20 Mar 2019


by Ueli Gerber, Gerber & Partner



How much does it cost the company if motivation and commitment are lacking?


"The days of absence alone, which are not due to illness but to unwillingness, cost the companies a great deal of money." 


The results of the Gallup study 2018 survey show that only 13% of employees have a high emotional attachment to their company, 66% of employees feel little bonded to their company, 21% have internally resigned and do "service by the book".


What really motivates people?


What is important is an environment that offers adequate scope for the intrinsic motivation of a person. The motivators vary greatly depending on the personality type. These range from monetary incentives to a healthy work-life balance to a meaningful activity. 


Imagine a penguin in the desert. What environment does the penguin need to perform well? Do you know which environment your employees need to be in a positive state? Because in a positive state our brain is about 30% more productive than in a negative state.


Do you have a job that requires your skills but not your talents? Then your company will never be able to tap into your passion. You will do mechanically what is required of you. It will always look as if you need external control and motivation.


Conclusion: For companies to succeed, it is important not just to hire the right people, but the right people whose passion overlaps with the job. After all, the best employees are those who stay because they want to, not because they have to. 


Extrinsic motivation: 

Obligation or reward, money, prestige, motivation only lasts for a short time. If you pay firefighters a fixed bonus for every extinguished fire, a few of them may well come up with the idea of boosting business.


Intrinsic motivation:  

Satisfaction with work results, self-determination, joy. The most important basic motivation, as Charles Darwin recognized, comes from the joy of being part of a community with one's peers.


What do you really have to do as a leader so that your employees are more motivated?  


You must create freedom and a framework of conditions, as well as generously delegate responsibility and competencies, in both decision-making and financial matters. Employees should be treated as equal team members. The team member is competent and able to make appropriate decisions. The employee is an individual whom we take for granted who he is. You must provide each one of them with a working environment that allows them to develop their strengths.


Swedish researchers found that workers who have a demanding job but little influence on the way they work have an increased risk of becoming chronically ill.


Conclusion: The leader does not have the task of motivating individual employees or a team, no, the task is to perform motivating leadership activities, leadership activities that enable employees to take responsibility for themselves!


 What is a respectable company?


  • There will be no job guarantee, and employees will not be expected to remain loyal for life.

  • In the event of a separation from the employee, the company will lay their cards on the table. 

  • The respectable enterprise does not treat dismissed workers like numbers. The supervisor conducts the separation interview, not some HR expert (like George Clooney in Up in the Air).

  • We should not dream of motivating people, but we should do everything not to demotivate them.


What concrete ideas do we use to show our employees our appreciation? 


Greet your employees and take the time for a conversation with them. The following sentences should not be the exception and can be very motivating: Thank you for your help, thank you for your openness, thank you for the good conversation, I'm happy to have you in my team, great, that's a good idea, I didn't think of that myself, you're on the right track, keep it up!










Ueli Gerber helps companies develop agile organizations, build leadership and sales skills, and implement effective talent management practices.

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