What motivates you in the workplace?

What motives you in the workplace?

Photo – futureofwork.com

It is a rite of passage for you to gain employment for a variety of reasons. While some are doing what they love and getting the best out of their experiences, others are just going through the motions, living from paycheck to paycheck.

But why is the latter cohort of employees dissatisfied or in meaningless jobs? It is more complicated than one perceives. Maybe because they got a degree in the wrong field and as a result spending the rest of their life regretting the decision; they need money to sustain their lifestyle but don’t really enjoy working; or even they could only get this job. Maybe it’s something else, but whatever it is, there is always an outcome and one common outcome is demotivation.

Employers try to target work motivation within their employees to drive positive and optimal performance. However, this does not always work.

What motives you in the workplace?

Photo – businessadviceoverblog.com

“I’m very results-driven. Doing a good job and achieving the desired end result is my primary motivation. While I enjoy working on a project on my own, I’m particularly motivated by the buzz of working in a team. It’s very rewarding working closely with others who share the same common goal. I like to take on a challenge; I like to rise to that challenge as part of a concerted team effort – and I naturally appreciate it when my boss compliments me for a job well done.” – CV Centre.co.uk Classic Interview Questions & Answers: What Motivates You? 

Here are five aspects that determines how motivated an employee is at any given organization or business:

  1. Money/ Benefits

Let’s face it, if you aren’t getting paid well, work motivation is going to take a nose dive. To provide support for this, Doug and Polly White, contributors for the Entrepreneur, state that we as humans like being rewarded for our deeds:

Compensation is perhaps the most frequently used motivator. It works, but studies show that only the prospect of receiving money in the near future is a strong enough motivator to change behavior. Once the employee receives the money, its power to motivate ends very quickly. Some studies say within a week. Further, the same studies indicate that to truly change behavior, the amount of the incentive must be at least 10 percent of base compensation for the period.” – Excerpt from an article written by Doug and Polly White from the Entrepreneur.

Although some rewards come at the end of the month, it’s still befitting to feel that you get something worthwhile after putting in a ‘hard days’ work’. For some even the salary isn’t enough to make ends meet (granted that you are called above and beyond) but it is something nonetheless to be grateful for.

  1. Time Allocated To A Given Task

Some persons have been gifted with the art of multi-tasking while others have the ability to work well under pressure. However, for the rest of the world, working under pressure has time and time again been deemed ineffective and unproductive as the stress accumulates. Be it mild or severe, stress becomes problematic and not worth it in the long run. Nonetheless the sentiments of persons in the work place have towards deadlines seem to be universal as whether they are given ample time to complete a task or the night before, employees believe that it can be unreasonable at times. This is what adds to the stress and anxiety of workers thus decreasing the level of work motivation and performance.

“I remember having to complete a 10 page report on something I knew nothing about and needed to outsource the persons who were savvy in the field for assistance…eventually I got the project done three days late but it was rushed so I didn’t even get it done at the standard be it I was given more time.” – HR Manager

  1. Field of Study/ Qualifications

Don’t make the mistake of enrolling in a degree that will at no point work in your favor. Spending 3-4 years of your life, and that’s just your undergraduate years, (not to mention money) doing courses that does not benefit you when you graduate is really a waste. Not making use of your college education and being employed to a business which requires you to utilize a different set of skills honestly will make you miserable, especially if you are underpaid and would result in de-motivation.

  1. Work Environment

If you work in a stagnant environment, not just speaking to the physical aspect, but also social, and if you are not comfortable being around the people you work with or you are in an environment where individuals are always gossiping or bad-mouthing others; then you will unconsciously experience low work motivation.

If you feel valued and work in a positive environment then you will definitely see an increase in work motivation and performance. Persons who love where they work and their colleagues and supervisor support them and value their efforts then they are more likely to do better than their colleagues who lack support and purpose.

  1. Intensity of Work/ Challenge

If you are stretched thin by the amount of tasks you have to complete and you are not being compensated or valued for your time and efforts then you won’t see any motivation as it regards work in that person. Additionally, if you feel like you are wasting your time away at work due to the scarcity of work tasks you will be more inclined to work on things that are possibly unrelated to work that, in turn, lowers your motivation to actually do work for your organization all together.

By Alexandra Daley

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