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Motivation Training – Can I be bothered? (


I have been asked to find some Training on motivation for a small group of people.

I am wondering whether its their manager who needs the training as motivation can be 'helped' by clear expectation, guidance and praise.

Any tips, recommendations or advice?

Ian Stone

10 Responses

  1. Motivation
    Hi Ian,
    How many trainers have been asked to do this type of fix with the manager thinking it’s only a training issue.
    Not sure if you have done this yet but I would spend time with the manager discussing how he wants the team to be and how he wants them to work (his vision). Then from that work backwards in steps, looking at what needs to be in place to help the team achieve it – as you have mentioned quite a bit of work / support from him, which hopefully he will identify himself. Hope this helps.

  2. bothered to do what?
    I agree with Debbie on this one and would add one initial question to the manager…”Motivation to do what?” Motivation comes in all different shapes and sizes and people can either do the same thing for different reasons or different things for the same reason. Without getting too philosophical it would probably benefit the WHOLE team to understand each others motivation in order to improve their own

  3. Root cause?
    What is the actual problem?

    What is the intended outcome?

    Work with the client and develop with them a one or two sentence response to these 2 questions, and don’t think in terms of solutions either – it narrows your (mine too!) thinking. Lastly a specific reference in each response to some key performance indicator will help to link this to important performance issues amd provide some focus.

    This should give you and the client a little clarity and focus.

    Why? You may feel you have this already! Sure, but you need to get under everything and get at the root cause.

    Reasons for poor motivation levels may well be inappropriate behaviours from the boss, or from a stronger personality in the team – the proverbial ‘rotten apple’. But root causes could also be outside the team and its influences – restructuring that is poorly handled, poor internal communications processes, senior managers who say one thing and do another, fat cat bosses – the list goes on, and rarely will training alone help.

    Happy to send you more details on this approach – it’s based on some Six Sigma tools, but without the hassle of many of the statistics. Let me know – I’m at

    Good luck!

  4. Motivating and leadership can be learnt
    Motivating others is a leadership skill. It is not a natural skill but can be learnt fairly easily by thinking about what you want to achieve with others, taking their concerns and interests into account and then tailoring your communiction accordingly. The advanced presenation courses I run include how to motivate others and you can find out about them at Good luck from Tina Coulsting, Director, Mentor Consultancy

  5. Self help
    In my experience in improving motivation the biggest long term success has been by teaching people what is affecting their lives and aspirations. Most people are woefully unaware of why the management decisions which affect them significantly, are taken. From that follows the greatest demotivation of all “I have no idea what will happen next”. Train people how businesses in general work and thus what their place is in the one for which they work. Show how and why things are happening and the staff will react immediately.
    Feelings of security and worthwhileness can only come from understanding.
    Alan Mitchell

  6. You sure its not a symptom?
    Poor motivation is often the symptom and not the underlying cause. I’d recommend you check policies and processes and the support staff have. A thorough TNA will identify your underlying issues.
    Debbie; Just a side note you have made an assumption that the manager is male. Ian does not state or imply this in his question.

  7. Motivation.
    I find that people are almost invariably already motivated. If they weren’t they would have given up when the midwife slapped them.
    The reason that people appear to be demotivated is not something that is wrong with them that needs to be replaced.
    It is the result of things that happen to them.
    Every single nurse that I have ever listened to shows a level of motivation that is extraordinary when they talk about their patients.
    When it comes to management of the hospital or the health authority they are not interested because they have been betrayed by them so many times.

    This is reported as a lack of motivation.
    What it is really is people who are fed up being jerked around when all they want is to be allowed to do their jobs.

    In order to motivate people you don’t have to do anything extra to them.

    Just find out what is demotivating them, then stop doing it.

  8. Motivation Workshops
    I have done this kind of thing before and it can be really interesting. I saw it work with a Housing Benefits Division where industrial action was ongoing and staff were worried about their jobs.

    The first step is to do a session with staff, a half day is fine.

    The aim is to examine the idea of motivation, not what makes them come to work, but what makes them work well when they are there.

    It should give them a valuable insight into their personal motivation and all the things that affect it.

    In my experience, if this is run in a spirit of development, the staff should really like it, not least because everyone loves to think about themselves.

    Motivation is intelligent stuff and it should be unlike any training they have received, especially if they are front-line staff.

    It is common to find at this stage that they are right to feel de-motivated and that there are things that can be done.

    However, as you say, almost always, it leads to a workshop for the managers on motivation as well.

    With what has been learned from the staff session, this training can be taken out of the abstract and focus on positively improving motivation.

    This is incredibly important because there is no-one who can create a climate of motivation like a first line manager.

    Within Herzberg’s theory of hygiene factors and motivators, most of the answers can be found.

    For instance, my mum used to work in a bakery in Belfast. She did nights, for not much money, and the conditions were grim. But I remember her round the dinner table saying how her boss had told her she was doing really well and she was as happy as Larry. I imagine that is a very common story and it is just one of the key learning points for managers.

    I hope something in here helps.

    Graeme Kerr

  9. probably the manager, rather than the team
    You’re right to question who needs the training. There’s been lots of research which shows that managers identifying their team’s training needs are actually identifying their own.

    A conversation with the manager would be a good start – ask him/her why they think its required.

  10. Cheap
    A well earned and sincere ‘thank you’ does wonders. Most people are motivated, reassurance and genuine praise can help keep them that way….


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