During the lectures of the Management 3.0 courses, we always ask: what motivates your work teams?
A common answer is “money”, “salary”, although those are less and less usual. And they are partly right that money is important, but in contrast it is completely mistaken that money is a good motivator for workers.
Do you find familiar the following scene? You are working in a project which deadline was promised without taking into account the team, or you have accepted changes without modifying the deadline. In any case, we have a project to deliver in the deadline that we promised that means a challenge and a manager (Project Manager, Team Lead or CIO/CEO) appears and says “If we finish this project in time, there will be a bonus”. The team obviously does utmost to complete the project for the agreed date and finally achieves it. Everybody gets a bonus and the team celebrates!
New projects come and we face the challenge of finishing a project for a deadline that is difficult to achieve. At some moment, someone in the team asks: “Is it going to be a bonus for this project?” and what happens if the answer is “No”? Well, the team gets discouraged, we now have a factor that was a motivator before and that now becomes a demotivating factor.
In fact, as Daniel Pink explains in his book Drive, money is important in the sense that workers should earn enough that money is not a concern. Besides money, that well managed can be an extrinsic motivator, there are also intrinsic motivators that reflect value and passion. Those can be much more powerful than the extrinsic motivators.
From Management 3.0 we propose a model to manage motivations both in the work context and in the personal life: CHAMPFROGS or Moving Motivators. This model is based on the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and in the mix of both. The motivational factors suggested are the following:
- Order: There are enough rules and politics for an stable environment.
- Curiosity: I have a lot of things to investigate and to think about.
- Acceptance: People around me approve what I do and who I am.
- Honour: I feel proud that my personal values are reflected in how I work.
- Goal: My purpose in life is reflected in the work I do.
- Status: My position is good and recognized by the people who I work with.
- Mastery: My work challenges my competences, but it is still within my capacities.
- Freedom: I’m independent of others with my own work and responsabilities.
- Power: There is enough space for me to influence what is happening around me.
- Relationships: I have good social relationships with people at my job.
We propose a personal reflection exercise. It is about organizing from left to right the factors that inlfuence our professional and personal motivation, to the left those that influence us most and to the right those that influence us less. It is not that those factors at the right do not motivate us at all, it is simply that there are other elements that influence us more in our motivation.
This exercise demands a time of introspection and connexion with your desires. It allows you to have a very graphic and simple idea of your own motivational elements. Afterwards you share with your workmates the order of your cards. This way, the exercise allows us to know each other better and to consider other visions and inlfuence and modify your own. It happens more often than you might think: once you have listened to your coworkers sharing their motivations, you change the order of some cards. It is not about “those are my motivators, and if you don’t like them I have others”, but that by hearing the thoughts of your companions we think about our personal motivations and ourselves.
Afterwards, as responsible of the Scrum Masters department, I used this exercise so the team would know the motivations of the rest of the department, as well as each of them within their work team.
Other usage that turned out to be very useful was while on recruitment interviews, as in a 10-minute exercise we could know the motivations of each candidate. Because there is no motivator better than another, this is not the typical test in which candidates can adjust the result to like the interviewers. Eventhought it worked really well for us, in the community there are cases that this same exercise didn’t work well.
More recently, some students during a training they experimented with a different usage: the the responsible of the team suggested that they would tell him which 3 elements they thought were his motivators.
If you want more information about how to use them and to obtain a copy of the same, you can find them in the Management 3.0 website and in this video (RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us).