Then it struck him. If Gloria is motivated by the work itself, what are Andrea and Jim motivated by? What would help them focus on the work, do a quality job, and not complain? He decided to offer them a choice of incentives if they meet the deadline. They could choose between an extra day off, tickets to a game, or cash. The team worked hard and met the deadline. Gloria chose the cash bonus, Andrea took a day off when her kids were on vacation from school, and Jim picked up tickets to the next Sox game. Tom met his deadline.
We all speak different languages when it comes to motivation. A strong Human Resources Director recognizes what motivates employees in the organization. Some want more money. Others want their name and picture in the company newsletter. Others are happy to know they made a difference and prefer no recognition.
A youth soccer coach uses the same skills. One boy may need to score to feel good about himself. Another might be driven by the fun of assisting others by delivering the perfect pass. Some kids endure the rigor of the game just to get to the after-game treats.
Regardless of the venue, each of us has the accountability to assess our team members’ unique motivation. Then, when you want to inspire someone, you know whether to offer them tickets to the Sox game or a day off with their family. If you speak their language rather than your own, you’re more likely to infuse them with energy.
Most of the time, we give to others that which we would most like to receive. What if we reverse the formula? It’s the new Golden Rule: do unto others as they would have you do unto them.