilities altogether. Think of sales professionals avoiding their reporting duties or updating their CRM database. This behaviour is not simply a manifestation of laziness, as often misjudged. Undertaking an activity that fails to motivate us drains our energy, making the task exhausting and affecting its quality. Consequently, we might resort to shortcuts or procrastination, and we certainly won't go the extra mile.
However, this doesn't mean we can shirk these parts of our role or delegate them to others. Instead, it suggests that effective leaders should be aware of the components of our job that motivate and demotivate us. They can then aid in tweaking our roles accordingly. This process of 'job crafting' can help minimise tasks that sap our energy or identify more engaging ways to approach them.
For instance, consider a friend of ours who is a leading salesperson in his industry. Despite his success, he abhors reporting duties, not because they're technically challenging, but because they deflate his motivation. This state of affairs takes a toll on his overall performance and productivity.
Assuming this rings true, we can delve deeper into its implications. If a task is demotivating, merely completing it to the required level of accuracy, gathering the necessary information to start, or navigating the system requires substantial resources. This can be particularly problematic for individuals like sales professionals who are typically extroverted and people-oriented, as reporting often falls outside their comfort zone. On the flip side, imagine a detail-oriented and task-focused individual, like a finance person or engineer, asked to make a sales call or pursue cold calling. The prospect might be as daunting for them as reporting is for the salesperson.
The crux of the matter is that motivation dramatically influences performance, productivity, quality, and innovation. Training might be an option if the individual wishes to learn the activity and their skill level is medium to low. However, it's probable they'll only ever become competent, not exceptional, at these tasks. If the individual has low motivation regardless of skill level, or if training them would not be a cost-effective solution, consider job crafting or seeking external help where appropriate.
For example, our sales-oriented friend's company assigned someone to help him with his reporting after several discussions about his exceptional sales performance but lacklustre reporting. This 'assistant' would ask the relevant questions for the CRM database and enter the data in the most suitable way. This simple solution was beneficial for both parties, as our friend was more likely to share the strategies that helped him secure great sales. However, this turned out to be a one-off solution, and our friend is now demotivated by this part of his role again. He feels disengaged from his employers, who expect him to meet consistent reporting requirements whilst delivering outstanding sales.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is optimal motivation and 1 is demotivated, how motivated do you think each of your team members is?