Motivation is the key to performance improvement
There is an old saying you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink; it will drink only if it's thirsty - so with people. They will do what they want to do or otherwise motivated to do. Whether it is to excel on the workshop floor or in the 'ivory tower' they must be motivated or driven to it, either by themselves or through external stimulus.
Are they born with the self-motivation or drive? Yes and no. If no, they can be motivated, for motivation is a skill which can and must be learnt. This is essential for any business to survive and succeed.
Performance is considered to be a function of ability and motivation, thus:
· Job performance =f(ability)(motivation)
Ability in turn depends on education, experience and training and its improvement is a slow and long process. On the other hand motivation can be improved quickly. There are many options and an uninitiated manager may not even know where to start. As a guideline, there are broadly seven strategies for motivation.
There are broadly seven strategies for motivation.
· Positive reinforcement / high expectations
· Effective discipline and punishment
· Treating people fairly
· Satisfying employees needs
· Setting work related goals
· Restructuring jobs
· Base rewards on job performance
Essentially, there is a gap between an individual’s actual state and some desired state and the manager tries to reduce this gap. Motivation is, in effect, a means to reduce and manipulate this gap.