Are You an Enlightened Leader?
Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within rather than external rewards. Think of the Olympic athlete who knows they will never reach perfection – yet continually strives to do so. Upon achieving the gold medal – four years later the athlete defends their medal and tries to outdo their personal best. This is the ultimate description of intrinsic motivation – sacrificing to achieve what one sets out to do.
Although we may not reach the level of motivation that an Olympic athlete does – the fact is that we can engage our employees to become intrinsically motivated on the job.
First, your employees have to have a sense of purpose. How do they identify and find the greater meaning within your organization? Oftentimes, employees will be more productive when volunteering because they buy into the tenet of what they are doing.
As human beings – we naturally want to make things better. If we have autonomy and freedom – we will give in our ideas and implement them freely. The little things about our job that bother us – we want to do something about them to make our jobs easier for both ourselves and our co-workers. Although our reasons for doing so may differ, as long as we feel safe and trusted – we all share that inherent human trait.
However, when employees are in an environment ruled by fear, we feel endangered and we revert to an every woman for herself psychology. The following are some of the reasons I have heard employees say they don’t give in ideas:
- ”Management doesn’t care what I have to say. They never tell me what they think of my ideas – the last time I gave in an idea, I never heard back.” “It is just the flavor of the month. They are just out for number one.” Make sure you respond to all employee ideas within a given time frame and that all ideas are welcomed and encouraged, no matter how small.
- “My idea is too small to make an impact and I don’t want to look foolish by bringing it up.” It is important to remember that individuals bring up ideas because they are trying to solve something and although the solution they have come up with – may not be able to be implemented, chances are someone on the team has a solution that is able to be implemented.
- “If I give in my ideas to improve my work, then management is going to lay me off.” This is a very real fear folks. The real purpose behind getting employee ideas is that your business will grow through those ideas and that instead of laying off your employees that helped your business to flourish, retrain your employees and put them into positions with more decision making authority so they can continue to use their knowledge to grow your business.
- “If I give in my idea, I will have to do all the work and it is another thing added to my to-do list and I am already swamped.” Idea implementation should not fall solely on the idea originator but rather should be a team effort.
Creating an environment where ideas flourish is what good and enlightened leadership is all about! So I ask again – are you an enlightened leader?
Idea Share Tip of the Month
Employees will give in an average of three ideas without feedback and then will not give in another idea. For example, your employee does something positive and nothing happens. Your employee then tells anyone who will listen, “Nobody appreciates anything I do around here!” This is counter intuitive to many leaders – as most leaders feel that doing nothing has no effect on performance.
Paige Thibault is the owner of Frame of Mind Consulting. She understands the unique DNA of your organization, which is necessary to turn any organization into one capable of leveraging the full idea potential of its employees. Would you like to drive connectivity and ownership throughout your company? Contact Page at (860) 559-7942 to set up your complimentary consultation during which you will receive some invaluable tips that you can apply to your business right away. Sign up for the Idea Share Tip of the Week! at Frame of Mind Consulting.
This article originally appeared in the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network.
Photo courtesy of Kaboompics