Building Motivation - Part 2

Last Update: Oct 21, 2015

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In my last post I discussed motivation. As I studied motivation pretty intensely, I thought I would share some more knowledge and translate it into something practical to help you on your journey here at WA.

When I was studying for my postgraduate diploma I undertook a research project at my then employer into employee motivation. The theory central to the study was Herzberg's two factor theory. For reference the study was published in the 1950's and is over simplistic and so has been all but completely discredited. There was one part of the theory I thought may still have held some truth however.

The notion of "hygiene factors", or the environment and conditions of work being an absolute essential in order to prevent de-motivation was interesting to me. I carried out a survey among 400 employees in my local division to establish just how important things like correct lighting, proper supplies and a healthy management culture were to employees. To test the theory, I threw in a few curve ball questions about pay and benefits too.

The outcome of the survey proved that my hypothesis was indeed correct. My hypothesis was "Is it likely that intrinsic methods of motivation are more effective at XX organisation? A study of Herzberg's hygiene factor theory (or something along those lines). There was less emphasis on pay and benefits, and more on working environment and conditions.

The result was, in plain English, that although environmental factors didn't motivate staff, they served as a basis to build motivation. What's more is that intrinsic factors seemed to be the most important to staff when considering ways to motivate them.

How does this relate to you?

When you are designing and updating your site, it can sometimes feel like work. Sure it's enjoyable to see it grow, but it really can seem like work. That being the case, you have to be motivated to carry out that work. Also, you are likely the only person working on the site, so you are your own boss - no external motivation to be had.

Based on my research, you stand more of a chance of being motivated if your working environment is sufficient for your needs. If you saw the live training by Jay about planning and writing content, you'll know that it's easier to write content when you have outlined a plan. Without the plan, you may have to keep breaking your flow to research, or think of the next sub topic to write about.

Having a plan in place is a micro example of a hygiene factor at work. Others include your actual working environment. Is it clean and clutter free? Is it light and bright? Is it organised and do you have all of the resources you need? Is it quiet or fraught with interruptions?

If you can create the perfect working environment for you, you can enter that elusive state of flow. Motivation can build based on your successes and you're more likely to be able to keep working to draw you closer to success.

Here's an exercise to help you

Get a pad and piece of paper. Sit for a few minutes and think intensely about your likes and dislikes when it comes to a working environment. Now write them down. Next you need a table with three columns. In the first column write the broad heading of the like/dislike - i.e. "I hate a noisy environment", or "I love nature" - you get the idea. In the next column write "would like", and in the next column write "would not like".

Now for each of your likes/dislikes write a "would like" and a "would not like". For example:

Like/Dislike: Like light, dislike darkness

Would like: To have my desk near a window and to have a bright desk lamp for working in the evening

Would not like: a cramped corner of the bedroom with no isolated light to help me work

Once you have a list of "likes" and "dislikes", "would likes" and "would not likes", you can go to work creating your perfect working environment. Of course there may be limitations, like space in your property, but if you can tick most things off the list you will have a much better working environment.

Happy creating an awesome work space - Paul :)

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Recent Comments

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Great stuff paul, I supply a lot of schools and colleges and the type of lighting that they have in their buildings really does have an effect on the students behaviour, there is a lot of hard core evidence for your blog and it should really be looked into further.

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