(2-minute insight)

A person’s happiness and success at work is partly determined by how well their core motivators are being met. As we know, times have changed considerably in the past year or so. Many people are still having to work from home and that comes with its own set of challenges and distractions. Combine this with the continual global uncertainty, performance levels are prone to dropping through a decrease in motivation. Where our behaviours can change over time, our motivations are much more fluid and can change every few weeks/months. For example, those of us who were highly motivated by financial reward prior to the pandemic, taking into account furlough and redundancy concerns, may find themselves now more motivated by job security or working with others.

In London alone 44% of employees under 35 years old say that a lack of motivation has been hindering their performance at work since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 according to research. The study of over 1000 British employees, carried out by YouGov, reveals that the performance of younger workers (under 35 years old) is twice as likely to be impacted by a lack of motivation than that of 45-54-year olds (22%), and significantly more likely to be impacted by a lack of motivation than the average for all age groups (28%)

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Motivators are often overlooked in favour of skills and behaviour, and this can be detrimental to a person’s and company’s performance. Motivation is the fuel to the furnace of success, without it, performance dwindles and can even burn out. People are not, by default, passively inclined. We all have inherent needs and desires inside and outside of our work. The truth is, because many people aren’t even aware of what their core motivators are, they can be difficult to express, even to themselves! Getting a good grasp of a person’s core motivators using Motivational Maps® will, in turn, drive and increase performance.

In Motivational Maps®, there are three elements to performance:

DIRECTION – Where a person or the company is heading. Not knowing this results in passive, floundering behaviours e.g. ‘going round in circles.’ Going against the grain of our motivators will result in failure over success.
SKILLS – This also extends to knowledge, competencies and abilities.
MOTIVATION – The driving force, the why we do what we do.

If motivation underpins performance, what then underpins motivation?
This also carries three elements:

Personality – Who we are.
Self-concept – Beliefs about ourselves, people and the world around us.
Expectations – Our beliefs about future outcomes.

Here is how the founder of Motivational Maps®, James Sale, describes these three elements in his blog:

Our motivations are critically linked to our internally focused beliefs and our externally focused beliefs. In short, our beliefs, per se, play a staggering role in our motivations or lack thereof. Thus it is that if we want to improve our performance in any area, we need to consider what we believe about self and about the external environment in which we operate. It is no accident that the word ‘confidence’ comes from the Latin root, ‘con’ meaning ‘with’ and ‘fidence’ meaning faith.

So ‘with faith’ or ‘with belief’ underpins all motivation, all performance, and so all achievement. The question we then have is: How as coaches, mentors, consultants, leaders, managers and so on, can we effectively change our beliefs, internally and externally, to create optimum performance?

The irony cannot be lost. To achieve the results we want in the real world, we have to enter the nebulous realm of un-being – belief!

James sale, motivational maps® founder

To summarise, motivation is not just important to performance, it is key! The more our motivators are understood and met, the higher our performance levels.