motivation and being positive

Well, I was thinking maybe a good thing to use at home too, I was doing a course the other day on motivation and how to get the best out of your employees and I thought maybe this could also work for me and how to get the best out of me especially in the house and when I feel down due to the stress I am finding in my live outside of work. Esp around the EHCP for Kai and getting him into Secondary school.


Well the presentation went like this


This presentation looks briefly at some of the research that has been carried out into improving organisational performance through motivation.

What do we mean by motivation?

One definition of “motivation” is internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.


The primitive view of carrot and stick may have made the donkey move, but today the use of the physical or psychological stick could lead to serious legal repercussions and the carrot may have enticed the donkey but a different carat would be needed to entice a prospective fiancé!

In essence personal conscious and unconscious factors affect the outcome, including:

  • the intensity of desire or need,
  • incentive or reward value of the goal,
  • expectations of the individual and of his or her peers.

One of the most influential models and theories which has become a significant influence in the study of these factors and motivation is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The model is usually presented in a pyramid format for five basic needs. Some representations of the model contain up to three other levels, these levels do not appear in the original model but have been added by people who have inferred the levels from Maslow’s later work.

Although Maslow’s model was never presented by him as a pyramid, this has become the accepted format because the higher levels cannot be serviced until the lower levels have been met. So the lowest level is a bedrock foundation upon which each level is built. Conversely, if you cannot fulfil the needs of a level, the levels above will become irrelevant. This Hierarchy of Needs is not static, it is in a constant state for flux.

  • Self-actualisation is realising personal potential and self-fulfilment
  • Esteem – achievements, independence and status
  • Love/belonging encompasses the work group, family, relationship
  • Safety needs include security, law, limits and stability
  • Physiological and Biological needs include food, water, shelter warmth; they are the basic human needs.

    The first four, esteem, love, safety and physiological levels, are deficiency motivators whereas self-actualisation is a growth motivator which is rarely achieved. Preventing someone satisfying the first four levels is usually a cause of stress. For example, if someone is having marital problems (Level 3) you cannot expect them to hit their sales targets (Level 4).

    The model is not a ridged structure it needs subtlety. For example a restaurant chef being given time off to help at a homeless persons’ kitchen not only satisfies belonging and esteem needs but may also be achieving level 5 self-actualisation needs.

    There is increasing realisation among employers that success for organisations are those that genuinely care about their staff by helping them achieve personal-growth and Level 5 of Maslow’s model.

    The theme of self-actualization or personal-growth has been explored further by Fredrick Herzberg. In his influential Harvard Business Review (HBR) article “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees”. Although published in1968 it was reprinted in 2003 as an HBR Classic, it is one of the most influential papers on motivation HBR has ever published.

    Herzberg set out to determine the effect of attitude on motivation and found people who felt good about their job gave different responses to people who felt bad. He found certain characteristics of a job are consistently related to job satisfaction but different factors are associated with job dissatisfaction. The slide shows these markers. Herzberg labels Dissatisfaction factors as Hygiene factors. It is interesting to note that many of the satisfaction markers correlate to the fourth and fifth levels of Maslow’s theory.

    He emphasises that the opposite of Satisfaction is not Dissatisfaction but No Satisfaction and that the opposite of Dissatisfaction is No Dissatisfaction. In other words removing something that causes dissatisfaction does not necessarily result in satisfaction, it can merely mean there is no dissatisfaction. For example, if you give someone a promotion in a hostile working environment it will not necessarily result in satisfaction. Eliminating dissatisfying factors may result in a “peaceful” work environment will may not necessarily increase performance.

    These distinctions are important in developing a motivation strategy.

    The table above is the correlation of 12 different investigations, many carried out in the US but also some from countries like Finland and Hungary. The results of individual studies were basically in-line with the correlated results.

    From these studies it appears that a two step policy needs to be adopted to improve staff motivation.

    The first step is to Eliminate factors causing job dissatisfaction, the hygiene factors. There include:

    • Fixing poor and obstructive company policies.
    • Provide effective, supportive and non-intrusive supervision.
    • Create and support a culture of respect and dignity for all team members.
    • Ensure that wages are competitive.
    • Build job status by providing meaningful work for all positions.
    • Provide job security.The second stage is to create conditions for job satisfaction. Herzberg suggests examing a job and finding ways to “enrich” that job and this is achieved by:
      • Providing opportunities for achievement.
      • Recognizing people’s contributions.
      • Creating work that is rewarding and that matches people’s skills and abilities.
      • Giving as much responsibility to each team member as possible.
      • Providing opportunities to advance in the company through internal promotions.

    • Offering training and development opportunities, so that people can pursue the positions they want within the company.

    The ultimate goal is self-actualisation and it is implicit that most people strive for this, but it has to be accepted that self-actualisation is a personal concept which is influenced by a multitude of external factors. The organisation must perform a dynamic and delicate balancing act to ensure the needs of the organisation are achieved

    Whilst salary can be a factor, because it enables us to satisfy our basic human needs, it is only one of many that employers need to satisfy. Offers of health care, bonuses and other benefits have, in the past, have been part of the motivation arsenal, but for many employees these “carrots” have become standard parts of a rewards package. Herzberg believes the aim of the employers is to find more imaginative ways to help employees achieve self-actualisation as a means of motivating staff and improving production.

    Herzberg’s work is not without it critics, the main criticism is that it assumes a correlation between job satisfaction and productivity and he has not explored this in his article . However the influence of his theories upon subsequent work infers there is merit in his theory.

    I will try to add my slides later,

    One thing I really feel has helped me was SBI





    One I find useful at home is don’t blame listen, look around another is offer advice and take the advice. these can be used at home as well as in the office.

    Be positive, I feel I have been negative at home and positive at work so need to take a leaf out of this book. What could I do better, Ie why do I get angry get better at being positive and do things better. Like at work when diagnosing issues.

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