Lots of talk on the HR blogosphere about employee motivation. Famous people provide analysis and theories about what motivates a worker or job candidate to behave. Some interesting to ponder. Others, not so much. Ponder this theory. It’s older than the Mac Plus. Called my HR 4G Network Theory of Motivation. Here goes….Gondola, Girls/Guys, Glory and God. See below for the 4G breakdown (5 if you look closely):
Gondola is cash. Cash is king if you are trying to run a business, but it’s royalty varies for people. Some people are content with their current standard of living. They do not want more cash to buy fancy stuff. Other people use their annual salary to value their net worth in life. How does your job candidate value gondola? Are they realistic? Are they all about the $? Don’t try to change them. Just better understand them and manage their salary expectations.
Guys/girls are motivated to impress other guys/girls. Maybe it’s to prove their successfulness to them. This can lead to never ending unhappiness. Self-esteem issues? Some weird childhood experience? Who knows. Find out why someone wants to get out of bed in the morning to work for you. You may find out, they may have no motivation to get out of bed for you. Their real motivator might be some other guy or girl.
Glory people want to be famous, not good. Some want all the followers and friends they can have. Many celebrities, politicians or out of touch executives are driven too much glory. It’s all about them. What projects can they lead? Will they be able to present the project to senior management? Will they be invited to the party with all the big wheels?
God. When things are bad, people want God to help. When they are good, people are thankful for God. Without getting too religious, some people speak to God more or less than others. They use God for motivation.
What’s the point? The point is that motivation is driven by factors outside of work. The 4Gs cover personal and profesional life. Just like Jason Seiden’s Profersonal theory, motivation includes both personal and professional too. The secret sauce is to balance the 4Gs. Create a workplace environment that provides this balance. Don’t treat each person the same either. People are different. What do you think? Are you motivated by any of the 4Gs?