We are all different, with different needs. What motivates one person will not work for another. Some crave power while others prefer money. Some want constant praise while others want to be left alone. In order to have a healthy work environment and happy and productive employees, it is crucial for managers to determine what motivates individual employees. Ninety-nine percent of emloyees are motivated by one of the following seven needs:

1. The need for achievement. These employees want the satisfaction of accomplishing projects successfully and the ability to exercise their talents to attain success they seek. They are self-motivated when the job is challenging enough, so provide them with the right work assignments and they will excel.

2. The need for power. These individuals are satisfied when influencing and managing others. They like to lead and persuade and are motivated by positions of power and leadership. Give them the opportunity to make decisions and direct projects in order to keep them from going somewhere else where they would have the opportunity to do so.

3. The need for affiliation. Interacting with others is crucial. They enjoy people and find the social aspects of the workplace rewarding. Motivate them by giving them opportunities to interact with others: promoting teamwork, projects, group meetings…be creative in how they can be involved.

4. The need for autonomy. These employees thrive on freedom and independence. Allow them to make their own choices as much as possible, including setting their own schedules within reason, and the opportunity to work as independently as possible. If they can achieve the same goals by a different means, let them prove themselves.

5. The need for esteem. They will excel with recognition and praise. Give them significant feedback and public recognition, not just during appraisal time but regularly.

6. The need for safety and security. These employees crave job security, a steady income, health insurance, and a safe work environment. Provide predictable work with litle risk or uncertainty. Don’t the majority of us want that?

7. The need for equity/fairness. Bottom line, they want and need to be treated fairly. They probably compare work hours, job duties, salary and privileges to those of other employees–and will become discouraged if they perceive inequities. Fair and trustworthy treatment will reap outstanding rewards for you and your company!

Be quick to praise and slow to criticize. The result will be evident in your company and in the bottom line.

 For more great articles on professional development, see our blog atwww.transformationacademy.com.

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