Motivation is a word that gets bandied around in the workplace. But what is motivation? And how can you increase your self-motivation that of co-workers?
Biologically, motivation is a natural secretion of dopamine in the brain that typically happens when we play sports, have sex, solve complex tasks, or when the brain predicts a reward.
Psychological motivation is a complex thing and can be explained by many theories. A more modern approach is Herzberg's theory, which divides motivation into two factors.
First, there are maintenance factors. They can be salary, working hours, information and security. These factors are not motivating per se, but maintain a motivation to continue to work and stay active. Herzberg’s motivational factors themselves can be the work tasks, presentation opportunities, responsibility, influence, recognition and personal development.
"Motivational factors are highly personal, and vary between us as human beings. They are very much linked to our values," says Chris Grew, who is a hypnotist, leadership coach and author.
Limbic management, like other management strategies, not only focuses on the conscious mind, but also the unconscious mind, which dominates brain activity 80-90 percent of the time.
"The limbic system is that part of the brain that is primarily related to the emotions that appear everyday. We are very much guided by our emotion, and they have a great importance for our ability to lead and motivate others," says Chris Grew.
Your ability to lead other people is very much determined by how much you can use this, the unconscious mind. MatchOffice has compiled some useful tips in optimising self motivation and enhancing your employees' motivation, using limbic management.
Know your values and trick your brain
To be able to posses a high self-motivation is vital for entrepreneurs. But it is also important for managers at all levels because they must be able to motivate themselves before being able to motivate others.
In order to succeed with getting a high self-motivation, it is necessary that you continuously work with yourself on both a conscious and subconscious level, according to Chris Grew. Here he give you some tangible advice on how to get started.
At the conscious level:
- Write down your most important values, and reflect on what in life is most important to you. These will give you some idea of your motivators (motivating factors). Find ways to help yourself fulfil them in your daily work life. It may mean that you’ll have to say no to things that conflict with those values. Is one of your most important values is to have fun, make sure that you have fun while working, and make time for enjoyment and relaxation outside of work.
- Set realistic targets, and reward yourself when you reach your goals. It is a way that you can 'trick' your brain into to feeling success and thereby release the motivational ‘natural chemical’ dopamine.
- Challenge yourself, and give yourself complex but realistic tasks, as it will give you a feeling of success when you have solved the tasks. You will also release dopamine in the brain.
- Make sure that you are in both mental and physical balance so you can stay focused. A good sleep rhythm, exercise and a healthy diet are therefore extremely important.
At the subconscious level:
- Stress or anxiety in your body is extremely demotivating. To avoid this, you can choose to meditate, which aims to create peace in your body and mind – and to control your thoughts. Find some good advice for your own meditation practice here.
- You can also learn how to perform self-trance while using hypnosis files, where you can achieve peace of mind.
Identify your colleagues’ values
After working with your own self-motivation, you are now ready to motivate your employees.
There are a variety of both conscious and subconscious strategies you can use to ensure a high level of motivation among your employees.
On the conscious level:
- To the best of your ability, ensure a good physical working environment. It may include a healthy, nutritious lunch for workers, good natural light, comfortable temperature or height-adjustable tables that allow employees to stand up working.
- Identify your employees' values, which will function as their motivators. Perhaps use profiling tools like Disc or MBTI.
- You can also run a value process at the office, where you meet in groups and have a dialogue about your individual values. According to Chris Grew, it is often problematic to implement a set of values that are dictated by the management, and can actually demotivate employees. You should try at these meetings to identify the company's values together.
- Now it is about acting on the knowledge you have received about your employee's values. If several people have made it clear that they value their freedom, then you can ensure that those people get more freedom with responsibility. This will enhance your worker’s motivation and increase teamwork within the company.
- Talk about motivation at the workplace and create a culture where it is acceptable to talk about it. Remember also to connect the company's initiatives to the company's values. This will make it clear that the employees work has a meaning and doesn’t just exist as a series of separate tasks, which should increase the motivation of employees.
- Set realistic targets for your employees and reward them when goals are achieved.
- Be present, listen to your employees, and show interest in them.
At the subconscious level:
<< See all news
- A stressed or confused boss will tend to reduce employees’ motivation, and could very easily ruin it. It is therefore important that you are calm and clear-headed when communicating and interacting with your employees.
- As with self-motivation, you should try meditation or practice self-trance regularly, especially when you feel stressed.