What Do You Think Motivates Someone To Work In Your Business?

Richard Shrapnel's 'What Do You Think Motivates Someone To Work In Your Business?'.

In motive lies strength but the wrong motive disperses and neutralises anyone’s real strength including that of your business.  What motivates someone to work in your business is critical to its performance.


Active Knowledge Questions:

Do you pay attention to the motives that draw people to your business? Moreover, do you understand the impact that different motives will have on their performance?


In Motive Lies Strength

What gives someone the courage and determination to achieve goals that others could not even imagine? Put simply, the secret to their achievement lies in their motive. A motive that has led them to succeed where many others would not even try.

Call to mind an outstanding athlete that you admire and consider what inner-engine allows them to get out of bed every day and repetitively train and compete. That inner-engine is their motive and the source of their ‘get up and go’.

Of course, there are many levels of achievement and many motives that can empower someone. There is not one motive that everyone can latch onto to underpin their performance and success. Motives are personal, and I think unique in their DNA for each of us.

The impact that the right motive will have on any individual does, however, share common traits.  Your motive must provide you with the energy to get up and move. It must provide the courage, determination and focus to overcome all and any challenges that may emerge. The greater the task, likely the greater the challenges and therefore the stronger your motive must be.

Purpose and motive are not necessarily the same, but they do need to be in alignment. Purpose typically seeds motive, and there are right and wrong motives. The right motive magnifies and compounds your strength to succeed. The wrong motive disperses and neutralises that strength.

As individuals, we need to set, protect and control our motives if we are to achieve our full potential. They set the ceiling to our success. Do you ever reflect on how your motives influence your behaviour?


In Business Motive Is Also Everything

In business, motive is also everything. And if the right motive is not established and defended by leadership, the business will never achieve what is possible. Leadership does set the pre-eminent motive within their business.

Every person who joins your business does so with a pre-existing motive, and you want to ensure as far as possible that it is the right motive. The right motive is one that strengthens the competitiveness of your business.

People often join a business because of its reputation in the marketplace and what working for that business will do for their career. While this attraction can be a significant advantage for a business, it can also be its death knell.

Do you want people joining your business for what they can learn and take away from it? Or would you prefer to recruit people who can contribute and add to your business?

Am I working for your business because of what I can get from it or because of what it allows me to contribute into and be part of? You may consider this difference subtle because everyone contributes and takes away, but their underlying motive can make a vast difference in where their focus lies.

The pivot point is ‘purpose’. The purpose for which your business exists influencing the purpose for which I join your business. Remember purpose seeds motive. 


Purpose Seeds Motive

If your business was founded and exists for a cause (purpose) to which I can connect and has meaning for me as an individual. Then contributing to and being part of that purpose can become my driving motive.

I am no longer working for you for what I can take away but for what I can be part of. The opportunity to join into a meaningful cause can be compelling and draw the best out of everyone working in that business – working with the best at their best.

Any business can and should exist for a meaningful purpose to which people can connect and relate – any business. But businesses do not exist to profit or better expressed as profiteer. And this is where most businesses falter when it comes to purpose and seeding motive.

They have forgotten their purpose (reason) for existence and substituted a profit-first motive. They create an existence around making as much money as they can and therefore created a culture of self-interest, politics and short-termism. Everyone is there for what they can take away for themselves.

And through this motive, the competitive strength of the business is neutralised and dispersed.

As a business leader, re-birth the purpose for which your business was founded. That purpose lies in the customer need that you saw and sought to fulfil. And through that purpose, you will seed a motive that everyone can contribute to and be part of. And from this foundation, the competitive fitness of your business will lift to an entirely new level, and the profits will follow.


 An entirely new level of performance.

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All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel