Shawn Anchor of the Happiness Factor claims that 10% of one’s happiness comes from externally driven factors such as money, relationships, possessions and status, while 90% is driven solely from how you choose to see things. The key word here is choice; and he claims that because we have this option we can exert more control over our happiness than we might think.
Could we possibly look at motivation in a similar fashion? How much is externally driven and how much is from within? Could it be as radical as with the Happiness Factor that 10% of one’s motivation being driven by factors such as rewards and incentives (extrinsic) with the remainder being what truly makes us feel good (intrinsic)?
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs would contend that before you even get to extrinsic or indeed intrinsic, some basic physiological, safety, social and esteem needs have to be met first. Then once taken care of, Maslow argues for a case of self actualization. But what drives self actualization? Is it motivation? Within the workplace one could make an argument that extrinsic motivators, such as pay and benefits only serve to address basic needs. However “self actualization” can truly be attained through intrinsic motivators such as challenge, autonomy, growth which ultimately lead to optimum performance.
Dan Pink talks about the greater relevance of intrinsic motivation when compared to certain types of work, namely the more creative, hard to measure type positions. Others such as Herzberg and Hackman & Oldham offer similar theories.
Whatever the circumstances, whether you are looking to motivate or be motivated, the following 4 Keys to Motivation permeate through all the research relative to workplace situations.
1. Reward: take care of the basic needs – pay sufficiently to eliminate this as a factor. It may not guarantee peak performance but without it nobody shows up.
2. Purpose: create a clear understanding and meaning attached to whatever is to be done.
3. Engagement: actively involve people with some autonomy and they will willingly and wholeheartedly offer their services.
4. Acknowledgement: communicate verbally or otherwise contributions when tasks are accomplished and / or results achieved.
What you will find is motivated people are happy people and vice versa. And the driving force behind all this – what lies within!!