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Because Humans are Unique, they are Motivated Uniquely


As Zoe Routh, an Australian leadership expert, points out in her article 4 Triggers of Poor Employee Behaviour and How to Prevent Them, management tends to reward by status and privilege. This motivational method holds true in the United States as well. From job titles, designated parking spaces, monthly awards, and office size, employees are given the same motivators as everyone else. While intentions to recognize and motivate employees for a job well done are good, the impact doesn’t always return the results management desires.


Because humans are unique, they are motivated uniquely. Not everyone values a parking space, but those who do, appreciate it immensely. It may not mean anything to the employee who isn’t motivated by a parking space with his name on it. But what happens when the one who eagerly awaits and finally reaches tenure to receive his parking space the company no longer gives designated spaces? Trust of the employer is diminished, and motivation of the employee is reduced.


It’s essential for managers and leaders be mindful of what motivates and demotivates their individual employees. When employees aren’t getting the motivation they need, poor behaviors tend to rise to the surface and dismantle management’s good intentions. Team cohesiveness dissolves, retention of top talent decreases, and dissatisfaction becomes the norm.


When leaders and managers make a concerted effort to tap into, and deliver, what drives their people, the results will be an engaged workforce, satisfied employees, and a thriving organizational culture. Implementing a coaching strategy that includes discovering what makes people tick will enable leaders and managers to unleash a powerful force that will benefit the individual, the team, and the organization.


One of the primary responsibilities of leaders is to cultivate a sense of belonging and purpose for team members. Stimulating the unique drivers helps to accomplish this charge. The more leaders and managers discover what matters to each of their team members, the more motivated each will become, and the less frustration leadership will experience.

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