Understanding Motivation In The Workplace With Neuroscience
As neuroscience continues to teach us more of the functions of the brain, leaders have to be rethinking how to improve the motivation of our teams. It is possible that we have been doing the right idea…
A large portion of the leadership thinking is now devoted to innovative ways of guiding individuals towards being more efficient, innovative, and more of this, and more that.
Why do certain people respond more than others in these situations? What can be done to inspire people and sustain them? Why can some people barely start before slipping back into their old ways of inactivity?
According to neuroscientific research, motivation levels are influenced by two key factors: effort and attention.
Effort versus reward
Does it seem like a simple matter of the brain weighing the effort needed in comparison to the reward? It would appear to be the case.
For instance, we may make a commitment to get in shape for New Year’s Day, but after a couple of days, the effort required to get up early at 6.00 morning and get our tracksuit bottoms on is thought not worth the possible reward. Sleepy brains can make funny noises, but you’ll get the message.
It’s apparent that it’s not as simple as that. Even when the benefits are very good – and appear to be far superior to those negatives – motivation to act could not last.
It’s known as “behavioural apathy,” and it’s been investigated by neuroscientists at Oxford University. The University of Oxford, in the UK.
A new study
In a recent research study, participants played an online game while their brains scanned. Each participant was shown an apple tree laden with fruit and then a related effort level needed to collect the apples. The reward is based on the number of apples in comparison to the effort required to earn them was designed to reflect the choices we’d need to take in real life.
Four significant findings were discovered:
The frontal part of the brain that is involved in controlling attention is activated while making a decision about whether to buy the apples.
Attention is essential to motivational processes. If the objective isn’t always in the forefront of your mind, the mind is distracted, and the purpose is often lost in the shuffle.
The participants who put in the most effort to collect the apples from the top of the tree activated their premotor cortex. It reflects the anticipation of response or preparation.
A reward signal can be registered only after the work is in progress.
Attention and effort
What’s not understood in management classes is that the way people think is usually not the right way to approach motivation. Leaders need to recognize that you don’t need the motivation to begin the work, and you should begin your task in order to increase motivation.
Dopamine is released following the initial effort, and we are moving towards our goal, which makes this first effort crucial to our progress.
However, not all are alike in their appearance; certain people require more of their brain to get the reward following an agreement; this could cause a feeling of it’s not a simple task.
Leaders need to determine the people who require that extra push to take action as it is the first attention to the project that is followed by decision after committing to it that is essential in keeping the motivation of employees.