It's true, not only are the motivation skills of women vs. men are different, but what motivates each gender differs too. If you are in charge of the employee motivation of a co-ed team of workers, you may want to consider using a few different methods to make sure you reach everyone on your team.
Motivation Skills of Women vs. Men
It's just like "he said, she said". Men and women both interpret and give information differently. This translates into different motivations. Once you get past the gender differences, you can better understand how to motivate your employees and have a more productive office.
To begin, let's take a look at men and women and how they give information. Keep in mind that not all men and women will fit into these categories. The most important thing to keep in mind when motivating your employees is to get to know their personalities and what their personal goals are. When you understand who you are working with, and what they want from their job, your employee retention increases.
However, studies show that there are many obvious differences in gender and how they react to different situations. Understanding this information can help you when planning to motivate your team.
Men vs Women
Let's take a stereotypical look at men vs. women in the workplace:
- Men tend to like power, control and strength.
- Women are more emotionally driven.
- A man tends to jump in when he comes face to face with an issue and take over. He will deal with it then and there and get it over with.
- A woman ask questions first, make sure she understands the task, and then completes it to perfection.
- Men like to work alone.
- Women prefer to help each other.
Men and women share information differently.
Men tend to say exactly what they mean. If a man wants steak for dinner, he says, "I want steak." If he doesn't care one way or another, he'll tell you, "Do it how you feel looks best." When a man thinks a dress is OK, he'll tell you, "That dress is fine." Now this may seem simple, but to most women, who share information differently, it can be very confusing. To a woman, "fine" means not great.
Women like to "sugar-coat" information. When a woman tells you something, you often have to read between the lines. For example, if she wants chicken but she knows you want a steak, she'll tell you "Steak or chicken is fine. If you really want steak, we can have steak, but I can make chicken." If she tells you "Do it how you feel is best," she still wants you to ask her opinion before submitting your work.
When a woman sees an ugly dress, she will talk around it in, "That is an original looking dress." If she says "fine," her friend knows it is not the best choice in dress.
Males and females interpret information differently. Many books have been written to help couples get over this different planet mentality. Gaining an understanding of these differences can also help you motivate employees in the workplace.
Men hear what you say, and take it for face value. They will not read between the lines. If you say, "Let's go watch a movie. I'd like to see the movie that won the awards, but it doesn't matter." They think, "Great! Let's go see that new horror movie."
If you tell them something doesn't matter, then they move on. To them, the situation is over.
Women however read between the lines. This is what frustrates men. Men tell you what they want, and a woman will try to interpret the information. If you tell a woman she "looks nice," she may agonize over the definition of "nice."
Back to Motivation
Now that you understand how men and women interpret and give information, you can better take a look at the motivation skills of women vs men.
A woman often works more towards her emotions. Often, a "You are doing a great job" can mean a lot to keep her motivated. Simple gestures, like a gift basket can make a huge difference in making her feel appreciated. Remembering her birthday or recognizing her achievements are great motivators.
Though men like to hear they are doing a great job, a man often lets his work speak for itself. He doesn't need the same reinforcement as women. Men like to be the best, and competitions can often play at their male ego and motivate them to work harder. He wants something to show for his hard work. If he did great, he wants a title, or parking place, to show it.
Motivation skills of women vs men can be used to your advantage. Men and women are motivated to be better than each other, so friendly competition can get them involved and working their best.
Use your knowledge of gender differences to motivate your employees and keep them on task and feeling appreciated.