Are You Fully Committed To Motivating Your Employees?

In today’s business climate, it takes a lot more than money to motivate employees. In fact, when asked what motivates them to go the extra mile, money wasn’t even at the top of the list for many employees.

In a recent TED Talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely shared three non-monetary factors that positively influence workplace performance:

1) The meaningfulness of what we do.

2) The acknowledgement by others about what we do.

3) The difficulty of what we do—the harder it is, the prouder we are of it.


From a TED Talk website article, here are a few non-monetary motivational tips you might want to try in your organization.

Non-Monetary Team Motivators

Offer The Promise Of Helping Others – Presented properly, this can be extremely motivating to employees.

University of Michigan psychologist Adam Grant ran a study placing two types of signs at a hospital’s hand-washing station. One read “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases” and the other “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.” At the stations with the signs mentioning patients, doctors and nurses used 45 percent more soap or sanitizer.

It only takes some creative thinking for leaders to show how the team’s work is benefitting someone, from other team members to the public at large.

Present Positive Body LanguageBody language speaks as loudly as verbal feedback when it comes to influencing motivation.

Harvard University students gave speeches and interviews where experimenters either nodded and smiled or shook their heads and crossed their arms. When later tested, the group with the positive reinforcement answered numerical questions more accurately than the other group.

According to the study, this is because the students who saw positive body language believed they could handle the situation while the other group felt more discouraged—even if either group didn’t consciously know it. Leaders should pay close attention to be sure they’re sending the appropriate messages through their body language.

Allow Emotion-Producing Pictures – Hiroshima University students performed a dexterity task before and after seeing pictures of adult or baby animals. Both situations created better performance, but there was an additional ten percent improvement after students saw images of cute puppies and kittens.

Researchers call this the “cuteness-triggered positive emotion” and believe it helps us improve our motivation and performance on tasks that need close attention.

We at Authentic Leadership International ( can help you master a variety of ways to effectively motivate your team to greater achievements.

Practical Tips to Stay Motivated

The article “How To Stay Super Motivated” offers some additional suggestions for motivation that can be practiced personally by leaders and team members.

  • Truly commit yourself to personal excellence regardless of what others around you are doing.
  • Spend two minutes every day reminding yourself of the “why” of what you are committed to.
  • Believe that you are unstoppable – and tell yourself this again and again.
  • Congratulate yourself on your successes every night, even the small things. This sense of achievement will improve your drive and motivation, says the article.

Bolder Moves BONUS Tip: You already know accountability is a key leadership quality, so don’t forget to hold yourself accountable when it comes to staying motivated. Being accountable can help you deepen your understanding of yourself and your team, achieve bigger goals more effectively, and stay focused even when challenges inevitably pop up.

No matter how you generate it, motivation is a key factor in obtaining high-quality, success-building results.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including motivational tips and tactics to generate more success? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

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