I recently stumbled on a talk about motivation by Dan Pink. It was quite a revelation. Science says that rewards and incentives are actually demotivators. But business continues to use rewards and incentives as motivators.

Pink has discovered that what actually motivates is autonomy, mastery and purpose.

If you look at what thought leaders and literature is telling us about the current climate you’d have to agree that this is what we need right now.

How can we achieve these motivators?

Autonomy: trust your people and see what they deliver. Listen to what they say and give them the opportunity to test their ideas. Give them clear parameters and let them fly.

Mastery: train staff in things that will challenge them and push them into their learning zone. Accept that you may loose them to better jobs. But they may stay with you and repay your investment in them

Purpose: have a clear organisational strategy that is devolved through departments right down to individual action plans. Let your people develop their goals in line with your strategy and build a bottom up approach to achieving your goals. Ensure inclusive decision making.

See Dan Pink’s TED Talk here