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Mental Health Awareness Week – Workplace Motivation
Do you know of something you could do that would improve your life
and yet you don’t do it?
We all have it within ourselves to achieve more. To do more. To be more. Whether that may be in your career, relationships, finances, or health & fitness. Right now, you probably are not fulfilling your full potential. In fact, following over 100 years of psychological studies by some of the world’s greatest minds, many psychologists have concluded that only 1% of the human race fulfill 100% of their potential.
So, why is that? It all boils down to one thing – motivation. We don’t always do what we know will make our lives better because we can’t get motivated enough to do it, or we can’t stay motivated enough to see it through to the end. Lack of motivation is the biggest barrier to achieving more in your life and fulfilling your full potential. Just think how much better your overall quality of life would be, if you could only find the right level of motivation to complete the things you need to do to improve your performance.
The origin of the term “motivation” is found in the Latin word “movere” which literally means “to move.” This quite aptly describes the inner force in all of us that stimulates our interest, arouses our desire, sharpens our focus and drives us to direct our actions in a particular way. Motivation is an essential component of performance, as we regard successful people as being highly motivated. More than that, motivation is fundamental to driving every human function. Without motivation, we would not achieve even the most basic of tasks.
People love to be praised, recognised and rewarded. It’s part of human nature. Research shows that in a work environment, people yearn for these things more than a rise in pay. Having a system in place in which they know that if they put in the effort they will reap the reward, is a fantastic motivator that can increase levels of performance. Take the time to recognise good work. Recognise team members for finding solutions, inspiring others, failing less, learning more, taking the initiative, working with others and sharing ideas.
Reward team members publicly for a job well done. Give them an opportunity in a team meeting to explain how they accomplished the job. Take time to give a sincere compliment for work well done and you, your team and your efforts towards achieving your goals will benefit.
When you are praising someone, be specific about exactly what you are praising them for. Explain what you see them do that you are happy about and the positive impact their actions have made to the team or the overall efforts toward achieving a group goal. In doing so, you will be encouraging them and the rest of the team to replicate those actions, time and time again, strengthening your team’s efforts. Make sure you show appreciation as soon as possible for the action you appreciate. The longer you wait between the action and the appreciation, the less impact it will have on motivating the team member or the team.
If you are going to start a formal award system for your teams, such as ‘employee of the month’ or ‘top team member of the week’, you must clearly state the rules for appreciation, so that everyone understands how the award is earned. In the physical training aspect of team sports, a reward system can promote competition, camaraderie and motivation in what is often seen as a mundane part of sports preparation. For example, team members will compete to earn the accolade of being the ‘top trainer’ that week and use it as part of their banter with team-mates for the next training sessions. In return, their team-mates will increase their efforts in an attempt to win the title for the next week. However, a vague award such as ‘employee of the month’ may motivate the recipient but can leave others de-motivated if their efforts go unnoticed, or they feel favouritism is being exercised towards the recipient. This is an area where an informal system of praising people individually and publicly for their efforts has greater advantages, as it is less likely to have any potential negative side effects. Never underestimate the power of praise and recognition.
Please watch the video in this link (10 minutes) that highlights the research that shows what truly motivates people in the workplace: