... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified Coach, PCC
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2013: Human Motivation Part Three
last month's newsletter we discussed Daniel Pink's first two factors
of human motivation. This month I would like to continue the
discussion of human motivation. What are the best driving factors of
human motivation? Since human behavior is driven by
motivation...unlocking the "drivers" of motivation could
help all global leaders to unlock the key to guiding behaviors thru
key motivational factors.
Pink suggests that the three motivational factors are: Autonomy,
Mastery and Purpose. In past two newsletters we have covered Autonomy
and Mastery (if you would like a refresher, previous newsletters can
be found on www.CoachVickie.com). In this issue let's introduce the
concept of Purpose.
by their nature seek purpose, defined as making a contribution and
being part of a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. In
traditional business this idea of purpose was considered as something
extra or ornamental. The profit motive was always thought to be the
"real" purpose of business.
This concept is shifting and baby boomers have
had an influence on this shift. In 2006 the first of the baby
boomers turned 60. Research has shown that this milestone birthday
has caused much reflection within the boomer community and is
causing a huge shift in their thinking. As with any birthday that
ends in "0", especially a 60th
birthday the boomers are asking
themselves the following question:
How did I get
That is typically followed by the statistical
knowledge that at 60 they can expect to live on the average another
25 years. That then prompts the thought of what they accomplished in
the LAST 25 years, since they were 35 and they realize that in the
near future they want to make more of an impact. In America, one
hundred boomers turn sixty every thirteen minutes, until 2024. Baby
boomers are looking to be a part of an organization where they can
make a difference. Couple that with younger workers who have always
had the idea of working in an organization that had profit and
purpose maximization as duel goals and purpose
becomes an important goal of many workers.
today's world purpose maximization is taking its place alongside
profit maximization as an aspiration and a guiding principle. This new
purpose motivation is expressing itself within organizations in three
- In goals
that use profit to reach purpose
- In words
that emphasize more than self-interest
- In policies
that allow people to pursue purpose on their own terms.
Principle One: Goals
here we have two generations, the baby boomers and the Gen Y folks who
are currently entering the work force. Both groups describe their
goals as not so much about money but as being part of creative teams
or organizations who give back through their work. An example of this
is the Gen Y founder of TOM's shoes Blake Myscokie. TOM's business
model is that for every pair of shoes that are bought a pair of shoes
will be donated. This model is so new that it actually caused
confusion, which prompted the company to post a clarification on their
company's web site right below the instructions on how to exchange a
purchase. It states that TOM's is "a for profit company with
giving at its core". TOM's is a perfect example of the shift in
business model where purpose orientation is coming to the forefront.
Even co-operatives which have been around for years are moving to
front and center as a likely business model for the future.
Principle Two: Words
2009 the Global economy took some "hits" from unscrupulous
behavior by individuals who were driven by profit. This prompted a
handful of second year Harvard MBA's to think about what they wanted
their future to look like. As MBA students are trained to do, they
made a plan. Together they crafted "The MBA Oath" which is
not a legal document; it is a code of conduct. Below are three
sentences from the over 500 word document:
a manager, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people
and resources together to create value that no single individual can
create alone.....I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders,
co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate...I will
strive to create sustainability economic, social and environmental
like purpose, greater good and sustainability are not your
"normal" business mission words and reflect the conduct in
which these business school students will endeavor to live their
lives. Today more than 300 business educational institutions have
embraced the MBA Oath.
traditional business models, the "how" is stressed, as in
how will we accomplish the goal? In the new economy of motivating
employees through purpose the "how" question is replaced by
the "why" question. The thought then becomes... here is why
we are doing this. By understanding the why, the context, the reason
for excelling at a goal, the goal becomes much more compelling.
Principle Three: Policies
are many studies that show the correlation for employees between money
and happiness is weak. This means that past a certain amount, a larger
pile of cash does not bring any more satisfaction. Scientists have
taken this to a newer level and have realized that how people spend
their money can be at least as important as how much money they earn.
If you buy gifts for others (rather than buy a bauble for yourself),
or donate to causes that you believe in (rather than get an expensive
haircut) this can increase your subjective well-being. And so, those
organizations that involve employees in purpose laden activities, will
improve employee happiness/satisfaction. Examples of purposeful
activities could be: giving time off for volunteer activities,
enabling corporate foundations to give money to employees pet
charities first or enabling employees to be part of special project
teams to contribute to functions that they believe in.
was a study in a hospital that was trying to increase hand washing.
The hospital introduced three difference hand washing campaigns. The
first told the benefits to the employee if they washed their hands,
the second touted the benefits to the patients when healthcare
employees washed their hands and the third was a cute saying like
"wash it, do it". Which campaign do you think yield the most
results? Of course it was the campaign that connected the activity
with the purpose. By washing your hands you are increasing the
likelihood that your patients will get better faster, decrease
infections and go home better able to heal. That small connection
In conclusion, when your organization is thinking about instituting
a new GOAL or POLICY, connecting these with the appropriate WORDS
and with a larger societal purpose will increase adherence to the
policy and improve results. Congratulations, by instituting these
changes in your organization you will improve employees' motivation
and your organization will derive
results from within.
*To review any of these past newsletters, please visit the Newsletter section of www.CoachVickie.com
Certified Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation
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