| Motivationally Speaking | | | How Full Is Your Bucket? |
Authored by: Amanda Cook
Authored by: Amanda Cook
Motivating Your Team What motivates you? What drives you? Is it money, need for achievement, hunger for rewards, or the simple pleasure of a job well done? Everyone has their own criteria for motivation, and in a management position you must be able to customize the motivating factors to empower the whole organization. Motivation is defined as the process by which behavior is mobilized and sustained in the interest of achieving organizational goals. (Dubrin 114). When an employee is motivated, they expend the effort toward reaching an outlined, attainable goal.
This management principle is based upon the book called “How Full Is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. The premise of the book is motivation by management to employee and employee to another employee. This can be implemented easily by organizations both large and small with little or no cost increases. The full bucket metaphor states that each individual has a bucket always being filled or emptied depending on the interactions that we have. Others may fill the bucket if it is a positive encounter or dip into it if it is a negative interaction. Research is suggests that each interaction can affect relationships, productivity, stress management, health and even longevity of life! In turn, each of us has our own dipper. We can choose to fill others buckets or empty them. By filling the buckets of others, ours is filled too. Full buckets feel fantastic. Employees are full of energy and positive emotions and become empowered. When the bucket has been emptied, it drains motivation, positive outlook, and undermines the common goals. There are people at work that are naturally positive or naturally negative. One might assume that this is a personality trait when in fact it can be active disengagement in the workplace. Negative daily interactions can have a cumulative effect, simply wearing on the patience, enthusiasm and confidence of the employee. This causes active disengagement which is highly contagious. One negative person can spread that energy to coworkers, management, customers, family and friends making everyone less positive. These types of people are often called bucket dippers. It drains the morale of the workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor, the number one reason people leave their jobs is that they do not feel appreciated. It is not pay, benefits, 401k contributions or job titles. Individuals who receive regular recognition and praise increase their individual productivity, increase engagement among colleagues, are more likely to stay with their organization, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job (Rath and Clifton 17). When employees are recognized at work, there is a sense of empowerment, loyalty and responsibility to the organization. Negativity in the workplace is harmful to the team environment, health of employees and is quite expensive. Evidence suggests that it costs the US economy anywhere between $250 and $300 billion dollars in lost productivity alone (Rath and Clifton 21). These numbers did not include factors such as workplace injuries, illness, turnover, absences, and fraud; these costs can be combined for over one trillion dollars per year. This problem is not specific to just the United States but exists throughout many countries, industries and organizations. Management should know that praise is rare in most workplaces. It should be genuine, since employee of the month means nothing if one person is awarded it over and over. Even worse, if the award is given to everyone, that last employee is wondering what took so long. No workers have reported an overabundance of