Many readers will be familiar with the theories of Maslow and Herzberg, the insights of Carnegie and the work of the likes of Goleman, Senge, and plenty of others.
I love all of it, even the stuff I don’t agree with is a learning experience.
I was reading a blog post the other day about Herzbergs Two Factor Theory which got me thinking of the other side of this coin.
There is plenty of literature on how to motivate, how to communicate, how to ‘read’ etc. but maybe the simplest thing of all is being overlooked?
How often do we ask?
How often do we tell?
We know people can have a personal focus on anything:
• Their cat/s
• Their dog/s
• Their exotic plant collection
• Their child/ren
• Their rally car/s
• Their quality of work
• Their quantity of work
But seldom do people readily express, nor does a manger ask, what ‘reward’ is, or means, for them.
I have a good friend who always said to me – “If you ask people it is amazing what they will tell you” (and it doesn’t matter what you ask). This is very true.
Certainly factors such as trust and authenticity enter into the equation and there is a fine line between prying and taking an interest, but I know as a motivational tool ‘asking’ works.
So there are two messages in this simple post about identifying what is ‘rewarding’ :
Ask. Be authentic. Listen
Tell. Be sincere. Communicate.
It’s probably the shortest route to reward for them and for you.
Thinking back over my own career – I did the first one well, while the second one would have saved a lot of grief for me and my employer.
Try it. You just might like it, and so might your employees.