Principles of Motivation

Goals are an integral part of the motivational process and tend to structure the environment in which motivation takes place. The environment in which we find ourselves is many times the springboard to the overall motivational process. An employer may be fortunate enough to accidentally step into a high-energy motivational environment. On the other hand, one may find oneself in an environment that is not at all conducive to motivating others, and thereby, it is very difficult to attain any desired goals. If this is the case, a need to make a change in the physical environment or possibly even make a change in the work atmosphere (i.e., allowing more independence of individuals in the decision-making process) may exist.

The changing of the environment may not affect all individuals in the same way. It has been said that there are three certainties that can be stated regarding people. Those certainties are, "People are unique, people are unique, and people are unique!" Since people are unique, what motivates one person may be demotivating to another.

If as a motivator, one has the responsibility of trying to motivate an individual or group, he/she will need to address their motivational needs. Employees fall along a continuum— some need little motivation from anyone, and others need constant attention. It is unrealistic to expect all of them to achieve a desired level of expectations. The quality of leadership will be the determining factor of success with these workers.

Why are some leaders more motivational than others? What are the unique talents that these dynamic leaders possess? Some people believe that these individuals were born to be leaders. Most of us believe not that they are just born leaders but that they are individuals who possess a set of talents and have chosen to develop those talents to the maximum.

These talents are developed because they have the burning desire (goal) to become leaders and those desires motivate them to learn the necessary skills.

To be a successful motivational leader, there must be some sort of plan that will get the individual or group from point A to point B. This plan should include the desired goals and objectives, levels of expectations, mechanisms for communication, valuative procedures and techniques for reinforcement, feedback, rewards, and incentives. Any motivational plan is a dynamic tool that must be flexible enough to address changes, which may occur over a period of time, and take into consideration the universality of people and situations. These plans can use a variety of techniques and gadgetry to facilitate the final desired outcomes or performances, which lead to a safer and healthier workplace.

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