What motivates people? No question about human behavior is more frequently asked or more perplexing to answer.

As an employer can you actually influence employee behavior? Or do employees find their own motivations in the workplace?

Beneath all the argument and rhetoric around leadership versus management, or the often endless effort invested in redefining of vision, mission, purpose, and the like, there is general agreement that maintaining effective relations with others is critical to the development of a healthy, sustainable business.

Knowing what motivates another person is basic to establishing such effective relations. And within your business it is absolutely fundamental to the practice of management – the art of getting things done through people.

Motivation and employee performance management is a complex topic. There are whole libraries devoted to research, explanation and promotion of elements of human behavior, particularly as they relate to productivity. You would not be alone in thinking there is no end of gurus and motivational experts who claim to have the answer to getting the best out of your people. And like most things in business and life – some of it will work well and some of it won’t work at all, no matter what you do.

But don’t be alarmed. In amongst the myriad of influencing factors in the motivation business it is certainly possible to distill a potent brew of powerful and effective ethical practices that you can apply to support, influence or change employee behavior.

Work is about accomplishing something. Productive work is about achieving effective accomplishment- the more effective the better. This needs both you and your employees to understand what is expected of them. Take action to get that right and you’ve got a really solid base for moving forward with the next steps in your Employee Motivation Program.

Author's Bio: 

Business success over the past 15 years. Published in the Australia's Whos Who of Australian Women 2009 and 2010 for contributions to the business and corporate sector. Co creator of the Self Learning Club http://www.selflearningclub.com a free membership site enabling people to build their own success.