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Stephanie Galioto
Manager, Client Services

Inspiration vs. Motivation… Does the Difference Matter?

Every manager wants an “inspired” and “motivated” workforce. But, getting to those goals requires an understanding of their differences and how to leverage them effectively.

So, what is the difference?

Oftentimes these terms are used interchangeably, however there is much that differentiates the two, and the differences matter. As you can see from the definitions below, wanting something is not the same as acting to achieve it…

Inspiration: “Something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create; a force or influence that inspires someone. A person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something; a good idea”

Motivation: “Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge. Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior.”

How they relate:

In the workplace, motivation shouldn’t be separated from inspiration. Employers are always looking for ways to encourage their employees to perform to their highest potential. But if you skip the inspiration and go straight to the motivation, it can backfire and lead to burnout or a perception that management only cares about wringing productivity out of employees. The ideals that employees strive to (inspiration) are as important as the physical process of acting on those ideals.

Here are a few ways to inspire employees:

  • Always lead by example.
  • Provide training and coaching from inspiring professionals.
  • Highlight great work by peers and other industry leaders.
  • Always recognize and reward someone who goes above and beyond!

Here are a few ways to motivate employees:

  • Respect and treat employees as equivalents and they will feel appreciated and motivated to perform.
  • Build an atmosphere of trust and teamwork by using the right incentives at the right time.
  • Build healthy competition into everyday tasks with contests and tiered goals.

Taken together, motivating and inspiring employees can be used to create a positive work culture and a successful business. When these two strategies are executed correctly, they will produce rewarding results, guaranteed. If you’re interested in learning more or would like to find out how to tangibly reward, recognize, motivate and inspire your employees, then reach out to a Marketing Innovators specialist today.