by Paul Matthews


Employees’ lack of motivation is often blamed as the cause of poor results, and it is equally as often said that it is part of the manager’s job to provide motivation.

So how do you, as a manager, ‘provide’ motivation? It is not something you can wrap up in a parcel and give to people. It is not a thing. So what is it?

Motivation seems to be situational. That is, the amount of motivation a person has to do something depends on who they are, the situation they find themselves in and what they make of that situation.

This means that you have some points of leverage to affect motivation.

  1. You can change ‘who’ someone is by changing their beliefs, values and identity. Easier said than done, but still possible!
  2. You can change the situation they are in.
  3. You can change the way they perceive the situation they are in.

What sorts of changes affect motivation and do those changes work the same for everybody?

This topic aims to take some of the mystery out of motivation and explain why what motivates one person may not motivate someone else. It gives you some tips on how to motivate yourself and some guidance on how to motivate others.

Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to the complexities of motivation, but there are many, many things you can try until you find out what works best for your own particular situation.

  • How strong is your desire to find out more?
  • How motivated are you to get some answers on motivation?

Just stop and think about those two questions for a moment, and consider:

  • How do you know what your level of motivation is?
  • What is causing it?