You’ve hired a crack staff, yet you can’t seem to get the employees to produce to their potential—and it’s costing you money. Tamara Lowe, a top motivational guru and author of Get Motivated! believes you just aren’t motivating that employee correctly. She’s spent years uncovering the things that motivate employees to succeed which translates into more money for you, the business owner.
Lowe’s groundbreaking research on Motivational DNA was discussed in the first part of this article: Increase Your Business Profits by Tapping into Your Main Resource: Your Employees. Determine Your Employees’ Motivational DNA to Trigger Business Success. If you’ve had trouble motivating your employees to reach their potential and make money for your business, perhaps you haven’t tapped into the employee’s Motivational DNA. In the first article, I explained the six key motivational factors discovered by Tamara Lowe and her team.
Lowe spoke to a packed house at Baltimore’s First Mariner Arena about her team’s findings on what makes people tick. The aim was to find out the things that motivate us as human beings. Once Lowe’s team identified the core things that motivate us, she looked for a way to help employers use it to inspire staff, motivate employees and increase business.
This is part two in a two-part series. Part one explained what each of the motivational factors is. Now you will learn how to use that knowledge to make money for your business.
Motivational DNA includes Drives, Needs and Awards. Each includes two distinct motivators. For Drives, it is Production versus Connection; for Needs, it is Stability versus Variety; and for Awards it is Internal versus External. Identify what makes your employee tick, motivationally-speaking, and you’ve cracked the money-making code. Now, it’s time to use those motivational factors to make you some money.
Drives–Production Versus Connection Drives
Production Drive: Someone who is motivated by production is a bundle of energy, and you can probably spot him straight off the bat. To motivate this person and to get the most productivity out of him, put him in a visible spot where he can shine. He wants to please you by providing quantifiable wins. He’s a score keeper, and he has an inner drive to succeed publicly.
According to Lowe, knowing what motivates a person is half of the equation. Things that will motivate a Connection person will be a total turn off for the employee with that Production Drive. For example, put a production-motivated person in a cubicle to perform mundane tasks, day in, day out and you’re cutting off his arms and legs and asking him to run a marathon.
Connection Drive: This person thrives on teamwork and the feeling of camaraderie. To motivate this employee, let him see what his role is in the big picture of your company. Let him see that because he did “x, y and z” your company met its annual goals.
Conversely, the employee with a Connection Drive is not the lone wolf salesmen who likes to be out on the road all day making cold calls. Take away the team spirit, and you’ve taken away this employee’s key motivator.
Needs–The Need for Stability Versus the Need for Variety
Generally, Lowe says it comes down to one simple fact: some people need a regular paycheck (stability), while others like to play it a little closer to the edge. Tap into the employee’s needs (need for stability or need to take risks), and you’ll get the most out of the employee.
Give your Stability-Motivated employee a regular work environment with regular expectations. Give this person 15 minutes at the end of the day to straighten his desk and time to give it a good clean once a week. Give this employee the supplies he needs and have his paycheck show up exactly when you tell him it will. This person appreciates and needs parameters.
For the Variety-Motivated employee, the day-in, day out, mundane routine kills his spirit. Get this person involved in Employee Action Committees to find ways to improve procedures and you’ll appeal to his need for change. With this employee, if you tell him he has to keep four, finely-sharpened pencils in a pencil holder to the right of his computer screen as that’s company policy and you’ll beat the spirit right out of him. While you hired this employee for a reason, allow him to take on special projects that break up the day and add a little spice to it. You’ll find the person blowing through the regular tasks to get the chance to take on the new jobs. The new work will be seen as an adventure to him.
Awards–Internal Awards Versus External Awards
Internal Awards. He has an inner drive that propels him to do his job to a certain standard. You can give him all of the awards and plaques you want, but they’ll have little meaning. In fact, they may embarrass someone like this who does the job a certain way because he can’t do it another way. If he slacked off, he’d be letting himself down.
The best way to motivate the person who is driven internally is to give him ways to feel good about the job he’s doing. Just as you motivated the employee who enjoyed being a part of a team and preferred to be quiet about the work that he did, assume some of these same qualities for the internally-driven employee.
Your Internal Awards-Motivated employee needs to feel satisfied deep within his soul. The employee with a Motivational DNA of Internal Awards responds to the feeling he gets from a job well done. It’s all about a sense of accomplishment for this person as opposed to external accolades.
External Awards. This employee needs validation for a job well done. Even if the results are evident for all to see, the employee motivated by the External Awards DNA needs the “atta boy” or some sort of bonus payment, even if it’s nominal. If you want to increase sales, put a cash prize or a vacation at the end of the game for the winner.
If you can’t pinpoint the Motivational DNA of your employees, that says quite a bit about you as a manager. You are not in touch with your main asset. You take inventory and balance your books, so it would be silly to ignore the main money-making asset you have: people.