What motivates you? Money? Power? Flexibility? Why do some things motivate you, and other things de-motivate you? As a supervisor, why would it be useful to know this about your employees?
Obviously money is a necessity which satisfies Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory of safety. It is an essential need which motivates each and every one of us to get dressed in the morning to go to work to pay the bills. Although it is an essential motivator to satisfy our physiological and safety needs it does not motivate us to be productive while at work. Just having a job to go to is sometimes not enough for some of us.
I personally would have to cite power and flexibility as a motivational factor for me to be productive at work. Power is the sense where I have the autonomy to make my own decisions on how to satisfactorily complete my job using my own methods. Flexibility is determining how to proceed with my own sense of completing the required tasks at hand to satisfy my employer and more importantly to myself. How is this motivating? This establishes a flow in the workplace. My skills are being used to appropriately match the challenges of the job. The activities of the job are rewarding in and of itself and I lose a sense of time while undertaking these activities because I actually feel a sense of enjoyment while accomplishing a task. There is a lot to be said of the commonly known phrase of “whistling while you work”. A happy employee is a productive employee.
On the other side of the coin, a de-motivator would be a job assigned to me that lacks a challenge. A no brainer activity would dull my senses to the point that I would probably be looking for another job while performing the low significant job task.
It is important as a Supervisor to understand and to know individual differences of your employees. What makes them tick? Get to know them. People do not perform all jobs at the same intensity level and it is because not all people are motivated by their personality traits to fit into the jobs that they are assigned. Assigning work task requires that a supervisor is aware of an individual’s specific talents necessary to perform the job.