Guest blog by Dennis Bridges, MBA

I recently had a discussion with a client about Role Clarity and employee satisfaction that lead to the topic of how to motivate people and increase buy-in. 

What motivates people is a question that’s posed in many a context, from the justice system to the consumer market.  The answers to the question are often generalized or regarded as immensely complicated in any given context, but it is such an important thing to try and understand about the people who make up your organization as any answer that carries some truth is extremely valuable.  It must be acknowledged that this shouldn’t just be asked with respect to employees but also, and more importantly, with respect to you, the business owner.

So what are some of the possible answers in the context of an organization?  All too often people restrict themselves to money, yes, money is certainly a motivator, but for many people it’s a smaller part of the equation than you might think.  I’d like to focus on two of what I believe to be two of the most underrated answers to this question of motivation, ownership, and acknowledgement.

When I say ownership I’m not talking about an equity position.  I’m talking about responsibility and control.  Giving someone the reins of a project and saying “I need this done and you’re the expert so I want it to be your baby”, can be a great motivator for that person to excel and feel a much more powerful sense of accomplishment and involvement with the company.  It’s as simple as giving people more responsibility and ownership over their daily tasks, and it frees up more of your time.

Acknowledgement stretches from something as simple as thanking someone for emailing you back so quickly to adjusting their job title to something that more accurately reflects their role in your organization or asking them to have a conversation with someone before you hire them because you think he or she is an important part of your organization.

What motivates you?   We’d love to hear from you.   Comment below….

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