Employee Motivation - Kick in the Pants

Give Employee Motivation a Kick in the Pants!

Frustrated with hiring employees who only seem to be motivated when you kick them in the butt? You are not alone!

Last night, I overheard a waiter sharing with guests at the next table that he really wanted to be an architect but he wasn’t very good with math. “My brother got all the math brains,” he said. So he dropped out of school until he could find a degree or a job that didn’t require a lot of math.

I hear that same rationale a lot these days. Everyone seems to have an excuse why they can’t get a job, can’t get ahead, can’t get a promotion. Here are just a few of my favorites:

“I’m not very good with computers.”
“I don’t see why everything needs to change so fast.”
“I’m too old to learn that.”
“I’ve already tried and it didn’t work.”
“The economy is terrible here.”
“I would have to move and start over.”
“It doesn’t pay me to work.”

And the list goes on…and on. In fact if you want to see 101 excuses like this, click here.

For many workers (and even managers and small business owners), I’ve got some breaking news: Average is officially over.

From this point forward it will be tough to be an employee who receives good wages with just average skills. You might say it will be impossible with mediocre skills.

Now before you go ballistic again, I am not implying that many workers are unskilled, avoid responsibility, or lack motivation. For sure, many people are working two or more jobs, staying in jobs they hate, borrowing tuition to complete school or acquire certifications. The problem is that output does not guarantee outcomes.

Making the effort to better oneself, putting in long hours, and acquiring a degree or certification sometimes are not enough.

The digital divide is disappearing. Sooner than later every person on earth will have the opportunity to be the proud owner of a smartphone which puts each person a few clicks away from access to success.

Please note – I didn’t say clicks away from success. I said access to success. Easy success promises are the property of junk emails, get-rich-fast websites, and late night TV.

The major divide between access to success and real success will be motivation. More specifically, acquiring a job or career will require self-motivation as opposed to someone kicking you in the butt and presenting opportunity on a silver platter.

The excuses above are indicative of what’s wrong with many workers today. Working hard and going into debt for a degree doesn’t guarantee a job. Sadly it doesn’t even guarantee an education!

(As an aside, that sucks because educators, bureaucrats, parents, and even employers sold a lot of people on that premise – get a degree and you have a job for life and the middle class lifestyle that comes with it.)

For sure, many people are disadvantaged. Poverty, lack of shelter, discrimination, and just bad luck are all real circumstances that alter life’s journey and/or keep people mired in misery. Hundreds of thousands of people are literally oppressed. They encounter the ugly face of discrimination every single day. If they had any luck at all, it would probably be bad.

But for some, opportunity knocks and they fail to answer the door. It is sometimes easier to use income, education, color, age, and gender as rationalizations to avoid looking within than acquiring new skills, both technical and life skills, and making changes. As Pogo said, “I see the enemy and it is I.”

We’re now in an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have merged. The “high-wage, middle-skilled” job that created our massive middle class for the past half-century has all but disappeared. Many average Americans learned to live a relatively comfortable middle-class lifestyle with average skills. Most of those jobs are gone for good. In today’s globalized hyper-connected fast-changing world, the only high-wage jobs will be high-skill jobs. And even many of those jobs are in jeopardy.

Soon no one will care what you know. They will want to know only what you can do with what you know.

To be in the middle class today, workers will need to be constantly improving their skills over their lifetime. To do that, they will need a lot more self-motivation.

Until recently self-motivation was considered an intangible – something that an employee had might or might not have. It was even harder to measure. But the Quality of Motivation Assessment, based on decades of research, uncovers the motivational skills that differentiate top performers from laggards, the productive from the counter-productive, the skilled and competent from the ineffective and inefficient.

What’s the Quality of Motivation like in your company, on your management team, in your workforce? Do you have employees who can fly on their own or will you need to keep dangling the carrots and kicking them in the butts?

Click here to learn more about raising the Quality of Motivation in your business or complete the request form below.