Motivation has a value over and above figures, Rob Orme, marketing manager at Franchise Finance, says
Almost without exception, any action you perform is motivated by something. It may be something as simple as popping some bread in the toaster to satisfy your hunger or saving up to buy that dream car you’ve always wanted.
Motivation has been defined as ‘a reason or reasons to act or accomplish something’. You’re probably reading this article because you’re motivated to start your own business. Maybe you want to be the boss. Perhaps you don’t get on with your current boss. Alternatively, do you want more flexibility and a greater work/life balance?
Your business objectives should be clearly set out in your business plan. It’s important your business objectives are aligned with your personal objectives to effectively and successfully channel your motivation.
Numerous academics have proposed a variety of motivational theories, all with uses and limitations. I’m a fan of Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. The three components of the theory are:
Expectancy. Belief that your efforts will result in the desired goal.
Instrumentality. The belief you will be rewarded for achieving performance expectations
Valence. The value placed on the reward.
The theory is relevant to you as a future business owner and, importantly, your employees (assuming there’s a requirement for employees).
Let’s break this down. Firstly, if you don’t believe your efforts will result in progress towards the desired goal, why are you wasting your time doing it?
Similarly, can you realistically expect your future employees to be motivated to do something that will not assist them in achieving an objective? You don’t want to be a ‘busy fool’ or you will soon experience feelings of demotivation and low morale, as you’re not progressing.
Furthermore, does performing to a high standard (ie, meeting or exceeding expectations) guarantee the reward? Put into context, does achieving a certain level of turnover actually deliver your long awaited family holiday? Will your top sales employee definitely receive their £1,000 bonus?
A firm belief you will receive your desired reward is a vital component of motivation - for both business owners and their employees.
The final component, valence, is the driving force behind motivation levels. Believing you can achieve a goal and believing your reward is attainable by meeting set expectations are next to worthless if the value placed on the reward is low.
Being highly motivated should yield high levels of productivity, a willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ and the likely accomplishment of objectives in the desired time frame.
Achievement must have value
Vroom’s theory is far from perfect, but what it demonstrates is the vital point that achievement, in whatever form it takes, must have value over and above hitting a revenue figure or sales quota.
Work-life balance is so important, but if work accomplishments do not satisfy your personal desires, what is the point?
A comprehensive business plan will help to crystallise your business objectives, allowing you to see in black and white what achievement looks like in your ‘business life’.
If you cannot align these objectives to your personal ambitions, you may want to think again. Ultimately, you should always seek harmony between your personal and work life. If the two are not compatible, this may not be the business opportunity for you.