How to make engagement (or meaningful motivation) a built-in property of the organization?

In any project, people are the only participants capable of communicating with each other, organizing themselves, developing knowledge, showing creativity, and performing the activities needed to turn their ideas into products. But they also need the energy to make proper use of those capabilities and therefore Energize People is the first view in the Management 3.0 model.

Technically, we can’t make people feel motivated or engaged.

This also leads to one obvious conclusion that the primary focus of any organization should be to energize people, to make sure that they want to do all the stuff mentioned above. And doing all that stuff requires motivation. This means that the innate goal of the organization should be to create a work environment in which motivation is a built-in property of the system. Without motivation, nothing can be produced. Technically, we can’t make people feel motivated or engaged. Let me explain this by using an analogy from everyday life.

How do comedians make people laugh? Do they do some things in people’s heads to program them to laugh? I hope your answer based on personal experience is – NO! So, again technically speaking, it is incorrect to say that someone can make people laugh. People can only decide for themselves to start laughing. All comedians can do is set the right conditions that maximize the likelihood that the audience will have fun and start laughing. Some comedians are good at it and some are not. The same goes with motivation, we cannot make (program) people feel motivated. But we can certainly set up the right conditions to maximize the probability for it to happen. So, we need to manage the system, not the people. Some managers are good at it and some are not.

According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, things that motivate people are different from the things that demotivate them. Herzberg makes a distinction between motivators and hygiene factors. Hygiene factors do not make people motivated and engaged, but their absence can cause demotivation. Taking away the things that demotivate people, or introducing hygiene factors, can at most result in people having neutral feelings toward their jobs. Or in other words, the absence of hygiene factors will drain out people.

Compensation (payment, status, rewards, etc.) is the traditional way organizations motivate their employees. And it works (quite well, actually). But in my book, this one goes into the hygiene basket.

If you want to achieve even greater productivity, people need to feel motivated by something more meaningful to them, something that drives them and brings true engagement.

And that something important to them is usually related to intrinsic motivation.

We need to find what drives (beyond extrinsic motivation) people and incorporate that as built-in properties into the organization to meet their needs. When the things that truly drives people are dominantly present in the system (organization), then the lack of some hygiene factor will not be so draining for the system and people. The real question managers need to ask themselves is:

How to make engagement (or meaningful motivation) a built-in property of the organization?

It is because a motivated worker is not necessarily an engaged worker. Every organization in the world should try to turn mere motivation into true engagement, even when the only reason for it is higher productivity.


Management 3.0 brings us the CHAMPFROGS model which deals specifically with motivation and engagement in the context of work-life.

This model emerged under the influence of several other models of human motivation. It consists of 10 motivators that are either internal, extrinsic, or somewhat both.

Curiosity: I have plenty of things to investigate and to think about.

Honor: I feel proud that my values are reflected in how I work.

Acceptance: The people around me approve of what I do and who I am.

Mastery: My work challenges my competence, but it is still within my abilities.

Power: There’s enough room for me to influence what happens around me.

Freedom: I am independent of others with my work and my responsibilities.

Relatedness: I have good social contacts with the people in my work.

Order: There are enough rules and policies for a stable environment.

Goal: My purpose in life is reflected in the work that I do.

Status: My position is good and recognized by the people who work with me.

We must seek ways for the CHAMPFROGS motivators to become systemic properties of the organization.

Author: Vladimir Kelava

If you want to learn more about the CHAMPFROGS model and how to use the model to manage the system, not the people, join us at our Management 3.0 Foundation Workshop. You will also get a chance to hear and learn what lies behind Moving Motivator, a popular Management 3.0 practice.