Motivation at work is a key element to running a successful business and being successful in your career. To be able to maximize production, performance and results, everyone involved has to be motivated to achieving the best possible outcomes. There are two main ways to create motivation, either by avoidance or desire, more commonly known as the carrot or stick approach.
The Avoidance Approach
Avoidance (or the stick approach) is about moving away from the negative, doing what is needed to prevent something unwanted from happening such as the fear of missing a deadline or fear of failing to produce a clients order as requested. This approach relies on having a fear of the outcome in order to invoke the fight or flight response, which in turn stimulates cortisol and adrenaline levels. Higher levels of these hormones help focus the mind and body to find a solution to avoid the negative outcome. This approach can be very effective for urgent situations and short term problems but can have unwelcome consequences if used too often or for too long a duration. Staying in this state of being for longer periods can lead to stress and anxiety. Although stress in healthy levels can be beneficial to motivation at work, long term exposure can have negative consequences, such as burnout and other health complications, and can result in an unhappy working environment.
The Desire Approach
The desire (or carrot) approach is all about aiming towards desired outcomes, rather than about what is wanted to be avoided. This approach is all about positive goals with good results the wanted outcome, such as achieving a highest ever level of output within a certain time or attracting new clients. These goals when reached, give a rewarding sense of achievement. When these positive feelings of success are experienced, they can be more readily imagined and felt which can provide motivation at work for future success
Understanding the different approaches of motivation at work can be useful when selling your ideas to customers, clients or even to your boss. Individuals who tend to say ‘I don’t want’ tend to be motivated by avoiding negative outcomes, whereas the person who more often says ‘I want’ is motivated by the desire to achieve positive outcomes. Being aware of these traits in others can give you the advantage at work; knowing how to best motivate them. Awareness of the avoid or desire approach will also help you to better understand how you work and how you can better motivate yourself in different situations.
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.