Handy's Motivation Theory

Motivating People to Work Hard

(Also known as Handy's Motivation Calculus)

Business people holding puzzle pieces.

Connecting people's needs with the work they do.

© iStockphoto/gehringj

You've just assigned an important project to one of your star team members.

However, she doesn't seem that excited about the opportunity, and you're not sure what the problem is: her skills and expertise seem perfect for the job, and she'll get a great reward if she can complete the project on time.

So, why is she so reluctant to get started?

If you're in a management role, you've likely experienced times when team members were less than enthusiastic about a project that you felt would be ideal for them. When this happens, you know that they'll struggle to give their best.

This is where a technique like Handy's Motivation Theory can help you motivate your people more effectively.

In this article, we'll discuss this theory, and we'll explore how you can use it to motivate your people and allocate tasks and projects more effectively.

About the Theory

Charles Handy is one of the world's most influential management experts. He created his Motivation Theory (also known as his Motivation Calculus) in the 1970s and published it in his classic 1976 book, "Understanding Organizations."

The theory says that, whenever we decide to do something, then, either consciously or subconsciously, we take into consideration these three factors:

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