I’m currently reading The Language of Leaders by Kevin Murray. In the book he talks about the need to have both a strong purpose to your organisation, and good enough leadership skills to communicate that purpose to staff. This purpose should be inspiring and motivational. Wanting to double profits in five years is very nice, but it’s not the kind of thing that gets people out of bed in the morning.
Values and a sense of belonging have always mattered, but you sense that they matter more now than ever before. That’s certainly the finding of a new study from Stanford University.
The research team tested various levels of ‘connectedness’. For instance one group shared a birthday, whilst others had more professional similarities.
The results reveal that whilst previously it was thought that deep connections were required to effect motivation, positive impact can be seen by small cues.
Each experiment saw a boost in participants’ motivation levels. They were found to work harder and for longer when they had a sense of belonging with those in their team.
This research suggests that such connections and belonging can be achieved very easily. Each study provides evidence that a mere sense of social linkage leads people to adopt the goals and motivation of others for themselves.
Taken together, this research suggests that people draw motivation from a sense of belonging in a community. They are senstive to subtle cues that suggest whether they and their group belongs in a perforamnce setting and respond to such cues with large shifts in motivation.
I posted recently about the growing importance of community management as a part of the modern managers arsenal, and this research further emphasises the importance of fostering that sense of belonging within your team.