I love the subject of motivation – there’s been some fascinating research over the years about what gives people the drive and willingness to do their best work. What has come to light is that although we’re not all motivated by the same things, most of us are motivated by a sense of achievement, empowerment and recognition at work. More about that in my blog E is for Engage your Employees.

There is a well-established link between motivation and performance – people work better if they are motivated – it’s as simple as that.

Obviously negative motivation can be a powerful driver to perform, such as: “If we don’t get this contract the company is going under”, though continual negative motivation will cause stress and tension within an organisation.

Positive motivation is a win/win. Wanting to do a great job, achieve success and get personal satisfaction from doing so, is a development plan that everyone can sign up to.

As a manager, you have more influence than you may realise over the level of motivation on your team.

Setting the tone from the start of each day through your positive attitude; clear communication of what is to be done and why; paying attention to each individual so that they know that they are valued and that they will receive useful feedback on their performance, can make a huge difference to motivation.

The link between motivation and performance extends to people’s need to know that poor performance will be dealt with appropriately and quickly. Nothing kills motivation faster than realising that while some people work hard, others are able to get away with putting in minimum effort.

Your commitment to your team is demonstrated in your commitment to providing a motivating environment for them to work in by the way you manage.