More than motivation!
Motivation and inspiration are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Still, they are two different concepts, particularly when it comes to business and leadership.
In the context of business, inspiration can come from various obvious sources, such as a deadline, a bonus, or a promotion. While the typical go-to mechanisms of inspiration is there to keep employees on track, it can sometimes be short-lived, and individuals may find themselves demotivated once they achieve their short-term goals.
Inspiration that was given more thought than the usual is a more long-lasting and powerful force that speaks of strategic leadership. Inspired individuals are often driven by a sense of purpose, and they are more likely to stay committed to their goals in the long run.
Motivation comes from within and is ignited or fuelled in the workplace by inspiration. Motivation in a staff member is an incredible asset. Staff members who are not driven or motivated are not the people who will propel your business forward; they have no internal drive and seem to be passively waiting for some or other buoy to stay afloat.
A strategic leader recognises the importance of motivation and inspiration to their business and in their team. They understand that inspiration is necessary to keep their team motivated. They know that inspiration is essential for individuals to find meaning and purpose in their work and that inspirational mechanisms are tools to foster alignment between business and individual growth. Leaders who can inspire their teams will create a more focused, engaged, and motivated workforce.
At this moment of our understanding of what propels organisations forward, we know that leaders and managers can not “motivate” their employees with the promise of promotions, pay raises, and job security. We know that we can do better with smarter ideas – ideas that have collective discourse at the heart of it.
The traditional way of leading has become too predictable and uninspiring, and leaders who still rely on the “one size fits all” approach are failing. Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck, a bonus or employee benefits. They want to feel valued, appreciated, and inspired to make a real difference. They want to see how they, through being themselves, fit. They want to experience and tangibly observe how their individuality contributes to the greater organisational vision.
Leaders who can inspire their employees understand that each person is unique and has their own set of motivations, goals, and aspirations. They take the time to listen to their employees and find out what drives them, and they tailor their approach to each individual. They understand that inspiration is about more than giving employees pep talks, a raft-building retreat, or offering incentives. It’s about creating a culture where employees feel valued and empowered and where they can see the impact of their work on the organisation and the community, they move in. This requires a different approach to leadership, one that emphasises communication, transparency, and trust.
Leaders who can inspire their employees know that appreciation is a powerful motivator, and they ensure that their employees feel recognised and valued for their contributions. Looking more intensely at inspiration and motivation can lead to greater success in your business and ensure the strategically beneficial loyalty of each member of the team.
When business leaders recognise and understand that employees need to be more than just motivated, they can inspire their employees to reach their full potential within the communicated strategy of the organisation they work and live in.