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The power of motivation is very important part from the business. There are many different types of motivation that can be used to drive employee performance. These include process-based, goal-based, recognition-based and equity-based motivations. Within these broad categories, there are several specific types of motivation.
Motivational programs are commonly called “incentive” programs because they use various financial or nonfinancial incentives to motivate employees to achieve designated results. No matter what type of program you choose to implement, it is important that your employees understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and how their efforts impact the company and their own roles. In this blog post, we’ll look at three different types of incentive motivation—probe, pair and probe; unplugging the red vs blue bucket; and a balance sheet test—and how each can be used in your organization to create a culture of high performance.
The probe method is one of the most fundamental types of motivation. In this approach, managers ask the employees what drives them, what their goals are and how their work aligns with their own personal priorities. This is a critical first step for all managers because it helps leaders understand the specific needs and motivations of each of their employees. This in turn enables managers to customize their approach to leading each individual person on the team. Once managers have an idea of what drives each person on the team, they can then brainstorm with them ways to tie those individual goals to the team’s larger objectives. This is an ongoing process, which requires managers to continually probe to learn more about each individual’s motivations and how they can be better aligned with the team’s goals.
The pairing method is another approach that many managers use when implementing an incentive program. In this case, managers look at the team’s goals and then find ways that employees’ individual efforts link to those objectives. Managers are able to do this because they understand the specific talents and abilities of each person on the team. This enables them to pair individuals with projects or tasks that are uniquely suited to their skills, interests and motivations.
A common example of pairing motivation is putting together a sales team. In this case, managers might put together an effective pairing by pairing a customer-focused team member with an engineer who is skilled at developing new technology for the sales team. This enables the engineers to work on a project that they’re passionate about while still achieving results that help the sales team succeed.
The probe-and-unplugging method is a combination of two of the other motivation types discussed in this post. This method draws on the core idea of the probe method: Managers need to understand their employees’ unique motivations and then brainstorm ways to tie them to the company’s goals.
The probe-and-unplugging method goes a step further by then identifying the specific ways that each person’s motivation might be unplugged from the team’s objectives. This enables managers to come up with ways to plug those gaps and make sure that each individual’s needs are met. For example, let’s say that you have a team member who is very motivated by the idea of having time off. You have a big project going on, so you tell this person that he needs to stay late to help finish it up. This project is important for the team, but it’s not something that your team member is very excited about.
Unplugging Motivation: The Red/Blue Bucket Test
The red/blue bucket test is an interesting motivational method that many managers use to help team members determine where their specific motivations lie. In this test, managers pair different colored buckets (one red and one blue) with various aspects of the job. Then they ask their employees which bucket they would prefer to be in. This enables managers and employees to have a conversation about which specific pressures or responsibilities the team member would like to face. It also helps managers better understand how to prioritize projects and tasks so that they can meet their employees’ needs.
For example, let’s say that you have a team member who is very motivated by feeling like he’s making progress every day. He’s a very results-driven person and wants to know that he’s doing something that is going to move the needle. He’s also a very goal-driven individual who thrives on having a set plan. But, he also wants to have control over his day and not be required to work on things that are not part of his plan.
Balance Sheet Motivation: Summing Up
The balance sheet motivation method is perhaps the most creative approach to motivation. This method considers an employee’s needs, wants and desires on one side of the “balance sheet” and then looks at the company’s goals on the other side. Managers want to make sure they are meeting their employees’ needs while also enabling the team to achieve the desired results. If there is a gap between what the employee desires and what the team needs, managers can brainstorm ways to bridge that gap or find a way to help the employee get what they need. Using these three types of motivation, managers can create an effective incentive program for their teams. This will help employees excel and will also help your company achieve greater success.
More on the topic
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