Why is Motivation Important?
Whether you are trying to achieve something yourself or lead others towards an achievement, the ability to be self-motivated or to motivate is crucial. It is tempting to assume high achievers are innately self-driven or have high levels of motivational ability.
This could be the case, however, it is likely they learned and used some effective techniques for either motivating themselves or others.
The benefits of motivation to an individual are fairly obvious, people who are motivated:
- tend to be more successful in achieving their personal and professional goals
- have high self-esteem and confidence
Given that people are usually the most important asset of any organization, motivation is also a critical factor in the overall success of a team or business.
Three Golden Rules of Motivation
Motivation does not take place on its own. Remember these three golden rules of motivation before considering any specific techniques.
1. Motivation is impossible without clear achievable goals
Motivation and goal setting are mutually linked. Without a goal or purpose, motivation is meaningless. Motivation is a vital part of intentionally achieving any goal.
Two of the most basic motivators are:
- to know exactly what you are trying to achieve
- and to then go out and achieve it
Not having a clear idea of your goal or not believing that a goal is attainable will severely dent your motivation.
2. Motivation and goals need to be in alignment at every level
How often have you felt your performance was exceptional and your manager informed you’ve been focusing on the wrong thing? That priorities have changed or that you have simply been under-performing?
For example, an experienced sales person with an excellent track record for customer retention, is heavily criticized by his manager for failing in new business development. As a result, the sales person feels alienated, undervalued and ultimately de-motivated.
His performance and results are likely to suffer. Chances are there was a lack of communication between the manager and sales person over how individual goals need to fit with the overall business goals.
If the emphasis is on generating new business, has this been communicated effectively to each sales person, and in a manner which will motivate each of them to succeed?
Every business needs motivated employees in order to be successful and achieve its goals. If employee motivation is not closely matched to the business goals, the chances of success are diminished.
3. Motivation is neither fixed nor infinite
Motivation is not a one-off event. Due to changes in environment and circumstances, motivation needs constant monitoring. If someone is driven to become the best in their field, how do they maintain their motivation to perform once they reach the top of their profession?
Even if circumstances remain constant, the most powerful motivational factors will lose impact over the course of time.
For instance, you may attend a conference and feel energized by a particular speaker or meeting, and leave the event highly motivated to put what you have heard into action.
How long will the impact of what you heard last before you slip back into old ways of doing things?
Motivation is a process that constantly changes. As an individual or as a leader trying to motivate others, it is vital to remember this.