Motivating staff is easy...right? Shouldn't we just pay them more?

Mark Miller

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So how come football teams in the 1970s are constantly referred to as ‘more committed’ than football teams today? How come Daniel Pink in his recent research boiled motivation down to 3 factors that were nothing to do with money? How come high paid people in construction move job regularly often for little salary increase? 

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What we do know is that to grow our SME business our staff and management have to be highly motivated. Times are going to be challenging and tough, but even more than that, we need their energy for new ideas. No one who is demotivated bothers to help us with new ideas, only motivated people help us grow our companies. And if motivation comes from other factors as well as money, what are we going to do?


Part of a company development plan needs to be a motivation plan. It’s a bit like starting on an expedition. Part of the preparation is to fuel the trucks. Without the fuel the trucks won’t move, no matter how much they cost. So how do we ‘fuel up’ the workforce?


Firstly, we need to know what fuel they need. Unlike trucks people need different types of fuel, so one way to find out is to ask them. It may mean building personal development plans (PDPs) which map out a future in the new business for each individual. It may mean developing a reward scheme based on future results. If we know what people are looking for in a future, then building that into the future plans for the business is highly motivational.


In basic human terms, Daniel Pink found that most people are motivated by 3 key factors: ‘1) having a purpose, 2) being an expert, and 3) being able to make decisions’. Asking people which of these three is most powerful for them can provide a clue about how to motivate the workforce for the future. Each of them will need planning, for example plans to offer an improved skill set, plans to train people to take more responsibility and take decisions. With the motivatonal plans in place, we can begin to be confident that people will be with us, supporting us, not acting as blockers for what we need to achieve.


The most motivational element of course in your aim for company growth, is your personal vision of the future and how you explain it to your workforce. You may need help putting that vision together, and getting people to buy into it. So, don’t just assume people will want to go where you want them to go, don’t assume they can read your mind. Spend time planning how you people are going to be motivated, and the reward will be genuine powerful company growth.


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At Stratagem&Co, we believe that being able to quickly assess and evaluate the 'health' of your business is a key component to you achieving and sustaining your growth. That's why we've created high quality business health check tools to help you to receive the expert advice you need to achieve your business goals in an affordable and easily accesible way.


How does it work 


When you sign-up for a Stratagem Business Health-check you will receive:

  • A web link to a detailed online quf estionnaire -written by a member our panel osubject matter experts.
  • Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will instantly receive an overall 'health-score' for the questionnaire that you have completed.
  • Shortly afterwards, based on the answers you have in the questionnaire, you will receive a detailed and far-ranging report, again, written by one of our industry experts, that will help you to diagnose the issues that you have in your business and provide you with advice and links to additional resources to help you resolve the challenges that you are facing.
  • Within 48 hours of completing the questionnaire, you will receive a call from a Stratagem&Co Partner to arrange your follow-up Health-check Consultation.
  • During the Consultation you will be able to discuss and explore any issues that have arisen in the report and address any questions that you may have.
  • If any follow-up actions are identified, your Stratagem&Co Partner will then work with you on an individual basis to help you to resolve any further issues that you may have and develop bespoke solutions for you that closely fit your business needs and resolve your challenges. 

However we support you, the focus for us is to help you to identify and resolve the blockers that are stopping you from getting you to where you want to go – then it’s our promise to deliver a bespoke solution that fits around you and your organisation to drive your business growth. 


Get your Readiness for Change Health-check here 

To discuss the topics raised in Mark's blog, or to ask any questions, please complete the form below and leave your comments. 


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