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The Motivation Handbook – review


Title: The Motivation Handbook
Author: Sarah Hollyforde and Steve Whiddett
Publisher: CIPD
ISBN: 0852929250

Buy this book from the TrainingZONE - Blackwells bookshop.

Ever wondered why people behave in a ‘certain way’? What motivates them? How do you get Kevin-in-accounts to perform better? Give him a swift kick in the pants - or a cup of coffee? Why is Jenny so stressed about her sales results while Tom, doing the same job as her, is so laid back? Pick this book up and you just might find the answers to these questions; and some you haven’t even thought of yet.

The authors have looked at what motivation is, what it means and put together some practical applications. They’ve examined other researchers’ findings and now present them in a ‘Digest’ form, each supported by a snappy fictional example, which illustrates how each theory manifests itself in the real world. It’s directed mainly at people who are involved in management and those who are studying for formal business qualifications, but don’t let that put you off because a dry textbook this certainly isn’t.

The book is lively, engaging and easy to read. It speaks plain English and presents theory, practicalities and characters that are real and easily related to. One so often finds that too many of these books tend to focus on profound hypotheses, displaying an abiding joy in their own cleverness and leaving the hapless reader to flounder around trying to apply theory to situations that bear little resemblance to anything they have just read. Learning comes almost in spite of their efforts! This book, without losing any of the relevant information and correct terminology, opens both eyes and minds and proves that a textbook can be entertaining without being flippant or trivial.

The authors point out that most motivation theories are not actually directed at work situations at all; this is probably what makes them tricky to absorb and apply. What they have done so successfully is, by practical application examples, encourage their readers to work out for themselves how they can change Kevin-in-accounts’ attitude and understand the differences in Jenny and Tom’s attitudes to their jobs.

This is a book that should be found in all managers’ desks – be they Directors, Managers, Supervisors or Team Leaders; anyone who has the responsibility for people owes it to themselves and their charges to at least try to understand them. There are even a couple of chapters so that the manager can learn what his/her own motivators are. That’s worth its weight in gold at any time.

Pam Lloyd
HR Manager
Sellers Information Pack Ltd


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