The Motivation Iceberg is a simple, clear model that shows how different motivators drive different kinds of performance. It helps managers, leaders, parents, educators – anyone concerned with motivating others – consider how to use their emotional intelligence to fuel lasting motivation… and it’s especially important when people are working remotely or in times of change and challenge.
Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of motivation and get a FREE worksheet on choosing the right motivators to get the results you want.
What Drives Star Performance?
One of the central challenges of managing and leading is to inspire and engage — to motivate — people to optimal performance.
People are paid to do their work, and eventually should lose their jobs if they don’t meet expectations. But in most roles, in most organizations, star performance requires a higher level of engagement — a commitment that goes beyond the paycheck. This is especially visible in remote-work situations when not one is “standing over your shoulder,” why work? That extra commitment is called “discretionary effort” because it’s at the employee’s discretion. They give that extra because they want to — because they feel like it. True leaders are able to inspire that feeling. As FedEx founder Fred Smith said, “Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated.”
As we consider “motivating employees,” we can divide the work we want to achieve in two basic categories of outcomes:
1: Basic, task-oriented, behavioral work
Showing up on time. Filing required reports. Making the required number of calls. These tend to be prescribed, tactical, and easily measurable.
2: Knowledge & creative work
This category is more about the quality of the employee’s work. We want them to care for customers. To innovate new solution. To give their all. To trust and be trustworthy. To show up and do their best in the middle of a pandemic… to do their best even when no one is watching.
Basic work can be done without any particular human spark (and is easily automated); people do it because they need a paycheck. But when we want to influence knowledge/creative work, it’s not just a “behavior” we need, but a quality… heart… passion… something unique… the typical, transactional carrots and sticks actually undermine this kind of motivation.
Managers that rely on the old-school, transactional methods will fail to get full value from people – and in difficult situations, such as remote work, performance will plummet.
Different people, and different situations, require more nuanced and intentional understandings of motivation. Fortunately, these are MEASURABLE, and so even in a context like remote work during a pandemic, managers can learn to engage their own and their people’s deeper drivers.How can you inspire a level of engagement that goes beyond the paycheck? It starts with understanding how you’re trying to motivate, because different motivators drive different levels of engagement.Click to tweet See How Your Org Measures Up With This Free Worksheet