Recently I had a great conversation with a colleague about the perception of millennials and motivation. Many believe that motivation is intrinsic. Either you have it or you don’t, and in some ways I agree. In other ways, I believe the magic for anyone exists in their own individual sense of purpose. Perhaps everyone needs to drive purpose, doing it on purpose.
Motivated On Purpose
For example, if I look in the mirror and believe I could lose a couple of pounds I may be motivated to exercise more. If I want to buy a new state-of-the-art television I may forgo some frivolous spending to save money towards buying the new TV. If I want to advance in my career I know that I have to put in the time, effort, and perhaps gain additional education or experience to be able to accomplish that goal. I’m motivated to do those things. I have a purpose for my actions and behavior.
Likely no workplace will quickly help individuals from any generation discover responsibility or undue what decades of learned behavior has espoused on them. If they (at any age) lack the commitment or understanding of being responsible, the job itself won’t likely take them there. However, when the job offers them a sense of purpose, and they recognize and desire social responsibility at some level, a sense of purpose will help them be more motivated and engaged.
Regardless of the generation, the key for most organizations is to hire people that demonstrate signs of either, motivation or responsibility, or both. Of course, there are also courses of action for those employees already on-board. In either case, link their job, no matter what it is, to the purpose of the organization. When they know they are making a difference, they’ll care more about doing a good job.
Drive purpose, on purpose.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.