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Why Carrot-and-Stick Motivation No Longer Works
Guest articles > Why Carrot-and-Stick Motivation No Longer Works
by: Lisa Earle McLeod
How do you motivate people?
A leader’s job is to create the conditions whereby a motivated person can excel.
It’s counterintuitive because leaders have typically been told that their job is to motivate their team. Yet a growing body of social science evidence suggests that typical workplace carrot-and-stick motivation techniques are superficial and provide short-term results, at best.
With the estimated $350 BILLION a year lost to disengaged people, motivation is a hot topic for leaders.
Workplace expert Susan Fowler says, “We think that because people need or want money, that’s what motivates them.” Fowler, the senior consulting partner with the Ken Blanchard Companies, says the latest research indicates that people don’t understand the nature of their own motivation. Fowler says, “When they are unhappy at work, they ask for more money. They yearn for something different—but they don’t know what it is—so they ask for the most obvious incentive: money.”
Fowler says that money is filling our psychological need for competence, and it’s a measuring tool. But it does not sustain long-term motivation.
In her new book, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work . . .and What Does, Fowler argues that leaders still depend on traditional carrot-and-stick techniques because they aren’t aware of their alternatives.
The new science of motivation, says Fowler, “is that human beings have an inherent desire to thrive, people want to make a contribution, people don’t want to be disengaged, but they haven’t had the words to describe these drives.“
“Motivation,” she says, “is one of the most vital and essential aspects of leadership and one of the most confused and misunderstood.
Why the big disconnect? Fowler says, one reason is that leaders depend on their observations of external behaviors and conditions to evaluate their employees’ motivation. Unfortunately, many leaders are not perceptive observers, nor are they wise interpreters of what they see.
In her Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work, Fowler outlines five mistaken beliefs that erode workplace engagement:
Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership consultant. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces. She the author of several books including Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud, a Wiley publication, released Nov. 15, 2012. She has appeared on The Today Show, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She provides executive coaching sessions, strategy workshops, and keynote speeches.
More info: www.mcleodandmore.com
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Copyright 2015 Lisa Earle McLeod. All rights
Contributor: Lisa Earle McLeod
Published here on: 05-Apr-15