Motivating People STILL Doesn’t Work

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20 copies available!!

Leave a comment on this guest post by Susan Fowler to become eligible to win a copy of Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does. (20 copies available.)

Deadline for eligibility is 05/22/2023. Winners outside the continental US will receive an electronic version.

Motivation is at the heart of everything people do - and everything they don't do but wish they could. Image of bird taking flight.

Motivating People STILL Doesn’t Work:

Everything has changed, but one thing remains true. You still can’t motivate people. But you can apply groundbreaking insight into human motivation to address the new realities of hybrid work, retention, and quiet quitting.

Ironically, many techniques for motivating people today erode optimal motivation. Take a disturbing trend: the proliferation of incentivizing everything imaginable with tokens and badges. External rewards have been empirically proven to thwart the three psychological needs required for productivity and thriving: choice, connection, and competence.

A post-COVID global study cited three primary reasons why people left (or wish they could leave) their jobs. Notice how their reasons directly relate to their unmet psychological needs!

  • Need for autonomy and flexibility (choice)
  • To avoid a toxic culture and seek meaningful work (connection)
  • Opportunities for learning and growth (competence)

You can begin mastering motivation by practicing three leadership capacities that help fulfill people’s need for choice, connection, and competence.

Encourage choice:

  • After defining boundaries, explore the options available within the boundaries.
  • Ask people how they feel about the choices they’ve made.
  • Help people identify the choices they have. Sometimes recognizing they have a choice is all it takes to make the right one.

Deepen connection:

  • Align people’s work with their work-related values every day.
  • Engage in valuable conversations. People may be able to regurgitate the organization’s values without ever considering their own work-related values.
  • When you shift your focus to what you want for people, you are more likely to get the results you want from them.

Build competence:

  • Ask people to identify the skills they have to help them achieve their goals.
  • Discuss potential skills they could gain by pursuing their goals.
  • Focus on learning goals, not just outcome goals.

These leadership competencies help ensure people’s optimal motivation so they can succeed and flourish simultaneously.

What opportunities do you have every day to promote people’s psychological need for choice, connection, and competence?

Susan Fowler is CEO and founder of Mojo Moments, Inc., a global network delivering cutting-edge, empirically sound leadership development solutions based on breakthrough motivation science. Susan is the bestselling author of six books, including co-authoring Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager with Ken Blanchard and Master Your Motivation. Her bestseller, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … And What Does, was translated into 14 languages with an updated second edition available in May 2023.