No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Carrots and Sticks are for Donkeys

One of the artifacts of the industrial age is that most leaders don't have a clue how to motivate. The focus on productivity led us to manage people like things, which is why we call them human resources instead of people.

But carrots and sticks are for donkeys. Unless you thing your team is a bunch of asses, you need to recognize that the sticks are really discipline, and the carrots have only a momentary effect.

Real motivation comes from giving people what they really want and need;
1. To know the work matters. No one will get excited about making rich people richer. They will find fulfillment in knowing their service or product makes lives better.
2. To know that their work matters. Everyone needs to know that someone they see every day is happier and better off because they came to work.
3. To know that they matter. Not as a human resource, but as a human being. People want to be the same people they are at work as in the rest of their lives. If you don't know who that is, you make them feel like anonymous numbers.

Your team won't know any of these things if you don't tell them. And they won't believe them if you don't live like they're true. Your first action item: go find those people who make you personally happier and better off, tell them how, and say thank you. That will motivate.

No comments:

Post a Comment