Summary of Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work...and What Does

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Drawing on years of extensive motivational research, consultant Susan Fowler explains how managers can unleash the employees’ maximum potential without resorting to a mindless carrot-and-stick approach that creates more problems than it solves. When it comes to motivation, she explains, conventional approaches don’t work. She offers an optimum motivation approach you can use to help your employees reach higher levels of satisfaction and performance. getAbstract recommends Fowler’s iconoclastic ideas to leaders, small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs who are ready to move beyond traditional motivational techniques.

About the Author

Susan Fowler, the lead developer of The Ken Blanchard Company’s optimal motivation program, has more than 30 years’ experience as a leadership researcher, consultant and coach in more than 30 countries.



The Two Types of Motivation

Managers worry about how to motivate employees, but they should not waste their energy. All people, including your employees, already are motivated. The question is: What specifically motivates each individual and what motivates your workforce? And while you’re asking, try three more essential questions: How deep is your employees’ motivation? What is the quality of their motivation? And what is the nature of their motivation?

Look for two types of motivation: In the first, people are motivated to do something because they must do it. It’s their job, or they are motivated to win a reward. Their egos drive them. They want to come out on top. The second example of motivation is when people want to do something. Their values inspire them. They have an admirable purpose. They want to excel, grow or learn.

The Carrot-and-Stick Approach

Managers can use this insight to unleash their employees’ maximum potential without resorting to a mindless “carrot-and-stick approach.” Watch how this dichotomy plays out: Say one salesperson works overtime to win a contest, secure a bonus and have others see him...

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