Article (September-2019)


What motivates your employees?

Dr. Aparna Sharma

Designation : -   Board Member, Thought Leader

Organization : -   Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker, Mumbai


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I will never forget an interesting example that my head hunter friend shared with me a few years ago. While taking a brief from a potential client, she looked at him in the eye and said something that really took him & later me by surprise. "Actually, Rahul, more than anything, it's crucial that you find me a Scorpio."

I thought she was joking with him but she was being completely serious.

She then added, "We need a bit more bite around here. It's hard to motivate a team of obsessive Virgos while I'm such a dynamic Piscean"!

This incident has been on my mind since then & I have been reflecting on my own experiences. While heading HR for different organisations, hiring the right people who gel well with the culture & have the right mindset across levels was the number one goal for the HR team as it is the first step towards building an effective organisation.

Creating an effective team environment is vital for any business to succeed. There's really no opportunity for personality clashes, and there's no way that a business will achieve its targets if, for whatever reason, the team are not motivated.

How can we ensure that we are engendering the right culture within the organisation? How can we keep everyone motivated?

Motivating different personalities can be incredibly demanding. Whilst most teams comprise of very different personality types - all of whom require sophisticated and delicate handling to ensure we maximise their full potential, understanding what motivates these different personality types will not only make you a better manager, but will encourage your employees to be the best versions of themselves at the workplace.

Reward and recognition whether it be through financial incentives, training and development or potential promotion and career advancement, are all important considerations as you create (and maintain) an effective team environment.

Should you find yourself in a position where you are bringing new people into your business, it is important that you take into consideration the personality and characteristic differences that may already exist within your team, or else you may inadvertently create a situation ripe for conflict. And whilst workplace conflict is both common and inevitable, unnecessary tension inside any business can be incredibly de-motivating!

While many of us assume, money is the biggest driver for success, scientific studies show that financial rewards can restrict creative thinking & halt performance. In fact, emotions have a strong hold over an individual's desire to achieve, you can successfully inspire each of your employees by identifying and understanding their different personality types.

Isabel Briggs Myers identified 16 personality types with the help of Carl Jung called MBTI or 16 PF which is a widely known & used personality test.

The table below shows the 8 basic preferences of how people perceive the world around them and make decisions. 16 combinations are possible out of these & hence the name, 16 PF.

Here's how six (6) of these types work, along with a few tips to motivate them.

1. The Visionary -

Visionaries want to analyze, understand and influence other people. They enjoy challenging ideas and love intellectual banter. They get very excited about new projects but then lose interest in routine aspects to seeing the project to completion. Visionaries are often vigorous debaters and may get carried away with always being right.

Motivate Visionaries by telling them it can't be done (they'll want to prove your wrong). Then step back and give them free reign to solve the problem. Encourage them to approach tasks in an unstructured way, placing few limitations on their ingenuity.

2. The Healer -

Healers are imaginary idealists, guided by their own core values and highly concerned with their own & others personal growth. They are interested in the larger good of the organisation, thereby its employees. They are loyal and adaptable. Motivate Healers by tapping into their creative mind and then pushing them to find an alternative approach to the problem that has not been thought of before.

3. The Provider -

Providers are warm hearted with a strong sense of responsibility and duty towards others. They are sensitive to the needs of others and are often the caregivers in the group. They prefer to work in a harmonious and co-operative environment. Motivate Providers by showing them how their job will improve the circumstances of others. In the job itself, provide them with plenty of structure and organization as they respond best to work that allows them to follow through and see results.

4. The Supervisor -

Supervisors are hardworking, keen to be in charge, are orderly, rule abiding and conscientious. They are not interested in theory or abstract ideas unless they can see how it applies to the task at hand. They are practical and organized. Motivate Supervisors by providing them with a list of clear, tangible outcomes so that they can see what they have to do. Encourage them to progress to management roles, as they need to be reminded that they are capable of progression.

5. The Inspector -

Inspectors are thorough and responsible with a well developed ability to concentrate. They are typically interested in upholding established systems rather than creating new ones. They tend to be introverted, but not isolated. They are keen to understand how they can participate and concern themselves with ensuring that standards are met.Motivate Inspectors by telling them that the completion of a task rests entirely on them. Work with them to create detailed plans of action that they can follow with little deviation.

6. The Performer -

Performers are spontaneous and energetic, warm and talkative. They particularly like to be centre of attention. Motivate Performers by telling them how impressed others will be if they complete the task. Let them be spontaneous in the workplace to address different situations as they deem fit. Each personality type has something unique to bring to your team/organization. Learn how to tap into each person's internal motivational fire to ensure your workplace is the most productive it can be. This is the magic mantra that has worked for me in building great teams.