Once Again: Just How Do You Motivate People?

You know you have a talented group of people working for you. You may have personally hired some of them or seen their excellent work in other teams. But all of this talent is meaningless if you cannot raise the bar and motivate people to produce their best work ever, for you and your team, right now.

When people feel inspired to live up to their full potential, companies thrive. There’s a positive shift in the work environment, and the resulting culture boosts morale and productivity.

When you inspire motivation, you’ll see the following advances at work:

• People come up with new ideas about how to solve your company’s most pressing problems.

• People get along well and collaborate in teams to create new ways of doing things that can revolutionize the marketplace for your products and services.

• People work with boundless energy, giving their time, enthusiasm and drive to forward the company mission.

• Even during challenging times, your people remain steadfast and loyal.

• People take pride in their work and feel responsible for the company’s future.

If you’re a manager or team leader whose employees exhibit such behaviors, you work under ideal conditions. When such energy is evident, truly great things can happen.

But what if, like the results of the Gallup Organization’s study of engagement at work, some of your people are not fully dedicated to their jobs? What if one-third of your team members are simply going through the motions, showing up but withholding energy?


The full 2000 word article is based on the book Motivating People for Improved Performance, a collection of timely articles from Harvard Management Update and Harvard Management Communication Letter, part of the Results-Driven Manager Series (2005, Harvard Business School Publishing).

Here are the concepts discussed in the full article:

A Paycheck Isn’t Enough
Is Motivation an Inside or Outside Job?
Helping People Find Meaning at Work
8 Career Anchors: What Matters Most
Strengthening Personal Qualities
Fostering Commitment Beyond the Job
Open-Book Management Style
9 Steps to Creating a Alibata Great Workplace


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