Let’s Work Together – Motivation Through Work Design

Motivating people is a many-headed challenge. The notion of money as a motivator that works in the company’s interest has been shown to be a lot less effective than we have previously believed. Financial measures remain popular as a relic of the days of a WEIRD focus on society. With the end of WEIRD, new leadership behaviours and measures are needed. Transformational leadership has been touted in many forms as a way to move from financial, transactional models of motivating into one that addresses recent changes in society. A fundamental element of these models is that the leader should “see” their followers. Some of our clients struggle with this and ask our advice.

Evidence shows that a focus on transformational behaviours leads to increased workplace commitment and organisational performance. From our research and experience, SYNAPSE believes that “seeing”, in the form of looking at people and acknowledging them is an important first step in breaking down barriers and confirming a followers worth. But there are limits to this somewhat passive form of “seeing” and, having been acknowledged, the employee will expect a tangible follow-up. Drawing from their own research, SYNAPSE promotes a concept of workplace design that describes a range of responses in the areas of task design, socialisation, intellectual stimulation and the working environment.

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