Pursue What Matters
Episode 84: Motivation and Creating a Change Culture
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Motivation can be a pesky animal. What motivates some team members will definitely not work for others. So what what do you do? Are you left to reward everyone with gift cards and money when you need something done? Not so fast?
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:37
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the pursue what matters Podcast, where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work, ah, motivation, it can be hard, right? Because what motivates one person will not motivate another and I think, you know, the question of motivation is one for the ages, it’s so darn challenging. So today, we are going to try and tackle it. And let’s see how far we get. So we are going to focus on motivation and creating a change culture. And actually, there’s some really great research out there to guide us. So we are not just scrambling around in the dark, there’s actually some really great guidance. So hopefully, you will have a little more clarity about what to focus on and how to really utilize motivation and create a change culture. Because Wow, how you focus your efforts can make all the difference for your team and your organization.
Dr. Melissa Smith 1:41
And, of course, every week with the podcast, my goal is to help you pursue what matters, and to strengthen your confidence to lead. And I try to do that in one of three areas, leading with clarity, leading with curiosity, or leading and building a community. And so this week, that is primarily in two areas. So that’s the focus. So first of all, in leading a community, because, right, like you gotta you got to have a team, in order to progress and motivation is all about working together as a team. And so we’re really going to be focusing on leading a community. And then the second primary area is really leading with clarity. And you’ve got to have clarity about what matters most. And that is key to motivation, and motivating people and motivating your team so that you can, you can do work that matters. So that’s what we’re going to be focusing on.
Dr. Melissa Smith 2:44
Okay. So a few weeks ago, I did a podcast on rewards. And, and so I will link to that episode in the show notes. And of course, rewards are a function of extrinsic motivation. And so there is definitely a place for extrinsic motivation and rewards in the workplace. Because, you know, most of us can’t get people to work for us for free. We need some extrinsic rewards in place to create the desired change we want. But as much as possible, when you are looking at creating change, you really want to fuel that change with intrinsic motivation, not extrinsic motivation. And so that, of course, is what we will be focusing on today in our podcast, and So first, let’s take a look at the difference between these two types of motivation. And so first of all, you know, motivation is the reason you do something. And when we think about extrinsic motivation, it is doing something for a reason, other than your internal desire, or enjoyment of the activity, or sense of purpose.
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:58
So, extrinsic motivation is focused on the outcome, the result and what you get as a result of doing the work. So, what is the outcome of the work rather than the pleasure of the work itself. And so, I will link to an article This is from Burkus in Psychology Today, and I will link to this in the show notes. And so, you know, an example of extrinsic motivation is a paycheck. So a lot of us work for a paycheck, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? Like there is certainly a place for extrinsic motivation. But here’s the thing about extrinsic motivation, it can require a lot of work on the part of leaders. It can require a lot of oversight, a lot of follow up. And in order for extrinsic motivation to work, it must meet three key elements.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:58
So this is based on the work of Psychologist, Victor Vroom, isn’t that a cool name? So this is psychologist Victor Vroom. So in order for extrinsic motivation to work, it must meet three key elements. So the first is expectancy, so the team member must believe that an increase in effort will yield an increase in performance. So if I work harder, my performance will get better. So that’s expectancy. Second is instrumentality, so team members have to believe that an increase in performance will be noticed and rewarded. So if I, if my performance improves, then right, like my boss is gonna notice and is going to reward me right like with higher pay, or, you know, some other reward that I value. So that’s instrumentality, and then third is valence team members must have to actually want the reward that is being promised. So I, when I think of valence, I think of value like is the reward that is being offered, valued by the team member. And sometimes we think the reward is valued, but it’s not. And so let’s just think about these three elements. And you know, especially in a knowledge, economy, extrinsic motivation falls short all the time. And so putting in more time doesn’t necessarily translate into higher performance, like, I’m sorry to tell you, but that is often the case. And then the other thing about especially a knowledge economy, if your work is very dependent on the work of others, and you increase your output, that others don’t increase their output, then you’ve maybe just received the short end of the stick. So you know, like, when you’re really dependent on the work of others, like project based work, team base work, and then you know, sometimes you actually might get punished for increasing your output or your workload. And so, and extrinsic motivation doesn’t always work very effectively, given the nature of some work, plus, what motivates you doesn’t necessarily motivate your colleague or another team member. And so we sometimes assume that money is a big motivator for all people. And that is just not true for many people.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:39
And so, that is, that’s a little bit more about extrinsic motivation. And for sure, some of the challenges and limits of extrinsic motivation. And, again, you can link in the show notes to my podcast, on rewards. So I think the title is, are you rewarding the wrong behaviors, because that is really focused on extrinsic motivation. And again, there is a place for it, and you want to pay attention to it. But as I’ve just talked about, there are definitely some challenges and some limits.
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:15
So now let’s turn our attention to intrinsic motivation. And of course, that’s what we’re really going to be focusing on is motivation and creating a change culture. So intrinsic motivation is doing something for the pleasure or purpose of the work. And I think purpose is really, you know, the key here. So you enjoy the activity itself. So we think about intrinsic to the task of so for the love of the work, for the love of the game, right? Like we’ve probably all heard that term. So you do the activity because you enjoy the work, you know, even if you didn’t get the paycheck. And there are plenty of people that do that all the time. I mean, one of the best examples are entrepreneurs, right? Like they can even go into a great deal of debt, in seeing an idea through, because they’re so passionate about the belief, they’re so passionate about the product. And you know, we think about artists, we think about writers, we think about other other professionals who have this intrinsic drive this intrinsic motivation and purpose around the work. And so it’s you know, I think we have a lot of examples actually, around that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:38
And so, what can you do, right, if we think about you, as a leader, thinking about you, whether that’s an organization, a team, and connecting team members to vision, mission and purpose is powerful and thinking about how you can inspire them to engage and so when we think about enriching intrinsic motivation, much less energy is required of leaders. But what’s what the focus is with intrinsic motivation is it’s all about culture building. So it’s really important work. But it’s it’s doesn’t require the kind of oversight and energy that is required of extrinsic motivation. And I think it’s the most important and powerful kind of work, because it’s purpose work. It’s purpose driven work, it’s being the bridge between the daily work and why we do this work. So what what we understand from the research is that, you know, you cannot necessarily increase another individual’s intrinsic motivation. And go ahead, go ahead and try it. Like, I’ll wait here. Well, while you try that. So I think that’s something certainly I learned years and years ago as probably as a trainee. And in my clinical studies, that there were oftentimes, and this might, this might sound a little bit strange, but like, I can’t want something more than someone else. Like, if I’m working with someone, whether it is a leadership client, or a clinical client, right, like, I can’t want something more than they do. And because I’ll just like, I’ll be too invested, I might not, I might not have great boundaries in that case. Or I might just, I might, I might put myself on an emotional roller coaster in those situations, because what is true, is that I, like I can’t, I can’t pour my motivation into someone else. I mean, it would be really great if I could, and because what I would say is, I tend to have a ton of intrinsic motivation, just I think it’s just something that, that I kind of have within me, I’ve kind of always been like that. But it’s not something that one person can give to another.
Dr. Melissa Smith 12:28
And so sometimes, you know, if you notice with either family members, or with colleagues, you know, it can be very easy to just feel frustrated and be like, why aren’t they more motivated, and you got to watch yourself on that, because, of course, that attitude is not going to be very helpful. And so while you cannot necessarily increase a team members intrinsic motivation, what you can do, and this is what we’re really going to be focusing on, is you can create an organizational culture in which it is more likely that team members will be intrinsically motivated by the work.
Dr. Melissa Smith 13:12
Okay, so I want, I want you to pay attention to that. Because Do you see how the script is flipped? A little bit there? Right? So you cannot increase someone else’s intrinsic motivation? But can you create a culture in which, in which someone is more likely to connect with their own intrinsic motivation, because of the nature of the work? Now, that is pretty cool. And it’s, it doesn’t, it’s not dependent on what the work is. It’s, it’s based on how you how you create the culture. So this is why we’re talking about motivation, and, and change culture, because how you, how you create your culture, and the change agent that you can be, makes all the difference. And so this is powerful. And the best organizations do this. And there’s, you know, there’s, there’s nothing hidden about it, but it’s powerful. And so let’s jump into these, these.
Dr. Melissa Smith 14:30
So solutions to help you create a change culture, where people have a strong, intrinsic desire to, to, to do powerful work, right. So we’re really focusing on creating change that is fueled by intrinsic motivation. And so I want to introduce To you, the job characteristics model. So this is research that has focused on job redesign, that helps to create work that actually leverages intrinsic motivation. And so that’s exactly what we are talking about, right. So what kind of what kind of work environment helps to leverage intrinsic motivation. And, and what this research has come up with is a five factor model. And with this model, motivation is one of the most significant factors where if you, if you, if you can really set up a work environment that hits along these five characteristics, whoo, you are going to really be able to leverage intrinsic motivation. So you can increase your team members intrinsic motivation, but you can leverage it so they can harness their own intrinsic motivation. And it’s because of the culture that you have created. And so there are three core characteristics that are really the foundation for, for really getting this in place. And so the three core characteristics, and these are our solutions, right? So the five factor model are five characteristics, they are also our solutions today. So the, the solution one is also characteristic. One is skill variety, solution, two, which is also characteristic two is task identity. Don’t worry, I’m going to explain all of these. And then solution three, which is characteristic three is task significance. Okay, so I’m going to talk about these three core characteristics first, because these three really lay the foundation and then we’ll talk about the other two.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:04
So characteristic, one is skill variety. And that is very simple. It means exactly. What it sounds like is you got to have variety, in your skills. So think about that. When you think about your organization, is there variety in the kind of work that people are able to do? And what are the ways that you can create variety and so sometimes you got to be creative about that. But that makes a difference. And that helps to leverage intrinsic motivation.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:39
And then solution two or characteristic two is task identity. And so can a team member see how a task is related to a final outcome, so such as a final product or a finished project. And so it’s so important for people to see the whole process, even if they’re only part of, you know, even if they’re part of only one small step, to be able to see the whole picture really makes a big difference? And so what can you do to make sure that task identity happens. So seeing how a task is related to a final outcome is really important and helps to leverage that intrinsic motivation, like, I’m part of something important here. I’m like, I helped build that. That’s pretty darn cool.
Dr. Melissa Smith 18:35
And then solution three, which is characteristic three: task significance. Now, tasks, significance is similar to task identity, but it is really thinking in terms of impact. So can team members see how their work impacts the lives of others. And so that’s what I that’s what you really want to think about? Can they see how their work impacts the lives of others. And so those are the three core characteristics. If you can build those characteristics into your work and into your organization, you’re really going to help harness the power of intrinsic motivation. And then those three core characteristics are multiplied or diminished by two other characteristics, okay, so think about these two next characteristics as multipliers or dividers that either help intrinsic motivation. Take off, right and just explode in growth or bottom out. And so, solution four also characteristic four is autonomy, and solution five, also characteristic five feedback.
Dr. Melissa Smith 20:01
Okay, so let’s talk about autonomy, it is the freedom to choose how and what to work on. And I think we all know that, like, we’ve got to have some ability to, to be able to choose how we do our work. And that that’s important. So we don’t want to feel like we’re robots, and that we don’t have any flexibility in that. And so autonomy really matters. And so the less autonomy you have at work, and then the more that becomes a diminisher, of the three core characteristics, right. So that’s how that works.
Dr. Melissa Smith 20:44
And then of course, solution five are also characteristic five is feedback. So the degree to which team members have the feedback they need to progress in their work. So the more feedback that team members have to grow in their work, the more intrinsic motivation is leveraged, and the more it takes off, the less feedback team members have. Then intrinsic motivation just bottoms out. And I just did a podcast that included component on feedback. And so you can check that out that was on performance improvement. So I will link to that, as well. So you can have a little bit of a refresher on feedback. I also did a full podcast on feedback. So I will link to that podcast as well. So those are the five characteristics. So skill, variety, task identity, tasks, significance, autonomy, and feedback, those taken together. Team members that have these five characteristics present, are more intrinsically motivated.
Dr. Melissa Smith 22:04
And so as a leader, you are the bridge between the daily work and the organizational mission. And so right, you got to start with why so give your people a compelling reason to get behind the mission. And right, here’s the thing, you better have a mission. If you don’t, stay tuned, because at the beginning of the year, I’m going to be helping you with that on organizational vision and mission planning. So that’s really important. Because if you don’t know who you are, and why you exist, why would anyone want to work for you? So we got to, we got to have some clarity about that. And as a leader, one of your most important jobs is to connect the work to purpose, you, you really are the bridge between purpose and daily work. So you need to help your team members see why what they do matters. You help them see the big picture. And I really think this might be your most important role as a leader. And I don’t think that’s understated. I actually think it’s really important. Because if you don’t it, right, like, if you don’t create a culture and a compelling reason for them to be there, then they’re going to leave. And why why do you exist? Why do you exist at all? And change culture happens from the top right, it is not your responsibility alone, for sure. But and you, you know, how you bridge that gap between the mission and the daily work really matters, your language matters, and your willingness to talk about how their work matters. makes all the difference.
Dr. Melissa Smith 24:04
And so hopefully, this was helpful for you this job characteristics model, I think it’s a really helpful way to think about motivation, right? We can’t pour our motivation into someone else. But there are excellent ways that we can leverage intrinsic motivation and set up a change culture. And that is that is what we are after. And it’s exciting. I love it. So make sure you head on over to my website to check out the show notes with the resources for this episode www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-84 one more time, that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-84 I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai