A Best Boss Motivates Others

This series is about the Top 20 Characteristics that describe a “Best Boss”. You can follow the links below in case you missed any of the previous editions where we described how a “Best Boss”:

#1 -- Is a Good Communicator

#2 -- Holds Himself and Others Accountable for Results

#3 -- Enables Success.

Let’s look closer at #4 -- A “Best Boss” Motivates Others.

Two Types of Motivation

Best Bosses understand that there are two types of motivation and they use both types to motivate their employees.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic Motivation includes all factors external to the person that impact performance, such as praise, money, corrective action,  or termination.

We all need extrinsic motivation in our lives. If you don’t believe that then ask yourself if you would continue to work at your current job if you weren’t getting paid, or if you would file and pay your taxes if it were not compulsory (with legal consequences) to do so.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation is from within and is sometimes referred to as “achievement motivation” or “self-motivation”. This is the desire to succeed simply because you value succeeding. We often describe intrinsically motivated people as having a great deal of “personal pride” or as having a “competitive spirit.”

Motivation and Self-esteem

The workplace is not a rehabilitation center and the boss is not a therapist, but Best Bosses understand how critical the development of self-esteem is to their primary objective of getting results through the efforts of their employees. People have different levels of intrinsic motivation and it is highly related to the person’s self-esteem.

High Self-esteem

People with high levels of intrinsic motivation tend to have high self-esteem and are much more willing to take initiative. They are willing to “risk success” rather than “avoid failure”

Low Self-esteem

People with low intrinsic motivation tend to have lower self-esteem and are less willing to show initiative. They are more likely to “avoid failure” rather than “risk success”.

Leverage Extrinsic Motivation to Generate Intrinsic Motivation

Best Bosses understand the relationship between the use of extrinsic motivation and the development of self-esteem. Remember from our April newsletter that self-esteem (confidence) results from “meaningful accomplishment” followed by “recognition from a significant person”.

Best Bosses use extrinsic factors such as praise and money (pay raise for example) to recognize success which acts to increase self-esteem. They also understand that they are significant to their employees and, as such, their recognition and praise are crucial in the maintenance and building of self-esteem and thus intrinsic motivation.

4 Keys to Motivating Like a Best Boss

1.) Build the type of relationships with employees that allow you to understand what motivates at the individual level rather than trying to motivate based on hasty generalizations like which generation the person was born into.

2.) Learn to judge the self-esteem level of each employee.

3.) Engineer meaningful opportunities for successful accomplishment followed by positive feedback for success.

4.) At all costs, strive to protect self-esteem when giving negative feedback of any kind.

Best Boss Bottom Line

Best Bosses understand that communicating with each employee is crucial to knowing their aspirations, their likes and dislikes, their views of the various types of extrinsic motivators, and how they value various aspects of their jobs. This information can then be used to create meaningful opportunities for success and guide the types of recognition used to build self-esteem and thus intrinsic motivation.