Unlocking the Mysteries of Motivation: How to Make Work more like play?

Mystery of Motivation–Identifying and Mobilizing Our Strengths !!! 

Peter Drucker was correct when he said, “Effective management is the productive use of strengths.”

The success of a business takes energized and motivated workforce. The one question I always get at my workshops are how do you motivate people to care about profits, quality and customer service which are the cornerstones to a successful and dynamic work place. My answer is that you can’t directly motivate others but you can create work conditions and climate for them to bring forth their best efforts and hopefully succeed in reaching their personal and organizational goals. Motivation is now considered a cluster of attitudes, strengths and abilities that reside in the nature and personality of the person.

No assessment, no profit, no sophisticated information system, no plant or process or product, no clever ad or marketing campaign, no demands or controls, or money incentives, no employee involvement teams, quality process or other motivation gimmicks that managers can put together is equal to identifying and hiring people who have demonstrated success in the past and are desirous of achieving it again. Selecting talent and human resources is the key factor in creating an excellent workplace culture.

Beyond the IQ’s, credentials, and experience that people may bring to the organization a great reservoir of motivation lies at the heart of how they are treated, perceive the culture and if they want to do their workplace tasks can ultimately make more of a difference than intellectual gifts, knowledge and experience and produce all the difference in how well they do on the job.

That unseen by the piles of application forms, personnel files, measurement systems, and performance reviews and 360 feedback processes —and often a mystery to the worker themselves—is a vast resource of talent and strengths that, for the most part, is barely tapped.

That nothing of consequence happens at any level in an organization unless it is propelled by the strengths of the people on the team seems like common sense, yet how to identify and jump start this reservoir remains a mystery to most people.

That every person is unique—truly one of a kind.

This insight enables a company to assess job fit and predict how a person is likely to accomplish their responsibilities—or, as often as not, reshape their responsibilities into something they can live with. In the ideal, an organization will seek to maximize people’s strengths and minimize the effects of what they lack.

Companies will dramatically improve performance if they place people in key roles who are inherently enthusiastic about the work they are doing.

Fulfillment and success are open to anyone who finds the place and level of work that suits what they naturally bring to the task by virtue of their talents.

So what is a strength or talent and how do we identify them and create a workplace that supports these talents.. Maybe we can better understand strengths and motivation if we contrast and compare work and play situations.

Exercise for more understanding: Take a blank piece of paper and draw a straight line down the middle. Then on the left side of the paper ponder what makes play fun and then on the right side right down what makes work seem so difficult and different from play. Then ask yourself the reflective question how to I  make work more like play?

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