Jun
07

They Don’t Get It, Do YOU?

by  Jonathan Moss  |  Leadership Development
They Don’t Get It, Do YOU?

The Golden Rule for Businesses has been proven by Science.

We use science every day to save lives, invent revolutionary products and services that change the world.

The Wheel. The Nail. The Compass. The Printing Press. The Combustion Engine. The Telephone. The Light Bulb. Penicillin. Contraceptives. The Internet. 

Basically, how you get places both physically and directionally.

  • The buildings where you live and work.
  • The way you communicate with people that aren’t in the same room.
  • Medications that fight disease and sickness.
  • What you are reading this article on right now.

If we have changed the world through science, businesses should revolutionize the way they operate based on science.

The Problem

Most businesses care about profits, shareholders and the thoughts of Wall Street more than serving their people. Business leaders sacrifice people for bonuses compared to the military where soldiers get medals when they sacrifice for others. When you ask anyone in the military why they don’t think twice about running into the line of fire to save someone’s life the response is always, “Because they would do it for me.” I would argue that this type of “serving others” culture would make any businesses more successful.

Gallup’s engagement study shows year after year that there is barely any movement in engagement across their sample size of 1.4 million people, 192 organizations, and 34 nations.

120 years worth of research done by Edward Deci and Judy Cameron show that Intrinsic Motivation increases engagement by 300%. Their studies show a very weak correlation between salary and job satisfaction. Similar results were found when comparing pay to pay satisfaction. The studies show this isn’t limited to just one part of the world, it is a global issue. Whether you are in the top half or the bottom half of the pay structure, there are similar levels of satisfaction.

How can you achieve intrinsic motivation?

Purpose and Fulfillment

Purpose and Fulfillment come from leaders investing time and energy into their people. “If you don’t know people, you don’t know business.” People are relying on you as a leader to look after their sons and daughters like they are giving them away. You have to love them, but you can still discipline them. Understanding what is important to them, what inspires them, what is their why, and what their emotional triggers are is crucial in motivating people intrinsically. Showing them how their work contributes to their personal motives and the business’s purpose. Investing time in your people and having an environment where people feel safe (“I do it because they would do it for me”) will lead to everyone’s fulfillment.

Happiness Advantage

Investing time and energy in your people will allow for you to increase the Happiness Advantage. Happiness is often on the wrong side of success. The Happiness Advantage has proven to increase productivity by 31% and sales by 37%.

Eliminate Incompetent Leaders

Incompetent leaders are the biggest cause of disengagement in organizations. As a manager, it’s your personality and your ability to make decisions that will have a significant impact on whether your employees are engaged at work or not.

Incentives of Choice

Allowing your people to work for something greater than money. Set up a consistent rewards program for your people to earn free items of choice, such as travel, merchandise, and charitable donations. Using the carrot and stick method only provides a short term lift in performance. The behavior may happen, but once rewards are eliminated the behavior returns to prior performance. In order to have sustainable behaviors, the reward must be constant. Think it about it like hotel or credit card points; every time the employee does something, they earn points towards something of their choice.

Serving Others and Eliminating Stressors

Costco created an environment of serving others and eliminating a stressor that allowed people to perform at their best. They paid their people better than anyone in their industry and their leader James Sinegal visited almost every location annually. The more people focus on their salaries the less they focus on satisfying their intellectual curiosity, learning new skills, and having fun. All things that help people perform at their best. Costco’s stock price since 1983 has increased 1200% where the S&P has only increased 600%.

Creating a movement to evolve managers into leaders and help businesses make investing time in their people is my priority. I would love to discuss this mission or anything that is on your mind. 

Have you ever seen a manager evolve into a leader? What made the evolution occur?
Photo Credit: 123rf/kraft2727

About The Author

Articles By jonathan-moss
Jonathan is an Innovative & Thought Provoking Leader with experience in multiple Fortune 50 companies. He has dedicated his time to making an impact on others through coaching, mentoring, inspiring & teaching. He has helped others grow their businesses & careers through his strategies. He believes in the Servant Leadership philosophies & has helped build employee centric cultures with award winning results.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

John E. Smith  |  07 Jun 2016  |  Reply

Hi, Jonathan:)

I really enjoyed this post.

Your observation about the difference between sacrifice in the military and in the regular work environment really caught my attention. I have not seen the concept of servant leadership so clearly delineated until now.

The problem of moving from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation was clearly shown to me last evening as I participated in a learning event with over a hundred leadership and learning professionals. These are people who are unusually engaged in professional development activities and are curious learners.

As we moved through a long discussion, the issue of intrinsic vs. extrinsic came up. While many favored intrinsic motivations as I anticipated, I was struck by how many also made quite the case for extrinsic motivation. I expect they might revise their perceptions if they read your comments around Deci and Cameron’s research.

A “300% increase in engagement” is hard to argue with …

Thanks for a useful and well-written article.

John

Jonathan Moss  |  07 Jun 2016  |  Reply

John,

Thanks for the comments and feedback on the article!!!! I couldn’t agree more!

It is interesting that there are still people that believe extrinsic is the most effective type of motivation.

People just have to ask themselves, would I sacrifice money for the betterment of my friends and family or sacrifice my friends and family to make more money?

Embedded in the questions lies the answer to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Everyone’s situation is different but I guarantee the vast majority will answer that they would sacrifice money to see their friends and family prosper and be healthy.

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