By Mark Rounds, VP of Corporate Development

In a previous blog, I described how “here-and-now humility” (Schein, 2013) is a path for motivating others to do what you need done. Positive and negative KITA (Herzberg, 1987) do not create sustainable results. Through my experience, I learned that people have a need to understand why a task is necessary in order to be motivated. The leader must establish an environment where employees are positively motivated to accomplish the needs of the team.

I recently met with other servant leaders to discuss motivation. The consensus was that a trusting relationship is needed to start the motivation process. This trust starts with a safe environment where all voices are heard. We also agreed that mutual respect is required. This respect is founded in agápe love, an unconditional love between individuals, similar to the love God has for us. Lastly, we agreed that vision is needed so everyone understood not only what they are doing, but why it is being done. We are most motivated when we have a goal that is bigger than ourselves.

This discussion affirmed my thoughts on motivation described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The foundation of the pyramid is physiological needs. Employers suffice this need by providing a living wage and appropriate benefits. The next level is safety. Leaders need to provide a safe environment where everyone feels they can speak without fear. Next are social needs, the need to belong and to be loved. Here is where agápe plays a key role. Moving up to the next level is the need for the employee’s self-esteem. What the employee does matters and makes a difference.

The leader’s role is to create an environment that is safe and loving, where employees feel they belong and matter. This is accomplished through trusting relationships with understanding and empathy. It certainly is not easy, but doing so will motivate employees to do what needs to be done.

At Vogel Bros. our values are safe, ethical, and caring. We strive to provide an environment where employees feel safe, both physically and mentally. We conduct our business with a moral backbone that is founded in our belief that people are the key to our success: everyone matters. Lastly, we care for our employees’ and for our customers’ well-being. Family is important, and we care for and love each other as a family. It is in this environment where each of us is motivated to support the work of the team first, before our personal goals. For the outside business world we have titles, but inside the office there are no titles. We are all equally important to the mission of our company: to continuously improve our services in order to enhance the lives of the people in the communities we serve. This is the why that motivates every Vogel Bros. employee.

Herzberg, F. One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review, Sep-Oct 1987.
Schein, E. (2013). Humble Inquiry.