When a performer asks ‘What’s my motivation?’ of their director, it’s usually a request for guidance, context, clarity on the role they are playing, and unless you’re an actor, it’s unlikely to be a question you’re used to asking your boss, let alone asking yourself. But what if you did? What would you really be asking? Chances are it would roughly translate to ‘Why am I doing this?’
Let’s think about some answers to that question ........ “Because I was told to” / “Because it’s my job” / “Because it needs to get done” are probably our most common responses. All of which indicate a low level of motivational purpose, and a definite lack of any substantial buy-in. In order to feel motivated at work, what the majority of us need is a clear understanding of how our role – and the responsibilities and tasks it carries – fits into the bigger picture, and in turn how this impacts us. It’s all about finding the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) in everyday tasks, understanding how each of our parts forms a whole, creating a sense of belonging and inspiring a sense of purpose and motivation.
This links back to delegation, because different things matter to different people: for me it’s all about the satisfaction I take in ensuring things are correctly completed, so if I’m asked to action work that specifically requires an attention to detail, I feel motivated. For others it might be the achievement of always hitting a deadline, improving something to make it work better, sharing knowledge to support others, or coming up with a creative solution to a tricky problem. When we understand what matters to us as individuals, we can begin to apply this to our work. Getting to know your team, finding out what makes them tick and taking notice of what fires their enthusiasm will help you to position tasks and responsibilities in a way which that keeps them motivated, engaged and happy in their work.