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Psychoanalytic Business Coaching

Motivation in the company: Ten insights to motivate your team

Among executives, it is said that the half-life period of a pay raise is three days. On the first day you are happy, on the second day you are used to it and on the third day you think about whether it could not have been more. Many psychological studies have shown that extrinsic motivation via money and other performance incentives above a certain level tends to inhibit intrinsic motivation and make working for the company less attractive, because employees then do not do what they enjoy, but only look for where they achieve the biggest bonus.

Finding 1: Performance incentives have no significant influence on motivation


Motivation at the workplace is a major factor influencing sickness levels, fluctuation and efficiency. Motivated employees like to work and perform at their best because they do exactly what motivates them from the inside. Employees with little motivation are ill, withdraw or leave.

Finding 2: The success of a company depends strongly on the motivation of its employees.


But if employee motivation is so important and performance incentives are so ineffective, how can you motivate employees? In order to answer this question, you first have to understand that motivation comes from within and is established in us at an early age. According to the latest research, we assume that motivation develops in the first months of life and has a significant impact on personality.

Finding 3: Everyone develops his or her own motivation at a very early age


Motivation can not be implanted from the outside but is based on what employees already bring with. This is why it is difficult to manipulate motivation in a sustainable way through incentives later on. It can only be helped to unfold. If motivation shows up, it can be assigned to the correct task.

Finding 4: Motivation does not need incentives but room for development


From the point of view of psychoanalytical business coaching, there are different types of motivation. Some examples are: The joy of helping others, being independent, getting security, giving security, competing, being part of a group, taking responsibility or getting rid of responsibility. How these types of motivation behave is different for every employee. But frequent types of motivation can be grouped into personality types.

Finding 5: Each personality type has its own particular motivation.


Many people know examples of employees who only do the minimum that is required of them and who are in top form in their hobbies and clubs after work. If tasks fit the motivation structure, intrinsic motivation is encouraged. Otherwise, displeasure, emptiness and burnout arise. A vicious-circle from which it is difficult to escape for a company. Even entrepreneurial visions can only motivate employees if they fit the motivational structure.

Finding 6: If the tasks do not fit the motivation, a vicious circle emerges.


In psychoanalytical business coaching, people are understood and accepted with their personality and motivation structure. Defense and façade are more and more reduced and the deep inner motivation emerges. It shows itself through the coachee himself/herself: in his/her appearance, in enactments and re-enactments, as well as in the roles into which the coach is pushed and in the feelings that are triggered in the coach through the collaboration. On this basis, a well-trained psychoanalytical business coach works with his clients to develop their own motivation structure as well as the motivation of selected employees in just a few hours.

Finding 7: Psychoanalytical business coaching recognizes motivational structure.


So what are we going to do with this knowledge? Do we have to replace all employees whose motivation structure does not fit the task or company vision? A reallocation of tasks is essential if the motivation is not right and the company is in a depressed mood. However, there is more room for manoeuvre than you think, because employees do not only have ONE type of motivation, and it is also sufficient if a task fits the motivation in essential aspects. Therefore, in addition to self-awareness about one’s own motivation, the involvement of employees in this new distribution of tasks is decisive for good motivation development. Personality tests and assignment of tasks, on the other hand, have not proven to be useful.

Finding 8: Employees must develop their own motivational structure and be involved in the design of tasks.


Companies that want to dedicate themselves to the topic of motivation must build up their own competence through motivation. Psychoanalytical business coaching of individual employees can help to find an introduction to the topic and to unfold the first radiating effects in the company. The principle of the cascade promotes the spreading: A handful Coaches train and supervise 20-40 executive managers, who then organize in teams a process of self organization of several hundred coworkers. This way the know-how about motivation and how to deal with it distributes. This ensures that the knowledge remains firmly anchored in the company.

Finding 9: Coaching a few executives has a radiating effect on the motivation development of many employees.


Satisfied, motivated employees are good. But what are the benefits for the entrepreneur or the investor? As in all operational organisational processes, a benchmark must be implemented so that success is visible and fine-tuning is possible. Intermediate goals are job satisfaction and the reduction of burnout rate, which can be measured by psychological tests. This way improvement gets visible, even before it has reached the company’s balance sheet. Conversion rates determine the influence of psychoanalytical business coaching on indicators of job satisfaction, burnout and sick leave. In the further course, supplementary conversion rates between these key figures and key performance indicators at a higher level determine the influence of motivational work.

Finding 10: Focus on motivation can be measured in employee satisfaction and key performance indicators.


Prof. Dr. Thomas Kretschmar