We have known for over sixty years that self-motivation (or intrinsic motivation) is the only true means of creating and sustaining a productive workplace. Self-motivation can only be achieved through meaningful work for which the employee has “ownership”. Such work can only be created if we utilize management practices that support:
Participation Ownership by all employees becoming part of the solution with bottom up problem solving.
Delegation Responsibility, authority, and decision making at the working level with the required resources and training to support all staff.
Accountability Clearly defined key result areas, performance expectations, and on-going performance feedback. Focus on client needs and customer service.
Recognition Based on personal and organizational performance – what is rewarded and recognized gets done.
Lean Management “Flatter is Better” – the least hierarchy possible. Continual improvement with minimal restrictive policies and bureaucratic practices.
Flexibility Cross trained and multi skilled staff for continual improvement, problem solving abilities, and adaptability to change.
The message today is still the same: if you want productive self-motivated employees, you have to provide meaningful work, which necessitates providing employees with as much “ownership” of their jobs as possible. More information, greater knowledge, more control through delegated authority, increased accountability and a share in the rewards based on organizational and personal performance all create “ownership”. We all try harder and care more when we have a stake in something. Ownership creates self-motivation as any entrepreneur will attest.