In the Kansas workforce development study I was interested to see that employers indicated “motivation” was lacking in job applicants. The trouble with this thought process is that it is difficult to gauge motivation in an applicant. The other trouble is that employers have a lot to do with the motivation of their employees. Motivation comes from inside people but the work environment also has a lot to do with how motivated people feel. Employees feel motivated when they:

  • Believe the work is important
  • Understand how to do the work
  • Feel that they are rewarded for doing the work well. (Yes, pay is a reward, but recognition and appreciation are very important too.)
  • Have the right tools to get the work done well
  • Have some fun and even a friend or two at work

Think about the game of bowling for a minute. You roll a heavy ball down the alley and knock over some pins. The ball rumbles, lights flash, pins crash and you get a score. Your team mates cheer you on.

Now change the picture. Your friends, the score, the flashing lights are all gone. Even the pins are gone, so you’re not even quite sure why you roll the balls down except that your boss told you to. You just roll heavy balls down an alley all day because it’s your job.

Bowling is fun and motivating, rolling heavy balls down the alley is boring. Which one is more like the jobs in your business?

I added a “Resources” page to the website and included some articles on motivation. Check it out and give me feedback.

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