What motivates us in the workplace? Overall, people are motivated by a wide variety of things that are dependent on a wide variety of perceptions, lifestyles, needs and desires. The need for money and benefits is the major factor for motivating us to work, although there are some people who work for the satisfaction of being active and productive. But, what factors cause us to stay motivated and what can management do to motivate its employees?
Motivating Factors In Business
A happy employee is a productive employee, but what makes a happy employee? At the end of the day, humans want to feel like they’ve made a difference, that their efforts are appreciated and that their boss has their back. To get there, management needs to motivate their employees, and below are just some motivational tools that they can provide for doing just that:
Recognition – this can be as simple as taking a moment to say thank you or job well done.
Encouragement – a very powerful tool to challenge people to reach their goals and feel empowered
Respect – treating each employee with respect, as well as fostering a respectful working environment.
Trust employees and employers need to know they can trust each other; productivity cannot exist where people feel suspicious of one another.
Team Spirit – exchanging ideas, pitching in to support co-workers and listening to employees.
Reward/Incentives – offering incentives or rewards for goals reached, going above and beyond, or thinking outside the box. These can range from cash incentives or profit sharing to perhaps an extra day off.
Flexibility – work/life balance is so important and offering work-from-home options or flexible hours is a great motivator.
Career advancement – employees who work hard but realize they will be stuck in the same job forever have no incentive to do a good job. Employers who offer career advancement are more likely to have motivated people who want to advance and do more for the company.
How Will You Stay Motivated?
As you drive to work, picturing in your mind the stack of papers that awaits you, or the voice mail messages that are probably stacked up in your phone, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to tackle yet another work day. However, today is a new day! Tell yourself that you will do your best today. When you get to work, take a few minutes to get yourself organized and begin by making a great to-do list. Be sure to put the most important tasks at the top and add a time estimate for each. As you check off each task, you will visually see your work load decline and start to feel a bit lighter and ultimately more accomplished. It’s like eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? . . . One bite at a time. (Please do not eat an actual elephant.)
Throughout the day, give your attention to the things you can control. Very often we become overwhelmed with things that remain undone that are out of our control, but this only adds more stress. Focusing on handling the things you can control will help you to feel empowered and be more productive.
Set up a reward system for yourself. For example, for each goal you reach or for each five items you check off your to-do list, indulge in a special treat.
Ask yourself why. Why are you working? Why there? Why this Job? Remember why you are there, what brought you there and why you stay. This leads to another list, the good/bad list. On the left side of a blank page, write all the reasons you like your job. On the right, all the reasons you don’t. One of two things will happen. You will find more things on the left than on the right, which will motivate you to power through, or you will find more things on the right side than on the left, which may motivate you to reconsider your current situation and make a new goal for your future.