Successful Business Motivation Results in the Alignment of a Company's Goals Activities, Objectives, Resources, and Corporate Culture, to its Mission.

Is your company's personality positive, ambitious, organized, and well-connected?

Is it in good physical shape, or puffing a little more than it use to?

Let's Clear up Something About Business Motivation Right Now

Business motivation is one of those terms that causes much confusion when applied to a search on the internet. Is someone asking for business motivation in the sense of: What are the motives for business? Still others who ask for business motivation are looking for ways to use motivation in the workplace.

We will actually be answering both questions here because business motivation - the reason to be in business, and business motivation - how do I motivate my employees, must be linked together for either of them to be effective.

A misguided and/or rather non-guided business motivation will have a very difficult time aligning employees behind a purpose if that purpose is not spelled out. All the parameters that come into play when humans are 'misguided' are the consequence of a business that doesn't know where it is going.

Business Motivation Creates a State of - Company Fitness!

Simply speaking, some organizations lose a lot of time and money because their objectives get watered down and mis-translated until they resemble little of the original intent. Often, departments with a misguided sense of business motivation actually compete against each other. This causes expensive and frustrating delays, mis-communications and errors. Many companies have never created a mission statement, or if they have, do not have a system whereby it's intent is translated into unified action within all departments.

It isn't simply by handing down a mandate from above on company policy, codes of behaviour, and departmental goals that you will achieve 'company fitness'. Business motivation must be clear and documented. This is the intent of a mission statement.

Company Fitness Occurs When There Exits:

The Best Use of Resources

Business motivation has taught us that in order for a company to get the most profit from its resources, it needs to nurture the strengths and talents in individual employees.

Just as the heart doesn't have to act like a liver, your eyes aren't expected to hear and your ears aren't expected to see; you don't need to have every department or individual employee acting and thinking the same for your organization to be successful. You do, however, need them working together in their own way, and with their own strengths for the good of the body, your business. Proper business motivation succeeds in allowing different people with different strengths to 'gel' together and form a strong unit.

Does Size Make A Difference?

Small organizations can little afford not to be fit because their resources are relatively limited and wastage of time, energy, and money uses up a larger percentage of the company's assets. Business motivation must therefore be precise, and on 'purpose'. Larger organizations may be able to hide their lack of fitness for a while because their resources are sometimes vast, but you can end up in situations like the U.S. Army, which has paid $500 for a toilet seat. Clearly business motivation can either be clear or costly.

1. A well-defined, realistic Mission Statement

The mission statement reflects the business motivation of the organization; its very reason for existing. It also states where the company is going. The mission statement becomes the blueprint for operations. It is the reference point that should be able to answer: Is this activity really in line with our company's objectives?

Many companies suffer because efforts from one department to another are often at cross purposes. The mission statement must be taken out of the filing cabinet and placed squarely in the minds of all employees. Then and only then do you have the beginning of dynamic and unified organization, where business motivation become crystal clear.

The mission statement should not be too long, yet it must express the specific business motivation that can answer the question:

Why we are in business?

  1. It must be a document that represents the soul, if you will, of the organization. Therefore, it should not be vague but be recognizable as describing your specific organization.
  2. When business motivation is done properly, every employee will be able to view their role in the organization and as to how it pertains to the mission of the organization.

Mission Statements

Examples of various Mission statements of some large corporations:1
IBM Our goal is simply stated. We want to be the best service organization in the world.
3M To solve unsolved problems innovatively
Mary Kay Cosmetics To give unlimited opportunity to women.
Merck To preserve and improve human life.
Wal-Mart To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.
Walt Disney To make people happy.
Burger King We will prepare and sell quick-service food to fulfill our guest's needs more accurately, quickly, courteously, and in a cleaner environment than our competitors.
Hilton Corporation To be recognized as the world's best first-class hotel organization,

You can see that some mission statements can be summed up in a few words, while others are a little more specific. You can see that Wal Mart, for example has a mission that focuses on price, Mary Kay is about opportunities for woman. Note that Mary Kay's company's mission is actually focused on the independent sales associates rather than on the customer. Walt Disney's is so powerful in its simplicity, "To make people happy." Any employee at Walt Disney can easily look at their work and answer the question in their own mind as to the business motivation of the company, and whether their actions are fulfilling them.

2. A Mission Plan of Action

Once the Mission statement is in place, you know have the means of creating the blueprint for activity. Every single department should be ruled by the Mission, therefore, the action plan for each department should be able to demonstrate its alignment to the mission. Activities that are counter to the mission statement need to be reworked - or removed.

3. Departmental Mission-to-goal objectives

When establishing short to long term goals, again the objective of each goal must satisfy the companies business motivation; i.e. it's reason to exist.

It may sometime see hard to visualize how implementing new software can be counter to the mission of the company. But if it reduced services, or caused delays it certainly would be a sign that you were moving in a direction away from your mission statement. Business motivation should be producing positive results and feelings with everyone. Decisions on process (what software, decorations, lighting, etc,) needs to be made with thought to the overall impact of the morale of the people it touches upon.

4. A measuring and tracking system.

If there is a sin in business  then it is being surprised at how you're doing. Simply put, if you can't measure or quantify your activities, then maybe you need to reassess your activities. Any plan of action should include a means of measuring the efficacy of the plan on a daily or weekly basis. If it isn't measured, than how do you know it's working? Nothing can put a damper on business motivation than the surprise of discovering that you are not doing well.

When you measure, you are able to modify and adapt to the unforeseen and the mutable.

The same should also be said of employee appraisals. If an employee is surprised at their performance appraisal, then the fault resides in the hands of the department head, manager, or whomever is in charge of managing the employee.

It may sound like a harsh statement, but it is suggesting that sound business motivation should not be left up to chance. Long before a situation grows into a problem it needs to be dealt with in the most positive way possible. You need to have a copy of the book The One Minute Manager It is the best and most concise book on the subject of managing employees effectively. Many a manager has been made to look like a hero because they followed the simple ideas in this gem of a book. Make a management decision right now, order the book, and then lets get back to our subject.

5. Concise Job Descriptions For Every Employee

Rather than a limitation as it is often seen, the written job description is a key tool to promote business motivation.

When the job description is written in such a way that the mission statement as it pertains to the job, is made clear, you then have the opportunity to avoid situations of passing responsibility onto someone else or some other department. Too often one department saves money, time, or bother by passing the responsibility of a task to another department or individual.

In the area of customer service, if your mission includes elements of customer satisfaction, then it is even more important to have a job description well written.

Every time you have gone into a store where the clerk does not look up at you and smiles because they are too busy talking to another employee, you have an example of an employee that does not have an idea of the company mission and their specific role in its attainment!

A job description then establishes responsibility of the employee to the business motivation of the organization. It also provides a means of measuring the employees dedication to the mission.

Performance evaluations have little meaning if there is no standard by which to measure performance. (See Measuring and Tracking Systems)

6. A system in place where individual personal goals can be achieved while fulfilling the goals of the organization

A person will spend more time at work than they will with their family and personal friends. It takes more than money to keep a person happy for that length of time. Companies that provide the means of allowing individuals to achieve personal goals while or through work are allowing for the personal growth of the individual.

It is obvious that companies are the sum of the people in them, and so the more a person grows, the more a company matures. It's all part of company fitness. Business motivation succeeds in a sense from the sum of all the business motivation factors of everyone in a company.

Time, money or space that allows an individual to improve their education, and physical fitness are examples of personal goals that an individual may have that directly impacts on the health of the organization. By providing the means and the business motivation to improve in these areas, the company actually becomes smarter and healthier. This affects the bottom line positively, surpassing the costs of implementing the programs.

Every single one of these points are vital to your company fitness and the success of business motivation. Take and honest look at these six points and then tell us what areas of business motivation you need help with. We have the means and the strength to get you on track.

Are We Talking The Same Language?

It's important that we differentiate these basic definitions

Motivation Definitions

This is absolutely essential for any individual or organization.

Anyone looking for anything to do with business motivation must have an understanding of the Self-Image Paradox