Motivation and Growth

Motivation and Growth 150 150 Sharon Smith

For the past four weeks I’ve been writing about motivation and your team. This is the fourth and last article in this series. If you have missed the first three you can find them here – In order of their release – How to Motivate Your Team, Motivation and Alignment, and Motivation and the Big Picture.

In this article we look at the third way to tap into intrinsic motivators through growth. I’ve never met anyone successful who said, “I’m good, I don’t want to grow,” and since you are looking to create a highly successful team one of your goals is to fill it with people who crave growth.

You want employees who bring value to your organization, who bring new ideas and innovation to their jobs, and who you want to stay with you for the long haul. That means you want employees who are not satisfied with the status quo.

Because turnover is expensive and losing talent that has tribal knowledge is irreplaceable, you need to tap into motivators that will also create employee loyalty. This means providing your employees educational opportunities and allowing them to step into new roles and take on new responsibilities over time, it’s about growth.

You may think that providing too much growth opportunity will mean that you will lose these employees in the long run and have to deal with the turnover anyway. It’s true that they may not work on your team or directly for you in the long run as their skills and value increases, but it means they stay within your organization, providing continued service that benefits everyone, including you.

Growth does not have to cost a lot either; it can be as small as having someone take a new leadership role in a meeting or having the opportunity to present to a more senior group. Of course, it can also be more involved such as including tuition reimbursement for college classes.  You can also provide coaching and mentoring that often can be done by someone else in your organization or by a third party on a more limited basis. It is about providing the opportunities they need to be set up for success.

Even providing a small budget for your employees to take a class that helps them grow personally will create loyalty. They may be interested in writing, cooking, gardening, computers, or public speaking. People want to be supported and often don’t have the support they need at home to improve themselves. When you are the one to provide that, they will in turn do more for you.

One of my favorite and inexpensive resources that you can provide is to pay for your employee’s membership in Toastmasters. My experience with this organization includes being a member, a club officer, and a district leader. In my time I have seen so many people grow in their confidence, leadership, and speaking skills, which will certainly provide benefit to you and your company in return.

Figure out your budget and sit down with your employees to find out how you can best help them grow. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and some people may need more than others. I can tell you from personal experience some of my most de-motivational times at work were the years that my employer told me there was no budget for training and I had to figure out free ways (or pay for it myself) to get the continuing education credits I needed for the required certifications I had to maintain.

If you have implemented this type of program and still have challenges with employee motivation, timely or high quality deliverables, or other unfavorable situations it could be the alignment issue that I discuss in the second article. When your employees are not aligned personally with the work they do it does not matter how much growth opportunities they have, they will most likely never be an A player. That can be easily fixed and I’m happy to discuss it with you just like I am happy to discuss any challenge you are having with motivation. Just send me an email to