Today, I would like to introduce you to 7 catalysts that – according to T. Amabile and S. Kramer – have a major impact on people’s emotions, perceptions and motivations as well as on the particular tasks they are performing. These catalysts are certainly not new to you, but I thought that spelling them out again and listing them here would certainly help you remember what makes people thrill, especially when you are leading a team/teams.
1) Setting clear goals: people need to know where they are heading and setting up milestones along the way, will make them feel the progress on the way
2) Allowing autonomy: Stimulate people’s creativity and intrinsic motivation by providing them the freedom – to a certain extent – of taking decisions themselves.
3) Providing resources: All successful projects need the right resources; many times, I have seen the attainment of goals fail as access to adequate resources was not given or hindered.
4) Giving enough time: Studies have indeed shown that no pressure and too much pressure over time are both hampering achievement. You don’t want your employees to be burnt out, but you don’t want them to be bored either; low to moderate time pressure seems to be the optimum here.
5) Help: In today’s complex and matrixed organizations, people need help from various colleagues as they cannot possible know everything that is needed for the successful completion of a task, project or program.
6) Learning from problems and success: If your organization has a ‘safe’ climate and culture, people will take risks and be innovative. Set-backs need to be openly analyzed whereas successes – even small ones – celebrated.
7) Allowing ideas to flow: Mindfully listen to what your employees are saying, engage in dialogue and encourage discussions/debates. Truly creative ideas will come out and people will feel extremely motivated as they are perceiving that they are an active part of the progress on the path to successful accomplishment.
It sounds easier than it is, I agree! Maybe you want to print this out and pin it over your desk so that you can see it everyday… sometimes, the most simple things are those with the strongest impact!