The intention of these articles is to provide you with five key aspects of motivation that will help you, and perhaps your team too, understand what motivating people is really all about. Each article will tackle a new aspect in five-part series.
In our last blog, we covered how motivation boosts teams and facilitates collaboration. In this article, we’ll be covering the fifth and final aspect of motivation: how it catalysts change.
Five, it’s change
As we have described in earlier articles, motivation is energy. It is the fuel that drives us. And like energy, it is constantly in motion, therefore alters and transforms as it encounters different obstacles and acts upon different objects or people in its path. Our motivational energy changes over time. Sometimes, not very much, a barely perceptible shift. But sometimes, dramatically and drastically. I have seen financial circumstances utterly transform the motivational profile of an individual and indeed an organisation. For example, a Searcher-driven organisation, which is all about meaning and purpose, suddenly realises that they will be out of business if they don’t make some serious changes, and everyone’s Builder motivator spikes into the top three! Money is now a priority, so the other motivators take a backseat. This might be a temporary change for some, until financial stability is acquired, but for others, it might be a long term life-lesson; think about the money first or suffer the consequences type of narrative.
Change management is still the order of the day. Though we dress it up in different terms, such as organisational adaptability or agility or flexibility, the reality is the same: we need to help people in organisations cope with change. And there is more change coming our way now than ever before with the potential of automation, new technologies, and shifting economies and industries. But how do we really know how people feel and how their motivators contribute to or block change? The answer, in short, is the Motivational Organisational Map! However, so as not to make this an entirely promotional blog, let’s unpack this in more detail!
All successful change has to address 3 key factors: the vision of where we are going, the resources necessary to propel us there, and finally, and crucially, a dissatisfaction with the status quo within the employees; in other words, this last critical point hangs on the perceptions and motivators of staff. There has to be a hunger there. How, therefore, can we change effectively without knowing what our staff really want? We can’t. If we want longevity and not endless crisis management we need this level of insight. Motivational Mapping can provide this. Here’s how:
Three of the motivators fall into what we call the “Growth” cluster. Motivators in this cluster are much more likely to be change friendly, so a profile predominated by these motivators is much more likely to indicate someone up for and willing to change in general. Similarly, we also have a “Relationship” cluster, and the three motivators in this cluster are the opposite: change averse. They like things to stay the same and the security of predictability in general. Remember, motivational profiles are far more complex and nuanced, and cannot simply be reduced to blanket statements, but there are tendencies and trends that one can pick up on. The final cluster, “Achievement” motivators, are pretty much change ambivalent. They neither oppose nor actively block it. They can be persuaded change is positive, if provided the right information, but they are happy for things to remain as they are as well.
Now, depending on the “makeup” of your organisation, you are going to likely have a lean one way or the other. If you have a team of managers that are all Growth motivator dominant, and they’re pushing for change, but all the people “on the ground” are Relationship motivators, this is going to be a problem, because the people on the front line don’t like change and will find it very challenging. They may even actively oppose and resistant measures for as long as humanly possible. If you try to overwhelm, to force change, they’ll likely leave.
Similarly, the converse can be disastrous. If all the people on the ground are passionate about change and transformation and want the company to be making steps forward, but management are all playing it safe, counting profits and not making the necessary alterations to empower staff (such as new software, for example, or new agile ways of working) that can create mass exodus. However, motivational profiles do not limit or stereotype people, they are a doorway to a wider conversation. Once we understand who is more likely to be change-friendly and who isn’t, we can then begin to open dialogues about how to make the changes easier, and perhaps even better: listen to our staff to discuss their priorities.
Change is never easy, whether you’re simply employing new technology in your organisation, or creating a whole new dimension to your business, such as a new product line or strategy. However, with the right tools, and plenty of motivation, you can overcome the challenges of change poses, and perhaps even thrive as a result.
Thank you for reading this blog series. We hope you found it insight and practically useful!
Want to discover your motivators? You can also discover them yourself, or get close to it, by doing a few simple exercises. I have created a nine-part blog series Unlocking Motivation, to help take you through this process. It’s completely free, and will tell you a hell of a lot about the Maps and what they’re all about. To get started, you can go to part 1 here.
Alternatively, for a deeper dive into the language and metrics of motivation, as well as a Motivational Map code for a pin-point accurate motivational profile, you can buy Mapping Motivation: Unlocking The Key to Employee Energy and Engagement.