None of us would be successful at work if we disliked our job and were not motivated to do it well. But how do you find and keep that motivation day in, day out? And would you be able to answer the question “What makes you want to thrive at work?” in the blink of an eye?
We are constantly looking for those little life hacks that make our work more efficient and more fun. This is why we want to share some ideas on how to actively boost your motivation at work. Obviously, motivation is a very personal topic and unique to everyone, but we managed to discover a few strategies that might help – according to both our own employees and experts in the field.
Finding purpose in the daily routine at work is one of the greatest factors that impact employees’ motivation. According to a recent report by The Happiness Research Institute, ‘purpose’ scores 81 points on a scale from 1 to 100 and is the main reason for people’s satisfaction in Denmark.
Why is this relevant to other countries as well? Because research shows that Danes have the highest levels of jobs satisfaction in the world – and why not copy the people who are happy with their work?
So, how do we get to that level of happiness? The first step towards finding the ‘purpose’ of your job, would be to think about the following questions: ‘Why do you do what you do?’ Do you want to make a difference in a certain area, or contribute to a specific cause?
"Your work is going to fill
a large part of your life,
and the only way to
be truly satisfied is to
do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do
great work is to love what you do."
Seeing work as something meaningful makes employees step up their game significantly and makes them invest more time and energy in a worthy cause. It is the same as following your dreams – you won’t stop until you achieve them, regardless of the hurdles.
However, there is still need for a specific roadmap. Setting clear goals is essential as it helps avoid abstract ideas and makes everyone’s milestones feasible. Giving meaning to every effort will have a positive impact on the day to day work.
At the same time, employers can help provide their team with that sense of purpose.
"If you want to build a ship
don’t herd people together
to cellect wood and
don’t assign them tasks and
work, but rather teach them
to long for the endless
immesity of the sea."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Outlining company goals in a comprehensive way, and defining each person’s role gives employees the feeling that they are part of something significant. As long as the achievement is in sight, even if the tasks are not entirely clear, everyone can find inspiration and meaning in what they work on.
It appears that money is no longer the main factor that pushes individuals forward. Instead, employees tend to perform better if they are challenged intellectually. Everyone wants to get better in what they do and wants to pursue growth.
The idea of mastering one’s skills, according to one of the world’s leading business thinkers Daniel Pink, is a key factor for staying motivated. This is the reason why people play musical instruments on the weekend or get involved in other activities.
Performance at work follows the same pattern. If employees realize they are learning and can see results, they will be satisfied and constantly engaged with their work. This, in turn, harnesses curiosity, eagerness to get better in what they do and induces the motivation of going to work.
Mastering is also about acknowledging and balancing what a person is good at with the tasks that they have been given. Employees can combine the skills they possess with the unknown – and thus see that they are contributing to the day to day success of the company.
Work is often associated with performing the same tasks over and over again. There is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable with repetition. However, outgrowing one’s job and turning the daily tasks into a habit significantly reduces motivation.
In order to be happy at their workplace, people do not always have to take the easiest path. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely compares the motivation at work to mountain climbing and to people who write books about their adventures. The first question then to ask is: “Do we think that such journeys only consist of incredible experiences?” Rather not – they are full of misery.
Ariely explains that if people are just aiming at being happy and expect to avoid hard times, they will always consider their achievements as something trivial. Instead, it is better to think of challenges as essential to building skills, personality, and resilience at the workplace.
Challenging situations also reveal one’s motivation to reaching their aim – the harder the task is, the prouder one can be.
In his study, Ariely found that if people perform a challenging task, they put more effort into it and consider its value to be on a much higher level compared to other tasks performed with ease.
The lesson: Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone can spur creativity and results in higher productivity. By looking at new opportunities and challenges, employees can make their work meaningful again and turn it into something they look forward to every day.
In the context of today’s competitive job market, organizations are thinking of new ways to keep talents. At the same time, not all managers understand that money is not the most effective way to make their employees stay. Why not think of a different way to motivate employees? Recognizing their work would be more efficient already.
People can be experts in their field and perform their jobs to the best quality, but if no-one recognizes their efforts they might easily get stuck in a loop.
Recent data from over 150 countries and more than a thousand organizations shows that 65% of employees feel like they don’t get enough praise, and 82% consider it better to give someone praise rather than a gift. Receiving recognition on a regular basis can keep employees’ interest in the tasks they perform and increase their overall satisfaction at the workplace.
According to this research, there are a few key tricks employers can use to increase motivation and productivity within their teams:
1. It is important to notice even the small improvements an individual is making – and to tell them about it. Receiving recognition on a regular basis, such as once a week, positively impacts employees’ motivation.
2. Being specific in said recognition is essential. This gives employees the feeling that their effort is appreciated.
3. Stay interested in your team and ask for regular feedback on their job satisfaction.
Recognizing your employees’ good work helps create a more productive environment that can continuously harness motivation.
Understanding what motivates us can be challenging. But in any work environment, we can discover several aspects of our job that help us stay excited about it.Did you already find your source of motivation?
Here is what motivates our team at KONUX:
"My motivation is to challenge myself every day to build the processes of tomorrow" – Simon Hock, Senior Supply Chain Engineer at KONUX
"The warm working atmosphere and the challenges that I have to deal with in my everyday work drive my motivation the most." – Teodor Vasile, Embedded Systems Engineer at KONUX
"What motivates me at work is being challenged, but also getting things done and seeing them grow." – Maximilian Rupp, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at KONUX