I recently read an article by Fredrick Herzberg that I found really interesting: “How Do You Motivate Employees?” In my experience as an employer, I see time and time again how employees complain about finances and look forward to pay raises. However, at the end of the day, I find it a little more difficult to pinpoint the reasons that some staff members stay in for the long haul and others leave.
Sometimes on the surface it does seem to be the pay rate that retains or loses an employee. However, when I look past the surface, there usually seems to be some deep intrinsic reason why the employee feel connected or not connected to their work. I’m hoping that I can use the knowledge in this article to find creative ways to challenge my employees to take responsibility for their work and make it their own so that they can come to the gym motivated and excited to do their job.
When Frederick Herzberg researched the sources of employee motivation during the 1950s and 1960s, he discovered a dichotomy that stills intrigues (and baffles) managers: The things that make people satisfied and motivated on the job are different in kind from the things that make them dissatisfied.
Ask workers what makes them unhappy at work, and you’ll hear about an annoying boss, a low salary, an uncomfortable work space, or stupid rules. Managed badly, environmental factors make people miserable, and they can certainly be demotivating. But even if managed brilliantly, they don’t motivate anybody to work much harder or smarter. People are motivated, instead, by interesting work, challenge, and increasing responsibility. These intrinsic factors answer people’s deep-seated need for growth and achievement.
Herzberg’s work influenced a generation of scholars and managers—but his conclusions don’t seem to have fully penetrated the American workplace, if the extraordinary attention still paid to compensation and incentive packages is any indication.
What are some of the techniques you use to keep your coaches challenged and enthusiastic? Let me know in the comments below!