11/04/2012 - 09:58

Work, act and play best way to motivate

11/04/2012 - 09:58


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Research has consistently shown that people who are intrinsically motivated are more satisfied in their work, have greater commitment to tasks and have lower levels of absenteeism.

Work, act and play best way to motivate

Research has consistently shown that people who are intrinsically motivated are more satisfied in their work, have greater commitment to tasks and have lower levels of absenteeism. 

They concentrate longer, are more adaptable, have more empathy and come up with more creative ideas. 

These are qualities that organisations want in today’s climate of constant change and uncertainty. 

Yet, it is not easy to get these qualities in employees because many aspects of an organisation’s culture and processes get in the way. 

Time constraints, micro-managing and fear of being honest can be major obstacles to a happy, productive workplace.

One effective way to increase motivation is to use activities and games derived from theatre and the arts to explore, examine and safely express what is really happening in the workplace.  

A number of organisations such as Perth Airport, the Department of Child Protection and the Department of Treasury have used theatre games and exercises to help staff experience, identify and discuss what motivates or causes dissatisfaction at work. 

In a recent workshop staff enacted many moments throughout the day in which they were interrupted by managers who gave  them little things to do.

This took them away from their main task and drained their ability to put their creative energy into their high priority work.  

While having a lot of fun and laughter, they realised these situations resulted in them being busy but they were dissatisfied because they had not accomplished anything effectively.  

While the culture and leadership were positive, staff felt they had no control or autonomy in their work.  

Because this was shown in a playful activity, the managers also laughed when they saw the undermining effect these interruptions had on the team.

There was a feeling of relief as the employees expressed their frustrations while at the same time the managers identified their role in the breakdowns. 

The session then rehearsed ways section managers could give team leaders more autonomy but still be confident the production schedule would be achieved.

Theatre-based workshops and training explore three basic needs of being intrinsically motivated: self determination, use of an individual’s skills and the need to feel positive about what we do.  

Self determination is experienced when an individual has sufficient autonomy and support to determine how to do their job.  

Employees want to use their skills and to be challenged and grow. They also need to feel they have the skills necessary to do their job well. 

And people want to have positive feelings about their work environment and other people. 

A fish market in Seattle sprang to prominence after its staff were seen having fun throwing fish to each other and to customers.  

A video ‘Fish’ based on these antics has become known around the world and sold thousands of copies. It shows employees how to have fun, provide genuine customer service and be creative at work. 

The Fish video and training program have not only given this company considerable financial success but a reputation known throughout the world.  

You don’t have to throw your laptops around at work but you can educate your people on how to have fun, be creative and be more themselves at work. 

Workshops using theatre and acting skills allow people to have fun while being fully open and honest. 

Rather than talk about difficulties, they get to see, feel and experience them in a fun and playful way.  

Many profound insights are revealed during moments of people acting out situations they experience at work.  These insights and demonstrations are then used to solve problems in ways that involve people’s hearts as well as their minds.

Everyone would like to work in a workplace where they are trusted to make decisions and where they are capable, happy and valued.

Once leaders realise this is also the best way to increase productivity and creativity, they will build workplaces with a lot more laughter and play.


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