The secret of motivation
If I have to answer the question ‘what is motivation?’, I’ll start thinking about the word and the context in which I usually use it. Motivation derives from ‘motive’, which signifies the desire to possess or achieve something. This term describes a concept, a state of mind, that we all need in our private and public lives.
Motivation is the engine that drives us toward a goal. This impulse is necessary for all our life’s situations, but it’s during our professional careers that it becomes more critical. When talking about motivation at work, we need to keep in mind that we are all stimulated differently and according to our personality.
Some people find their main drive at work in the task or project’s main goals (intrinsic motivation); others are motivated by the salary, the rewards, and success (extrinsic motivation). There isn’t a good or bad motivation – just different types.
Remember that motivation can be learned and trained. It’s a fundamental skill that brings countless benefits to both employees and organisations.
Who else needs motivation at work?
Motivation guides us in all aspects and situations of our life, but it’s fundamental to manage it with a great routine for the daily drive at work. For example, we need to ensure we don’t lose it after the initial period of a new job.
Motivation is our direct support to get things done on time and generate new ideas. This force is the one that moves us to make confident choices and be proactive at work.
Likewise, we can describe all the invisible elements of our existence with examples taken from daily situations.
So, let’s imagine for a moment that I am working on a project as a designer, and I need to propose something. If I like this project’s goals and get motivated by the task, I will surely find this work satisfying and I will deliver it quickly.
On the contrary, if the project doesn’t excite me, and I don’t see any personal achievements or learning opportunities, I will probably do the work with the least effort possible. Maybe with less quality, as well. Pretty straightforward, right?
Goodbye to the carrot and stick
Once explained the essence of motivation, we need to guarantee that our motivation and work performance are aligned. When this happens, we have a win-win situation; as an employer, you want your team motivated to solve problems quickly and meet deadlines.
As an employee, you need it to be productive and satisfied. The question is, how can we achieve results without motivation at work? That is the interrogative that all experienced leaders, HR managers and recruiters should keep in mind when developing their people. Amongst the main reasons to nurture the motivation level at work, there is an increase in employees’ productivity and retention.
Luckily, we can learn how to improve our motivation at work; this is one of the most important soft skills to possess, like effective communication and problem-solving. It’s easy to understand its importance. When a single employee improves motivation, this will positively impact the entire work environment. Finally, the carrot and the stick days are over.
Six tips for finding motivation at work
As we all know, actions speak louder than words, so here you can find seven tips to boost your daily motivation:
- Create daily habits to achieve your personal goals
- Prioritise learning and skills development in your plan
- Establish a continuous feedback loop
- Follow your progress and take notes to highlight improvements
- Discuss your tasks and projects with other teams to get new insights
- Include or increase creativity in your workflow
All these tips are apparently simple to follow. They all refer to one central point; why you’re doing your work. And why you’re doing it in this way. These questions are fundamental. The purpose of your daily work is something you should always look at first to get truly motivated.
You’re never too old for this
Let’s be honest; tips are not sufficient. Motivation lies in a delicate equilibrium in which both internal and external factors contribute to its stability. So, what can we do? Well, work hard and never give up; this is obvious. Something you probably heard multiple times, like me, since you were a kid.
There is something else, deeply effective, that can spark your motivation. I already suggested it in the earlier paragraph: learning. Each time we learn, our brain secretly celebrates and thanks us. During our career, we become highly specialised so our skills and knowledge settle and can’t inspire us anymore. So, we need new interests and challenges.
When a company has an engaging and accessible learning management system, we can easily find new inputs and unique ideas. At eloomi, we believe that continuous development is the key to business success. What about employee retention? It’s a simple answer. When the motivation is up, the engagement level grows, resulting in higher job satisfaction. True story.
Time flies when you are motivated
Motivation needs to be nurtured daily with smart habits and exceptional training. There is more; we also get more inspired when managers offer us their transparent and constructive feedback. But this cannot happen once in a blue moon. I am sorry. It needs to be implemented as part of a great motivational work routine.
As a manager, for example, when you set appraisal performance goals with your employees, you have the chance to create a roadmap based on trust and engagement; in other words, you can spark their motivation. Planning and discussing objectives is an excellent opportunity to know your colleagues and understand their background, personality, and various skillset.
Naturally, when you have a diverse work environment, there is no size fits all. Without a doubt, we can improve work motivation when we identify our strengths. It’s essential to assign empowering tasks and let talents shine through.
Smart ways to stay motivated at work
Finding motivation at work is a fine art that requires strong organisational skills and willingness, but you can easily maintain it with various elements. We almost reached the end, but there are two additional aspects to mention.
One is the correlation between onboarding and motivation. When hiring new talents, you need to provide all the essential information about the company and the role. While doing this, you should remember to save some time to inspire your new employee.
A great onboarding should generate the excitement of being part of something bigger than a job. We need to remember that we are coming every day to work because our unique intelligence and professional experience add value. Don’t forget to include this element from the first weeks at work.
The second aspect is collaboration. When our motivation at work gets low, we need an extra hand. Our team buddies can support us to find new energy. For effective collaboration, it’s important to create teams with diversity in mind.
Think about this; if we all get motivated in the same way, we’ll hardly finalise tasks and projects that no one sees as valuable or fun to do.
Remember that motivation at work is like training at the gym; you can’t stop exercising for an extended period. You will lose your precious results. It’s crucial to keep the motivational process various and continuous, to alternate challenges with more simple steps to enjoy.
Start with these three simple actions. First, break big objectives into smaller goals, then ask for your manager feedback and get help from your team. It’s time to start thriving with your work motivation!