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Focus On Behavior(Detecting Motivation Problems:)

Motivation is not something that we can directly see. That is the major reason why it is so complex. Instead, we observe a situation and notice that some action, tasks, or behaviors that should have occurred, have not occurred. Frequently, we call this a “motivation problem.”

Like a detective, we must be aware of clues which hint of a “motivation problem” in an employee. These clues are behaviors.

Focusing on behaviors has several advantages:

o Behaviors are observable; they require only our attention-not complicated psychological analysis.

o Behaviors are objective; they are not easily open for mis-interpretation.

o Behaviors are measurable; we can count how many times a certain behavior occurs.

o Behaviors are specific and concrete; not abstract like the concept of motivation.

Begin by asking yourself, “What is he not doing? What behaviors, actions, or tasks should she be doing?” Be as specific and precise as possible. “He is not doing it the way he is supposed to” or “she is not committed” or “she has a bad attitude” are not specific behaviors. State the problem in terms of behavior.

Behaviors That May Indicate A “Motivational Problem”

As we have said, instead of focusing on the abstract and complex concept of motivation, go right to the behaviors from which we suspect the “motivation problem.”

Motivation problems can be suspected from such behaviors as:

o Reduced quantity of work output.

o Reduced quality of work output.

o Extended lunch and break times.

o Frequent tardiness.

o Frequent absenteeism.

Motivation Worksheet 1 – (Take a few minutes to answer these questions.)

1. What behaviors indicate “a bad attitude” or “no commitment” in an employee?

2. Think of a particular unmotivated employee that you currently know or have known in a previous position or job. What specific behaviors did this person exhibit (or not exhibit) that leads you to believe they have a motivation problem?

3. List behaviors that you demonstrate when you are feeling unmotivated to do a task?

Selecting “Motivated Employees”

It makes our job of motivating employees much easier, when we start with employees who are “highly motivated.” In other words, motivation comes easier. when we have the “right person for the job.” The “hiring of motivated employees” is a selection decision. Make sure you identify the job-related skills a candidate possesses by thorough questioning. In this way, the job skills an employee possesses can be matched with the job skills required for success on the job. When a match occurs, we can feel confident that the person is the best candidate for the job.

In fact, a job candidate that was motivated to learn these key identified job-related skills in the past, will be motivated to use them, and learn additional skills, in the future. Detecting Motivation Problems,All personnel selection decisions are based on the theory that how a person performed in their past job predicts future job performance in a similar job-a job candidate motivated to perform in the past will most likely be motivated to perform in a similar situation in the future. Aim to improve motivation among the workforce by selecting job candidates who demonstrate job-related skills required for success with your company. The selected employee whose job matches their skills will show motivation to do a good job, a greater liking of their job, and a longer stay at their job.

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