Expectancy theory operates on the premise that your level of effort is what is necessary to perform well and earn rewards. For example, if an employer wants workers to put forth a certain level of energy, they set up a reward structure. It needs to have clear, defined goals and routine evaluations.
To make it work your employees need to know the actions required to reach a level of performance that earns the reward. Moreover, when pursuing goals, if you want morale to stay high, the amount of effort needs to be challenging, but not impossible.
On the job, you likely base your work, output or quality in anticipation of your employer’s response. Such responses range from a pat on the back, a positive performance appraisal or a better work assignment. Consider an information technology expert who improves the method for capturing business data. She generally does so with the expectation that her employer will provide her with some form of positive response as a reward. Sometimes the return may be a bonus or being removed from the list of employees to be laid off.
Moreover, employers need to know that the quality of work is relative to the level of response the employee expects from their time and effort.
On the other hand, once you have begun tackling the responsibilities you would earn if you were promoted, you can come to your manager and say, "Here are all the things that I've taken on additionally in the last [however many] weeks, and the ways I've been contributing to the team. I'd like to level up and receive a promotion to this new opportunity."
Act as if you have the promotion, do not wait around until someone gives you a title bump to take on new challenges. Instead, take on new challenges and then show why you deserve the title bump.
Extrinsic Motivation Vs. Expectancy Theory
Some confuse extrinsic motivation with expectancy theory. In both cases, you engage in actions and behaviour to produce a desirable outcome. The underlying reason that you perform the job or adopt a type of behaviour is extrinsic motivation. However, expectancy theory is not the reason you do the task. It is the basis for why you execute at a level.
The extrinsic motivation for coming to work is a regular paycheck. On the other hand expectancy theory may explain why you maintain perfect attendance, perform your job and produce high-quality work. Further, you reasonably expect that your employer will respond to your above average performance with a positive evaluation or promotion.
Achieving Personal Goals
My insight, How to Accomplish Your Career Goals provides a roadmap for you. Career success is a journey — work towards it —get clear on what you want. Ask for help. Invest in yourself. Most importantly, enjoy your ride. Relish your achievements as you get closer to your career goals. Moreover, enjoy your free time too — celebrate your efforts!
I am sharing the following insights to help you achieve huge goals at work and in your personal life. In the “Expectancy Theory of Motivation,” there are three things must occur for you to be motivated to achieve your goal. It is essential that you believe that:
- the ‘why’ (the reward) the of a goal is relevant, meaningful, and compelling — it pulls you toward something that excites you
- the ’how’ (clear strategies/plans/people) to achieve your goal has been established— you become confident that you can execute your plan
- you can execute the strategies, plans, and pivoting involved in attaining the goal — you know that you can create small wins and that those wins will ripple into more significant successes
Rewards For “Success” Must Be Meaningful to You
Reasons come first, answers come second.” — Jim Rohn
What are the compelling reasons for wanting it? Your goal needs to be desirable and you need to want it. You need reasons for doing something. Those reasons are your ‘why.’
The more compelling the reasons you can give yourself for accomplishing something, the more it motivates you. Ultimately your reasons are your needs.
Many people look at their income as a product of their situation or capabilities. However, your current salary is based on how much you believe you need.
Your current income reflects the size of your reasons. However, most people have this backward. They work so they can make money. With compelling reasons, you make money so that you can do more work. When you have precise and persuasive reasons for doing the job, it is sweet.
When you make your reasons more significant, more exciting, and meaningful — you conceptualize clear goals.
Bigger Reasons —Bigger Needs
When you have big goals, you need more resources, a team of people to help you, and probably lots more income. Many entrepreneurs “live in a vacuum,” They become razor focused on their idea and vision, and lose sight of everything that needs to be done. This leads to slow growth or failure.
It is much easier if you build your start-up team for success. The first person you recruit to join you are doubling your workforce. It is critical that their talent stack fill some of the large gaps in your talent stack. We all have gaps. Strategically filling them is essential for success. Your subsequent hires need to be done on a best-fit talent approach.
I know many very talented people who do not have enough reasons to take their work and life to the next level. The more compelling reasons you have for achieving a goal, the more willing you will be to succeed.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
Planning for Personal Success
Planning for personal success is like preparing for business success. Strategy-making as developing a set of answers to five interlinked questions. The questions cascade from the first to the last.
- What are your broad aspirations and the concrete goals against which you can measure your progress?
- Across the potential areas available to you, where will you choose to play and not play?
- In your chosen place to play, how will you decide to win against the competitors there?
- What capabilities do you need to have to win in your chosen manner?
- What do you need to learn, build, operate and maintain to sustain success?
A clear vision and reasons for your broad aspirations will motivate you. To this end, clarifying your vision takes work and patience. You need to explore and ask yourself some tough questions.
Getting clear on your vision, one that matters to you requires spending lots of time by yourself and disconnecting from all the noise around you. A compelling ‘why’ must be more than maintaining prior success or “beating” other people.
Your driving force must be very personal to you. Ideally, your mission aligns with your purpose in life. Once you can see it — you can get there — you can build your plan for success.
Radio Flyer, the iconic maker of the little red wagon, has done an exceptional job aligning its plans and processions with its vision. The 100-year-old company tripled it sales in the last decade.
Building a Plan
The bigger the ‘why,’ the easier the ‘how.’” — Jim Rohn
Ok, you have a goal, have profound reasons for achieving that goal, and you believe in your vision.
Vision without a thoughtful and strategic plan is a dream. Three years is a considerable span of time to make enormous progress toward your vision.
The clearer you become on your target, the better equipped you will grow to find solutions. Even more, you need ‘how’ and “who” to help you achieve that vision. You need the strategies and people and resources — or ways to get resources — then you will be motivated, and you will reach your goals.
The bigger the dream, the more important the team.” — Robin Sharma
To believe you can do something big, you need first to get educated. You need context for what will be required. Moreover, you need to start succeeding even in small ways toward your goals.
If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
Scale or Fail
Allison Maslan provides a useful framework in her book, Scale or Fail. In brief, Maslan advances that an entrepreneur must evolve his or her role through five stage to scale the business otherwise the business will fail. I enjoy coaching people on this path. The evolution is different for everyone. Moveover, it need to align with their broad aspirations. The five-stage are:
- SEEKER: You are the domain It is your domain to rule and run. You do and are responsible for everything — creation, manufacturing, sales, implementation, strategy, building, etc.
- PIONEER: You now have one or a small handful of employees. You start to delegate. However, you are still approving everything that comes in and out of your company.
- RINGLEADER: You begin building small teams (e.g., admin, customer service, marketing). At this stage, you are getting clear on your vision. You lead team meetings and developing systems, and You are spread way too thin. People lack clarity on what their roles, responsibility, accountability and authority.
- CO-CREATOR: You establish the structure, recruit or promote team leaders. Together you co-create the solutions and brainstorm the new ideas and opportunities. Your people become as committed as you to your vision and begin asking: How can we delight our customers? How can we innovate? How can we increase revenue?
- VISIONARY: Your team does not need you as you have great people in place. They are devoted and committed to your vision. You step back from meetings and offering your two cents. Ultimately, you remove yourself from the day-to-day and focus only on the big picture.
This 5-stage framework is beneficial. It shows that at each stage, you need a new game plan. Lots of people imagine themselves at Stage five when they do not even know how to execute Stage one.
Whatever your goal — you need to develop a plan. You need to know where you are and develop strategies to get to where you want to go. Once you ascend to a certain level, you will want to re-define the ‘why’ — your reasons for what you are doing, as it will likely continue to grow.
To achieve big goals, ‘why’ is necessary but not enough. You need “who” to take care of the ‘how.’
The separation between the great companies and the “me too” happens on their ability to execute.” - Robert Herjavec
Hope Theory is like Expectancy Theory hope reflects your perceptions about your capacity to:
- Conceptualize your goals
- Develop the specific strategies for you to reach those goals
- Start and sustain the motivation for executing those strategies
If your ‘why’ is powerful and you have developed the best strategies, you will still self-sabotage if you do not believe you can perform.
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” — Albert Einstein
Grow Into Your Vision
You need to grow into your vision. In brief, you need to:
- develop capacities and skills
- adapt to challenging circumstances
- do stuff you have never done before
When embarking on a big idea, I encourage you to have an in-depth understanding of your behavioural DNA. Consequently, the insights on what strengths you have, many of which people do not recognize that they have, provide you with confidence that you will succeed in this area.
In a similar fashion, you learn about your challenge areas. Simultaneously you need to determine if you will put in the extra effort t manage the challenge or ensure that the make-up of your team is able to overcome these areas. I prefer that latter approach, as someone with strength in areas where you have challenges will always be better than you will be.
Ignoring these areas provides a quick path to failure. You want to:
- become in new and unknown territories
- understand your strengths and weaknesses
- develop confidence and faith — willing to put your stake in the ground
- get to this level of conviction by investing fulling into what you believe in
To achieve success, you need to know what things matter to you. You need to care about your dreams and grow beyond your fears and self-image. It is up to you.
At each stage of your personal and professional growth, you will have to have:
- A clear goal with compelling reasons
- Specific plans that you believe will lead to the achievement of your goal
- The belief that your approach (and your people) will get the job done
If your ‘why’ is significant, the ‘how’ gets easier — because increasingly, your vision will be pulling you forward. When you are committed, the ‘how’ begins taking care of itself.
Expectancy theory shows that you gain confidence in yourself by understanding your natural strengths and through action. Moreover, take steps forward now. Ultimately, learning what you do not know and unlearning what may be holding you back is essential success.
Insights About Your Behavioral DNA Can Advance Your Career
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