The question on everyone's lips is “WIIFM — What's in it for me?”
Employees need to be able to answer “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) to be fully engaged in their work.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the first theories that explained the basis for understanding what motivates people. It begins with the most fundamental needs for basic survival and concludes with self-actualization.
Self-actualization pertains to a person’s full potential and their realization of that potential. Maslow himself described it best as ”The desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”
This applies to your employees.
If an employee can reach this wondrous point of self-actualization through their career, don’t you think they will be motivated and fully engaged in their work?
A company’s goals and vision are important to no one but the company. If you want to motivate your staff to the vision you are aiming to achieve, you need to outline how that vision will help them achieve their own personal goals and vision — the WIIFM: What’s in it for me?
For example, nothing in the statement “We want to be the industry leader by 2015!” will motivate your employees even the slightest bit. Even the most exciting motivational speaking manager cannot force his employees to get excited and driven about this vision.
Instead try, “We want to be the industry leader by 2015 and along the way, you could become the expert in our strategic sales team!”
Now that line will have them sit up straight in their seats and get excited. If you want your vision to motivate people, make sure it includes your people. You have to ensure that you present it through the lens of their own personal self-interest.
To do this, get to know your people and their goals. Take a genuine interest in them and find out where they want to be in five years. After all, employees are the backbone of your organization, and the value of fully engaged employees to your company is priceless.