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Motivation in the Workplace

By Winsome Coutts

Motivation can quickly disappear. Without doubt employee motivation leads to productivity. Are you motivating your employees? This employee motivation techniques article provides food for thought. A well-run pleasant workplace where people are valued and are motivated affects both individual well-being and organisational productivity.

We spend at least 1/3 of our life at work. Work can be a place of motivation and inspiration, or a place of drudgery and boredom. With some simple techniques and strategies you can turn the dullest workplace into one where people are inspired to be fully present.

What turns the motivation light bulb off (and how to turn it back on)

You can tell a workplace suffering a lack of motivation. The good humoured jokes, the quiet buzz of productive work, the achievement of goals and targets are all lacking.

People focus in on themselves and their own projects and wishes, forgetting about teamwork. Gossip runs rife around the water cooler and online jobs ads are saved into favourites on many computers.

So – where did the motivation go? Well, a number of things can turn the motivation light bulb off.

Here are the top 10 reasons motivation fails in a workplace, and how to turn it back on again.

1.Unclear goals and fuzzy expectations. If you don't know where you are going then people wonder why they should bother working hard to get there. Set clear goals and targets and communicate them to your team in a way that gets their buy in.

2.Absence of trust. When groups or individuals don't trust their leader and each other to have their best interests at heart, then they will do a turtle impersonation and "pull their heads in". It's hard to be motivated and move forward with your head tucked in.

3.No reward or praise for a great job. Money is not a motivator. People are more motivated by praise, recognition and genuine thanks than an extra $5 in their pay packet. They remember the boss shaking their hand and saying thanks long after the $5 is spent and forgotten.

4.Not making a difference. It is hard to keep up spirits and morale when the same things are done each day, with no difference being made. People naturally want their work to have meaning, to have a purpose. Find the purpose in each job. Highlight to each person the difference their role makes to others and the company.

5.Boredom. Someone may be making a huge difference to lives, but if they have done the same role for a while, they may be bored. They may need a challenge or a new project to get their creative juices flowing again.

6.Restructuring the wrong way. The quickest way to kill morale is for a rumour to do the rounds that a restructure is on the way (and the team has no input into the outcomes). If you have to restructure your team or your workplace, include extensive real employee consultation. Let them have input into the solution – the team morale will lift as they implement a solution they have shared design.

7.Losing a key person. It is amazing how one person can be the motivation link for a team. That one person holds the good will and positive energy for the group. If you lose a key person, you need to take action quickly if the team is not to fall apart. Help the team celebrate the great qualities of the person who has left and then help them see how within the team they still have those great qualities. There are no vacuums in life – the team has the skills within themselves to move forward.

8.Inter-team conflicts. Sniping across the cubicle dividers by different teams can sap morale. Look at organising some cross team activities and projects so the teams can get to know each other in more depth at a personal level.

9.Stuck in a rut. Everyone gets stuck in a rut or way of thinking about themselves at times. Every now and again you need someone outside the group to break the rut. Hire a motivational speaker, take some time out as a group for a fun afternoon or try some creative problem solving group processes. That usually helps break patterns of thinking and focuses thoughts to a more creative space.

10.Just plain tired. If the team has been working long hours in extremely challenging conditions, they may be just plain tired. Hire a corporate masseur for a head, neck and shoulder massage for the team. Allow people to take an additional day of paid leave on a Monday or Friday to give them a chance to recover. Organise a game of mini-golf around the desks. Let people take time out to recharge their batteries.

Motivating a team is not rocket science. It is just about paying attention to spoken or unspoken cues and taking action.

Often just the act of noticing and doing something about the lack of morale is enough – your team will feel your intention and your care for them. Care and respect are probably the two greatest motivators of all time and go a long way to inspiring a positive outcome.

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Winsome Coutts is the passion behind the new self help authority site, www.4lifeselfhelp.com. She is a lifelong student of personal development, meditation and goal setting. In the pursuit of her own dreams, she has created www.4lifeselfhelp.com as a tool to help others find success and happiness along with resources to live an abundant life.

Visit www.4lifeselfhelp.com today to take advantage of their resource library, free articles, resource tools and guidance.

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