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All aboard the train: Motivating the masses in hard times

Calvin London ( is the Founder and Principal Consultant of The Compliance Concierge.

Motivation is a primary function in human behavior, defined as that which initiates, directs, and maintains behavior. Some behavioralists liken it to a car battery. Like the battery starting the car, motivation starts the behavior. Motivation then directs behavior toward certain goals and keeps the behavior going until that goal is reached. It is the drive to achieve goals or needs and is influenced by how much you want the goal, what you will gain, and your personal expectations (intrinsic motivation).

In the workplace, motivation can take many forms. What works to motivate one individual might be ineffective for another. Managers must constantly strive to find different ways to motivate employees and to keep them motivated to achieve goals. Employees often look for the answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Many people struggle with motivation, but it is even more challenging when faced with a scenario that you believe was not your fault, but you are being asked to rise to the occasion, make sacrifices, and put in the extra effort. As a manager, how do you tackle this scenario, and how do you motivate employees?

I was involved in a scenario some years ago that involved a manufacturing site of 300 people, and this article is the story of the ticket, the way in which we motivated the masses in an attempt to achieve our goal: to stay in business!

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