• An Overview of Improving Workplace Performance

        Motivational Theory and Ideas

        Alignment of aims, purpose and values between staff, teams and organization is the most fundamental aspect of motivation. The better the alignment and personal association with organizational aims, the better the platform for motivation. Where people find it difficult to align and associate with the organizational aims, then most motivational ideas and activities will have a reduced level of success.

        Motivation is a complex area. It's different for each person. Nudge theory is an example of a powerful change-management concept which emerged in the early 2000s. It's extremely helpful in understanding, teaching, and to a degree managing the ways that people's thinking and decisions are influenced by indirect factors, rather than direct pressure.

        Motivational receptiveness and potential in everyone changes from day to day, from situation to situation. Get the alignment and values right, and motivational methods work better. Motivational methods of any sort will not work if people and organisation are not aligned. People are motivated towards something they can relate to and something they can believe in. Times have changed and people want more. You should view the following motivational methods and ideas as structures, activities as building blocks, to be used when you have a solid foundation in place. The foundation is a cohesive alignment of people's needs and values with the aims and purpose of the organization.

        • Different Motivational Theories and Models

          This section focusses on the various motivational theories and models described by leaders in business and management.

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            How important is salary in motivating employees? Frederick Herzberg acknowledged the complexity of the salary issue (money, earnings, etc), and concluded that money is not a motivator in the way that the primary motivators are, such as achievement and recognition

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            Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is an important model in understanding the motivational factors which influence our everyday lives. Maslow's ideas promote the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfil their own unique potential (self-actualization), are today more relevant than ever.

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            Quiz

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            Vroom's expectancy theory separates effort, performance and outcomes, while Maslow and Herzberg focus on the relationship between internal needs and the resulting effort expended to fulfill them. How to use needs and motivators to fuel productivity and satisfaction among employees.

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            Gamification is a buzzword that has become increasingly prevalent in today’s business world. Companies such as Cisco, Uber, and Duolingo all use gamification to help them achieve strategic business objectives. But what is gamification and where does it come from? The word gamification starts to show up around 2010 on Google trends and it was initially defined as the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems. However, gamification has not been stagnant and the definition has developed over the years with the most commonly cited focusing on the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.

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            Author, presenter and career analyst Dan Pink examines the unusual puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers do not: traditional rewards are not as effective as most people think. He instead presents alternative solutions to motivate and improve performance.

        • Using Motivational Theories to Improve Performance

          This section focusses on the application of the afore-mentioned motivational theories to improve performance within the workplace, at a team or an individual level.

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            Douglas McGregor first proposed his famous XY Theory in 1960 to help people develop a more positive management style.

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            David McClelland talks on the three types of motivation: achievement motivation, power motivation and affiliation motivation. 

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            Charles Handy - organizational and social development guru, Motivation Calculus theory, and modern ideas about work, fulfilment, globalization and life purpose.

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            John Adams put forward his theory on motivation in 1963 which extends beyond the individual self and incorporates influence and comparison of other peoples situation.

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            Nudge theory is a flexible and modern change-management concept for understanding of how people think, make decisions, and behave; helping people improve their thinking and decisions; managing change of all sorts and; identifying and modifying existing unhelpful influences on people.

            Nudge theory was named and popularized by the 2008 book, 'Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness', written by American academics Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein. The book is based strongly on the Nobel prize-winning work of the Israeli-American Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Nudge theory is a highly innovative, effective model for change-management.

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            Motivation is often best explained by reference to real examples.

        • Employee Engagement
          This topic focusses on the engagement of employees with the goals at hand, and how to keep individuals motivated and working towards a single target.
        • End of Course Quiz

          This section contains the end of course quiz - a test of the progress you have achieved throughout this topic.