motivation in the workplace
Business leaders and manager at all levels usually agree on one thing: It's a constant challenge to keep others in the work environment motivated and productive. This is especially true given the reality that what drives one person can be quite different than what drives another. Thus, to be effective in creating a maximally productive work environment, it's crucial to understand on an individual basis exactly what motivates each unique person you are trying to influence. So with this in mind, here are several different examples or prototypes of people you might find in the workplace and what's most likely to inspire optimal productivity in each. Believe it or not, these characteristics even correspond with the stages of development as humans by which each individual views his or her career. By understanding what drives each unique member of your team, you can effectively tailor the approach you use to get the most out of each person you'd like to motivate.
Some people are principally motivated by the simple belief that their job is secure and the reassurance that their work won't become too hard or overwhelming. When motivating someone like this, accept their limitations and avoid pushing them toward advancement (which may feel to them like more of a threat than a reward, whether or not they admit it). Assuming that their work is satisfactory, however, continue to assure them of their security by maintaining consistency in their tasks, so they remain capable of sufficiently doing their jobs.
For others, the structure itself that exists within a company or organization is a perfect ongoing motivator for those who thrive in environments with clear and perhaps even rigid rules, procedures and guidelines. Doing what is expected, not making waves and staying on "the good side" of the authority is what keeps them going on a day-to-day basis as well as their power to "rule" their subordinates. Military type operations and certain large companies are good examples of where these people thrive. For these employees, provide positive reinforcement for following procedures and rules or doing things "by the book." However, like the first group, avoid pushing them out of their comfort zones.
For many, it's the opportunity to impress others or receive praise or validation, since their primary motivator is actually to gain recognition or approval from others. While you might correctly assume that practically everyone likes the approval of others, some people actually need it to flourish and don't do as well when they aren't feeling validated. So take the time to recognize that these individuals are doing a good job, for example, in the form of awards (such as, "employee of the month", etc.) to help them feel appreciated and as though they are part of a "family" that appreciates both the job they do and them as people . Any way you can convey the message to "keep up the good work" can have a huge impact.
In our society compensation via salary, perks or other tangible rewards and benefits is obviously the most common form of motivation offered; and for some employees, it's enough to motivate them maximally. Such employees or coworkers respond best to such things as raises, bonuses, time off and better benefits.