Case Study: Diagnosing and Improving Motivation Focusing on Intrinsic Rewards

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What is the value of a man? For theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, a man who seeks to add value to his life is truly successful (brainyquote.com, n.d.). Peter Senge calls this “personal mastery” which is the ability to clarify and refine vision, energies and patience so goals can be accomplished (Senge, 2006). A case study entitled “Diagnosing and Improving Motivation” provides an opportunity to review the metrics of intrinsic motivation in the work environment.

Case Summary

Jessica is a national sales director with four regional reports. She is in charge of tracking performance appraisals and making sure that the team remains on target with quarterly and annual sales goals. Jessica’s dilemma is that trust, constant communication, encouragement and low turnover have not improved motivation (Pritchard & Ashwood, 2008, pp. 39-41).

Strengths and Weaknesses

The organization has several core competencies: staff is loyal, timely, competent and team-oriented. During her assessments, Jessica noticed some symptoms of motivation problems that she had previously been overlooking: staff was avoiding difficult or extra tasks, reluctant to try new things, and avoiding being proactive. Staff was always complaining about back pain and stress or complaining about workload and problems while waiting for management to fix things rather than making the best choice with what is available. A sales job, by its very nature, requires a lot of intrinsic motivation. Jessica reminded herself that sales goals were a lot of pressure, to meet, staff has to put in long hours on the road, spent time away from their homes and children and get used to hearing “no” all day long (Pritchard & Ashwood, 2008, pp. 39-57).

Opportunities

Jessica can help promote intrinsic motivation by letting staff know when they have exceeded non-sales related goals like “most helpful to new trainees” and “best smile” and “most positive attitude.” It is important to teach staff to remain self motivated and giving feedback for a job well done can help turn things around. A feedback loop will improve productivity and sales numbers and assure that new team member enjoy the same success.

Conclusion

In summation, people don’t have shortcomings, their perceptions do. If they can master those things which drain their energy and cloud their personal visions, each person can master his own domain and the group, as a whole will benefit (Senge, 2006; Pritchard & Ashwood, 2008).

References

BrainyQuote. (n.d.). Einstein quotes. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/albert_einstein.html

Pritchard, R. D., & Ashwood, E. (2008). Managing motivation. Managing Motivation: A Managers Guide to Diagnosing and Improving Motivation (pp. 39-57). New York, New York: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline (2nd ed.). London: Random House Business.