Motivation-Do your programs support it?

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    In a previous post, I discussed motivation from the perspective of who owns the responsibility. In a recent article in Chief Learning Officer magazine, Graham Jones discusses the motivation of leaders. Jones describes two types of motivation and the effect each type has on a leader. The article purports that leaders who are positively motivated toward realistic goals achieve greater success than those who are negatively motivated by avoiding a set of circumstances. The suggestion made in the article is that those who are motivated by fear of failure or fear of making mistakes often behave in such a way as to avoid situations where failure and mistakes are possible. This behavior can often limit their own success and increase levels of stress and anxiety further making success more difficult to achieve.

    Consider how the culture of your organization and the HR programs in your organization drive motivation. Do the HR programs focus on the stance that it is a manager’s job to motivate their staff? If this is the case, do your managers use negative consequences as a method of motivation? If so, then the very program or culture might be driving underperformance. If the only response to a performance gap is some kind of warning being given to an employee, how does that impact their motivation? What if the employee was internally motivated already? Could this change their motivation from positive to negative (avoidance) resulting in more of a performance gap?

    What do you think? Your thoughts are always encouraged!

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    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to or visit