How to Manage Workforce Motivation

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How to Manage Workforce Motivation

Communication and motivation are the two main elements involved when we talk about workforce management.

Many people don’t take the time to sit down and think about their own motivation. Motivation is what drives you as a person and what your needs are. The more motivated you are, the more likely you are to achieve something and to do so with a smile on your face.

However, everyone is different and different people are motivated by different things. Working out what motivates you can be an incredibly difficult task. Without knowing this, you may struggle to self-motivate and others will not know how to help you. What’s motivating for one person, may be de-motivating for another. When it comes to managers, it is almost impossible to motivate everyone in your team in the same way. People will only ever truly feel motivated if they decide to take responsibility for their own well-being and recognize when they should move forward in a way that has a positive effect on their feelings and attitude towards work.

In order to lead a balanced and enjoyable life, we need to understand ourselves and our needs, which all starts with self-awareness. Your sense of motivation will change with time, as you grow as a person. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people have had to reassess what is important in their lives and their goals may have changed over this time. To read our top tips on how to successfully work from home, then click here. 

The Motivational Curve

The motivational curve represents the ups and downs we experience every single day. At the top of the curve, we are highly motivated, positive, and eager to work. At the bottom of the curve, we are demotivated, things may go wrong, and we may perceive tasks negatively. It is often easy to recognize when we fall on either end of this curve; we can recognize we are at the top and feeling good, and we can also identify when we are at the bottom and when we are struggling.

When the curve is split in half, there comes a point where highly motivated people slowly make their way down the curve and fall into the lower half where motivation begins to wane. It can be very difficult to realize that we may have slipped down the curve towards the danger zone, because the changes in mood or work attitude can be very small. It is much harder, if we have fallen to the very bottom of the curve, to climb back to the top, but people who overall have a better awareness of their own motivation are more likely to bounce back after experiencing some difficulties.

We need to be aware of our behavior changes and it is a great idea to seek feedback from people around us and ask how they feel we are doing. If we can spot behavior changes in our colleagues where they have become quiet or tired or a little less on the ball, then it can a great idea to ask what may be demotivating them, in order to find a quick solution.

Sometimes it can be difficult to support an unmotivated employee, because the attitude and mood changes may be due to issues in their personal lives. However, it should still be addressed. If a member of the team is consistently in a low mood, then this may begin to affect others and become a wider problem.

Look At Behaviours

Take some time to look at your behaviours and ask for feedback from coworkers. Part of the manager's role is to help, encourage, and keep staff motivated. We need to work out what motivates our staff. There is no way to find this out, other than directly asking staff: “What motivates you?” and that is where communication comes in. Communicating about our motivations prevents miscommunication. Motivated staff will result in better productivity, better customer service, and better results for your company. So, this shouldn’t just be another job. It should be considered as an essential part of the role as a manager.

However, it is not a manager’s responsibility to motivate the employees in the first place. It is their responsibility to prevent an employee’s motivation from slipping to the bottom of the curve, but they cannot build motivation up, which wasn’t there in the first place. You can only help others if they also want to work on their own motivation.

Communication Is Vital

Communication is the only way to check on peoples’ motivation. There are many different ways to motivate people. We often believe that money or financial incentives are good motivators but that is only a hygiene factor that helps create a stable environment from which a person starts.  People who are happy and motivated in their jobs are unlikely to want to leave for a slightly higher salary elsewhere. On the other hand, a demotivated employee will take on a new position somewhere else for a lower salary, if it excites them or it seems like a better environment.

So, money is not the best motivator. There are so many tools in the workplace that are completely free. People want to feel valued, respected, and challenged. More and more, people are becoming motivated by a good work-life balance. Celebrating people’s success or showing gratitude when they do a good job or thanking them if they take on a task to lighten your load are things that only cost you some time and thought. Most of the things that motivate people are not tangible.

The Top Three Tips for Motivation

  1. Communicating and having an open dialogue.
  2. Making it a routine to check in with your people.
  3. Thinking and planning to keep your people motivated based on their individual needs.

There is a big difference between being unmotivated and struggling with mental health. If you believe, people are struggling with something more serious, then it would be great to have an honest conversation. Expressing concern for their mental health may be the motivating factor they need to seek help and guidance from a professional source. To learn more about this, check out our guide on maintaining your mental health at work. 

So, that’s about it! We hope you have enjoyed reading our guide on how to maintain and manage workforce motivation, and that our tips will prove useful in the future.

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