Motivation Management
by Thad Green
Davies-Black, 2000, 268 pages,$29

It's a common quandary: An employee who has always been a high performer in the past is suddenly not performing up to par. You know what the employee is capable of, but how can you get him or her motivated again? If you don't know, ask, author Thad Green writes in Motivation Management.

This simple advice is at the heart of Green's Belief System model for tackling performance problems in the workplace. It is a myth that everybody is motivated by the same thing, he says. An outcome that is satisfying to one person -- perhaps more responsibility -- would not be satisfying to another person, who perhaps would prefer more flexibility with his or her workload.

According to Green, the Belief System helps take the guesswork, false starts, and missed opportunities out of the search for motivation problems. Specifically, the Belief System alerts management to one or more of the three basic types of employee motivation problems:

  • Lack of confidence: "I can't meet the performance expectations."
  • Lack of trust: "The outcomes will not be tied to my performance."
  • Lack of satisfaction: "The outcomes offered will not be satisfying to me."

Using these keys, Green covers what managers should say and do to get employees to talk about their motivation/performance problems. He details how to direct these conversations to lead employees to unearth the underlying causes of their problems and suggest their own solutions to improve their performance. Offering numerous vignettes, examples, and sample scripts, Green demonstrates that for a manager to be a successful motivator, it is often simply a matter of asking the right questions.

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