As I watched some great Olympic performances this year and saw athletes from all over the world competing, I was reminded about the high levels of motivation these athletes possess. They dedicate so much of their time, energy and resources just for a hope of winning a medal for their country.
Motivating employees is a popular topic in business, regardless of job function, and there has been considerable amount of research conducted in this area. However, as the rates of employee disengagement increase, along with employee burnout and turnover, many organizations are starting to re-examine what actually motivates their employees. This is where high-performance athletics can provide some insight.
Many performance improvement programs focus on extrinsic sources of motivation for their employees: promotions, salary increase, bonuses etc. This is fine – people will always be motivated to some extent by financial rewards. What high-performance athletes possess is a balance between intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation, and it’s the intrinsic sources of motivation that keep them from burning out, ensuring will not giving up on challenging goals and that they bounce back after setbacks.
Organizations that are starting to move towards building a human performance culture recognize this and are revising current performance management systems and practices to address intrinsic motivators of their employees. If your organization wants to start incorporating these motivators and you don’t know where to begin, try this simple exercise.
What are your sources of intrinsic motivation?
1) Write a list of what motivates you each day to come to work.
2) Indentify any surprise you might have discovered about yourself.
3) Categorise the intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation.
4) Develop a personal plan to incorporate your intrinsic sources of motivation into the work you perform.
5) Track how your performance and motivation starts to improve.
Discovering and addressing employees’ intrinsic sources of motivation is a key step towards building a human performance culture. This in turn will save organizations millions of dollars in reduction of employee turnover, improved levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net