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What’s the ONE thing that staff want most?

Posted on: 22/05/2018

Possibly not what you think! Motivational speaker and leadership coach Peter Radford has been talking to leaders about how they motivate their staff.

“Answers usually vary from, ‘We don’t!’ to various versions of reward & punishment: the ‘carrot and stick approach,” says Peter. However, studies have shown that these two motivators are not the most effective for driving long term, sustainable change.

“What you really want,” says Peter, “is for your staff to want to do their jobs well and to enjoy their work for its own sake. And that doesn’t happen by waving either a carrot or a stick.”

When the NHS trialled a scheme to encourage more people to give blood by paying them for each donation, the number of blood donors actually went down! People lost motivation when it became extrinsically incentivised.  Other experiments have shown that individual creativity decreases when external incentive is attached to a task.

So what makes the difference when it comes to staff motivation? A study of one million workers by Gallup found that the number one reason why people leave their jobs (75%) was their direct line manager. 

“What really hacks people off is when their efforts and contribution go unnoticed or unacknowledged,” says Peter. “And this is why I think investing in your leaders and managers should be the number one priority of senior leadership. Pretty much everyone I meet can think of and quote a boss whose words or actions pulled them down and demotivated them”.

Amidst the busy-ness and email dominated culture of everyday business, it’s very easy to lose the personal touch. But underestimate the impact of each human interaction at your peril!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)

Peter Radford of Beyond This delivers in-house Leadership and Team development. See www.beyondthis.co.uk  or email peter@beyondthis.co.uk

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