Most people in corporate easily loose their steam much before achieving their goal/task. Often they say that the goal is too hard to achieve. The simple reason they attributes to the above is that many external factors had affected their effort and those factors they did not consider while setting the goal nor could they change them. Another most common reason they state for not achieving the goal is the shortage or paucity of time. The time to achieve the goal was too short and hence they could not achieve.
One of the reasons for why people find it hard to achieve their goal is that they do not measure how close they are to achieve it and nor do they derive any pleasure from doing it. Many commercial establishments selling commodities use the management trick of ‘goal gradient effect’ to motivate the customers to increase their purchase intent.
Goal gradient effect/effort states that all animals including humans increase their effort when they realize that they are too close to achieving the goal. Proximity to a goal/reward increases human effort and commitment.
The corporate bosses, while setting Herculean goals to their subordinates, must also give small measures/yard sticks. Achieving the each measure/yard sticks should be made as the first priority of people and ultimately achieving each yardstick will easily take them to accomplish the main goal.
Do not allow people to have so much of empty space between the goal and its achievement. People get tired often not because they are uninterested or incapable of achieving such goals, but they find the path from goal to its final destination (achievement) long, very dull, barren and disgusting.
Look at the beauty of goal gradient effect. People go for shopping with clear understanding of how much money they have and hence what should be their purchase value. Imagine they have intended to spent only rupees 900. If the shop keeper says to the customer after their purchase that if they exceed rupees 950, they would get another article for 75% less than its original price. The shop keeper may further motivates the buyer that having purchased for 900 rupees, adding another 50 rupees would fetch them an article for 75% lesser cost. The buyers normally get motivated by the fact that adding a little more is only going to profit them greatly. Finally they would end up spending 1500 or more instead of their initial intent of 900.
The achievement orientation and effort of people can be easily increased several folds if the corporate bosses use simple methods. Make people to feel that they are always close to their goal. Assure them and then they will happily invest more effort, energy and time.
Unfortunately most corporate bosses instead of motivating people to achieve their goal, whip them by telling that they have already lost time and others in the organization have already completed their task etc.
Even the giant crocodile and blue whale jump so high in the sky only due to goal gradient effect. When the food is shown just above the water, they jump. If the food is kept near to their reach, they jump and slowly increase the height of their jump as well. Imagine, if the food were kept at great height, these animals may not even bother to look at it.
Motivate and reward people to make them achievers. Do not scare them or tell them the task is so high or have lost time.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai
Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum