Motivation and the Big Picture

Motivation and the Big Picture 150 150 Sharon Smith

In the first article on motivation we explored how to motivate your team and then we dug deeper on the topic of alignment. In this article we explore the second way to tap into your teams motivation with the big picture.

You’ve already heard me talk about internal and external motivation so let’s look at how the big picture can help your team internalize their motivation to enhance productivity and results.

The fact that most people are motivated by more than just money is even truer today because Millennials are more commonly driven by purpose. This is important because this diverse and well-educated group is expected to make up 36% of the U.S. workforce by 2018 and nearly half of all workers by 2020. For you to have the best of the best employees and stay competitive in this ever-changing marketplace, this is a group you want to take seriously, whether you have been running your organization for a long time or are an emerging leader.

Your workforce wants to know where they fit into the big picture, what the organizations goals and mission is, and that their work has purpose. Punching a clock or showing up to do a job with no meaning is not going to cut it anymore. Your most loyal, dedicated, and hard working employees will be the ones that understand and believe in the purpose of their role in the organization.

The message on purpose starts with you helping to ensure everyone understands the big picture, the purpose of the organization; what the organization set out to accomplish and why. What is the reason the organization was founded in the first place, who did the founders want to serve, and why? If you, as a leader of your organization cannot articulate this it may be time to re-visit the mission and vision. These statements should be more than just plaques you hang in the lobby or around the office; they need to be beliefs that people can understand and be part of. But they have to be easy to articulate and understand for everyone in your organization for them to be meaningful.

Once the big picture is communicated, it needs to be included in conversations on a regular basis so that your employees will start to work towards that mission, because they are part of something bigger than themselves. However, for this to be true they need to continue to hear the mission, its importance, and how they are helping make this happen. There are many times when an employee does not understand the direct link between his or her job and the bigger picture. With each role, each task, each project, continue to communicate and teach others to communicate why the work is important to the big picture, why it has purpose.

Encourage these types of conversations among the ranks; it should become a viral conversation that anyone can have at any time about the purpose, mission, and vision of the organization. The more people truly feel the connection to something bigger, something important, the more they will dedicate themselves to serving that purpose. And once they start to internalize this purpose you have made the important shift from external motivation to internal, which is the most important type of motivation to move people forward.

For more resources visit where you can find articles, videos, assessment tools, books, and the C-Suite Success Radio show. To discuss purpose and motivation in more detail reach out to