The Keys To Better Motivated Employees

Tim Connor

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I constantly hear from managers “how do I motivate my employees?” You can’t. Motivation is an inside-out individual responsibility.

The role of a manager is to create an environment in which employees want to motivate themselves for peak performance.

There are two traditional methods of motivating employees that are being used in hundreds of companies by thousands of managers to “MOTIVATE” employees. They are: Fear or punishment and Reward or Incentive. Both of these motivational environments are temporary and appeal to the outside-in need to be motivated.

Fear Motivation is based on punishment of some kind from withdrawal of a privilege to being fired. If Fear Motivation is the dominant type you or your organization uses, I will bet you live with a great deal of frustration. People can build up an immunity to your threats. And if they are not concerned about the punishment, it won’t motivate them. Fear motivation is also negative and tends to de-motivate, the opposite of what you are attempting to accomplish.

Reward motivation is based on a want or need of the employee. Problem is, if they don’t want what you are rewarding them with, guess what? I worked with a client last year where the average yearly sales compensation was over $75,000 per employee. The president was frustrated because their potential was in excess of $200,000 a year. No additional incentives would improve performance because each of the employees was satisfied with his current compensation levels. So offering them bribes, bonuses or nicer drapes in their office didn't work to get them to work harder to sell more so they could earn.

There is an old saying that says. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. ” You can, however, put some salt in his oats to make him thirsty.

The only motivation that works for the long haul is turning over the responsibility of motivation to the individual. That’s why it is called self-motivation.

This third type of motivation is based on a person’s attitude development. He does it more – not because you want him to, threaten him or promise him the moon – but because he wants to.

The key role of a manager is to hire self-motivated employees, then do as little as possible to de-motivate them.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, Peace Of Mind, 81 Challenges Managers Face and Your First Year In Sales. He is also the CEO of Sales Clubs Of America. He can be reached at , 704-895-1230 or visit his websites at or .


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