Overwhelmed Managers – part 2: Swamped by different motivations

Within my engagements on supporting teams and management, people often ask me the same questions: How can I motivate my team? How can I engage them more for the product? How can I influence their motivation?

Managers believe, it is easy to influence other people. They only need to incentivize favorable behavior and suddenly team members are more motivated and will do their best.

Motivation is not one-dimensional

Managers need to look beyond such a one-dimensional view. Motivation can have different faces. And we all know the two easiest distinctions: Extrinsic and intrinsic. But even within this two categorizations, we can look into more granular sources of motivation:

Extrinsic Motivation can have the following different sources:

  • Instrumental Motivation – This is the foundation, Managers and Organizations usually use for their bonus or performance appraisal systems. It describes the motivation when expecting a specific reward. According to Dan Pink science has shown, that motivating instrumentally works mostly for routine and mechanical activities. If activities require the slightest cognitive challenge, this motivation won’t work.
  • External Self concept – The expectations of the environment on the individual is motivating us. A good example is a player in team sports, who is playing out of the usual position in the team. Even the position is not what this person is most comfortable is, he will still give the best because the others would expect it from him. Your team member engages in activities, but he might not be as motivated as we wish. High engagement with low motivation can lead to individuals easily burning out.
  • Goal Internalization – Companies would expect, that their team members are motivated automatically by goal internalization. With this motivational source our behavior is driven by the goals the company has set. A Quality Manager for example wants to improve the quality of the products.

Intrinsic Motivation

Also Intrinsic Motivation has different sources, which Managers in a company want to speak to:

  • Intrinsic process – This is a motivational source, which defines our activities and behavior because we have fun in it. This is what Dan Pink would describe, why we do stuff even when it is unpaid. We play music in order to learn at our own pace (Autonomy), in order to have fun (Purpose) and in order to become better (Mastery). We do certain activities, because we like to do it and we can’t even explain why.
  • Internal self concept – This source drives our motivation because of our unconscious beliefs. It guides us by our own standards, values and goal in our life.

We all want our team members to be motivated by intrinsic motivations. It speaks unconsciously to the individual and already matches with what the person believes in. Unfortunately, we do believe, that with using instrumental motivation (extrinsically), the individuals would get motivated instriniscally.

CHAMPFROGS for understanding motivation

Jurgen Appelo (author of Management 3.0) believes, that in order to speak to the internal process and self concept, we would need to understand this person. He developed the CHAMPROGS Model, which describes those values with 10 different motivational drivers. CHAMPFROGS is the acronym for Curiosity, Honor, Authority, Mastery, Purpose, Recognition, Order, Goals and Status. He mentions, that this motivational drivers are not black and white. Any individual would have a priority of those drivers. Playing Moving Motivators might help Managers to understand those.

One important motivational source is he external self-concept. Often managers and organizations do not know how to address that within their team. Therefore we will discuss this in our next blog article. Stay tuned.

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