Friday, May 13, 2011

Motivations vs. engagement

This post is by Paul Marciano, author of “Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT.” Follow him on Twitter @drpaulmarciano.
If you’re not clear as to the difference between employee motivation and engagement you’re not alone — I was once asked to explain it to the CEO of an international consulting firm that claimed expertise on the subject. What I want you to know right off is that there are significant differences between these two concepts and meaningful implications for how we manage people and, in turn, their productivity.
The clearest way to explain the difference between an engaged and motivated employee is as follows: Imagine watching a team of employees working hard to complete a project by a certain deadline. If they do so, they will be rewarded with a bonus from the client. As an observer you see all the employees fully in the game, working hard and you would say, “Everyone is really motivated.”
At the eleventh hour something goes wrong, e.g., a computer crashes or the team realizes that they just don’t have the resources they need to complete the project on time and will not receive the bonus. Now, you have two groups of people — those who look at their watches and say, “Oh well we tried, time to go home” and those who say, “What is it that we can get accomplished?” Who do you want on your team?
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