The final part of the Raleigh Neighborhood Exchange was the afternoon keynote. I presented twice before the keynote with other neighborhood leaders at a session on High tech / low tech ways to help your neighborhood flourish. Donna Warner, an instructor at the University of North Carolina School of Government, gave the event keynote to over 150 attendees.
The topic was Motivating Without Money. Warner started off by telling us about governing in communities. Motivating without money is an important issue, but the reality is, money has never really motivated people. Think about your own involvement in your community watch or neighborhood organization. You are not getting paid a lot to participate are you? You do it because you care about your neighborhood, your home, or your quality of life.
Warner talked about how organizations leverage volunteers. She continued and shared theories on what motivates people. The first thing to know is what motivates one person doesn’t motivate everyone else. In other words, one size does not fit all. She will talk later about some tools to use and go over different ways to show appreciation.
We took about 10 minutes at our individual tables to share a moment when each of us were recognized. We talked amongst the folks at our table and shared a time when we were rewarded, what made it special, and how it made us feel. During the keynote recap of our breakout, someone in the audience pointed out that none of the stories shared at their table included a monetary reward. I concurred. None of the stories at our table talked about recognition with money.
Warner talked about pull versus push motivation along with how goals are set. Pull includes things like incentives, goals, and objectives where push is more about needs, motives, and values. On the goal setting side, people tend to be more motivated when they set goals themselves instead of having goals set for them.
Then Warner mentioned something very familiar to me: Malows hierarchy of needs. I learned about Malows hierarchy from open source community building. We also looked at Herzberg’s theory of motivation and hygiene factors. This two-factor theory outlines motivation factors as things like promotion opportunity, opportunity for personal growth, recognition, responsibility, and achievement. The second factor, hygiene, includes quality of supervision, pay, company polices, physical working conditions, relationships with others, and job security.
One way to think about hygiene versus motivation factors is to pose the following question: would you stay in a job that has a really nice facility, an office with a great view, and has the latest and greatest technology, but no one says thank you?
Warner then transitioned and talked about generation gaps and reiterated that one size does not fit all for recognition. Some of her slides mentioned: what you are now is what you were then, where you sit is where you stand, and avoid stereotypes. Next, we looked at some generation differences:
- Baby Boomers define working as being in your chair and if you have to stay after, you stay after
- Generation X questions the status quo and is production-oriented
- Generation Y likes working with creative people, in teams, and often seeks approval
Our job as neighborhood leaders are to
- express appreciation
- build a sense of affiliation
- respect each others autonomy
- respect each others status
- help shape the roles that are fulfilling
It’s also important to remember these basic communication tips
- ask others what they think
- be aware of reactions
- build community (tie recognition to the mission)
Warner finished her keynote by reiterating the importance of recognition. The following questions should be considered when looking to recognize someone:
- What did they do to exemplify the value?
- How can I personalize the recognition? What can I do to make it special for them?
- Where and when will I recognize the person?
- Who else should know?
When you think about volunteers, they are motivated by several things including recognition, food, ties to the mission, and a sense of from.