Friday, 4 November 2011

Newsletter Issue 209, November 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 209, November 2011
Hi guys,
Are you motivating your staff? Check out Motivation - Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Factors  below.
We have a bit of a laugh with Peta Mathias in Motivational Cooking Advice
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Motivation - Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Factors

What motivates you?
I know for me, it is personal satisfaction from a job well done. For others it will be recognition. For some it will be challenge. For a few it will be status. For a very few, it will be money.
Richard Daft, in his book "The Leadership Experience" defines motivation as the "forces, either internal or external to a person, which arouse enthusiasm and persistence to pursue a certain course of action” (2005, p. 294). So what does that mean to a each of us?
At its most simple, motivation starts with a need that creates within us a desire to fulfil it; like friendship, food or recognition. So then we have to take action. We behave in a way results in us fulfilling our needs. So we get the rewards that we were after; and we have satisfied our needs.
However, our rewards can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic needs are those things that come from within; personal development, challenge, self-fulfilment, that warm fuzzy feeling of being appreciated, self-determination. Extrinsic needs come from without; recognition, status, promotions and bonuses. Recognition is an interesting factor. It impacts on both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
Charles Handy, in his book "Understanding Organizations" (1993), thinks that we that motivation theories can be categorised under one of three headings. Firstly there are satisfaction theories, which assume that a ‘satisfied worker is a productive worker’. Secondly there are incentive theories, which assume reinforcement is the key (this is a ‘carrot’ approach - that reward will lead to good performance - extrinsic motivation). Thirdly there are intrinsic theories, which assume individuals will work harder if they have a worthwhile job – that reward will come from satisfaction in the work itself.
However, Harold Levinson, in his manager’s views of motivation theory (1972) thought that we had a much more complicated approach to motivation. He proposed that we have four main groups, and one that is a combination of any or all of the four. They are:
  1. Rational-economic assumption – we are motivated by economic needs, passive & can be controlled by the organisation. This manager believes in extrinsic motivators (money, status)
  2. Social assumption – we are motivated by social needs, affiliation (teams; social activities)
  3. Self-actualising assumption – motivated by intrinsic needs – autonomy / goal setting rather than managerial control (goals; empowerment)
  4. Psychological assumption – work is part of our identity, our ‘ego ideal’. We need opportunities to fulfil our ‘ego ideal’
  5. Complex assumption – motivated by a combination of dynamic & ever-changing factors
There are lots of theories about how we tap into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but one common idea is that if someone is intrinsically motivated, that motivation lasts MUCH longer than if we try to motivate the same person extrinsically (with external rewards).
"That sounds all very good in theory,"  I can almost hear you say "but I bet people aren't really like that in the real world".
However, a recent Employee Insights survey of Kiwi workers shows that 33% of respondents say that "acknowledgement and appreciation" is what motivates them,  32% are motivated by role challenge, 23% by workmates and/or company culture, with 12% rating the dollars as a motivator.
Consultants Robert Walters NZ ran this survey for the second time this year, surveying accounting, finance, banking, management, HR, IT, procurement, supply chain, sales, marketing, secretarial and business support employees.
This means that if you are wanting to reward your staff, you need to tell them you appreciate them; that they provide value. You need to challenge them in a way that they can acheive. You need to have a healthy organisational culture and build a good team atmosphere.
It's not definitely not rocket science, is it :-)
Daft, Richard L. (2005). The Leadership Experience (3rd Edition). USA: Thomson South-Western.
Handy, Charles (1993). Understanding Organizations. UK: Penguin
Levinson, Harold (1972) based on Schein, Edgar (1970). Organizational psychology. USA: Prentice Hall

Motivational Cooking Advice

Following on this issue's motivation theme, while laying a thick layer of newspapers in the bottom of a raised herb garden as weed matting, I noticed an unread Dominion Post Magazine from October 22. Peta Mathias had given her usual tongue-in-cheek advice to a reader who wanted to know how he could make some 'fast food' (ie, food he could prepare quickly) as often neither he nor his girlfriend could be bothered cooking.
I felt that Peta's reply was amusing enough to share with you all.
"The secret to fast food at home is to have lots of ingredients already in the kitchen - like peas, fish and pesto in the freezer; tinned tuna, sardines and ready-made curry pastes in the pantry; salami, butter and parmesan cheese in the fridge. If you've got dried pasta, olive oil and red wine, you've got a meal.
"Here's what you do: first drink a glass of wine while you're getting the other ingredients together. Next, look at the pasta and decide you can't be bothered cooking it. Next, take the olive oil, spread it all over your girlfriend, then lick it all off again. This is a very nutritious meal, satisfies two people and you will never complain about being unmotivated again."

Reference: Mathias, Peta (22 October 2011). Your Weekend Magazine. NZ: Dominion Post (p. 5)

How to Hyphenate Words

The Oxford English Dictionary's October newsletter contained a useful little 'how to' on the rules for hyphenation.
  1. We DON'T link 'phrasal verbs' using a hyphen. Phrasal verbs are verbs made up of a main verb together with an adverb or a preposition (or both). The meaning is usually not obvious from the individual meanings of the words. For example "I made up my tie "; 'made' and 'up' forms the phrasal verb.
  2. However, we DO link nouns that are made up of phrasal verbs. You would buy a 'made-up' tie.
  3. We also use hyphens when they clarify our meaning. For example: "There will be extra trains, including more late-night trains" makes sense, whereas "There will be extra trains, including more late night trains" could mean that the night trains were simply late.
So just ask yourself; is this a noun that I am hyphenating? And does it clarify sentence meaning? ... and if in doubt, leave it out :-)

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • UNA, Use No Acronyms. I thought that was cute!

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do in Publisher with Page commands:
  • Publisher "Move down within a page or scroll down in the Help pane" Page Down
  • Publisher "Move up within a page or Scroll up in the Help pane" Page Up
  • Publisher "Scroll to the left" Ctrl & Page Up
  • Publisher "Scroll to the right" Ctrl & Page Down

Hot Linx
While we assume that creating the right kind of atmosphere at work should be common sense, we often don't act like we understand what common sense is. Check what is productive at
Read this HBR article on four ways women unintentionally sabotage their career prospects - overly modest, not asking, fitting in, keeping quiet - is fascinating at
Check out what Sir Paul Callaghan has to say in a 20 minute speech entitled "StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future" that was delivered in March 2011 at
Kelly Eggers of the Wall Street Journal looks at the ten worst mistakes made by Uni graduates when looking for their first professional position in this article at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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