Keeping a constant level of motivation in the workplace is key to the success of a business. Motivation drives all members of a business to complete their tasks to the highest quality, and ensures that they fulfill their role within a team. Sometimes, a lack of motivation can strike, and everybody needs to know how to deal with it correctly. We’ve asked the top Motivational and Leadership experts on how both bosses and employees can increase motivation levels within the workplace.
Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak
Take responsibility to be an inspirational leader. You can’t control others. You can control yourself.
You must believe in people in order to inspire them.
Everyone who has achieved anything owes a debt to someone who believed in them. Perhaps it’s a coach, teacher, or parent. For Jack Welch, it was his mother and a leader who gave him a second chance after he blew up a factory.
One of the most neglected leadership questions is, “Who do you believe in?”
If people believe in you, help them believe in themselves.
Dan Rockwell writes the highly recognized Leadership Freak Blog. He says, “I’m not trying to change the world. I’m just trying to make a difference today.”
The American Management Association lists Dan as a Top 30 Leader in Business. Inc magazine lists Dan as a Top Fifty Leadership and Management Expert and Top 100 Great Leadership Speaker.
Motivation is intrinsic. It cannot be imposed by others; it must come from within. Leaders must create conditions for people to succeed by setting clear goals, communicating regularly, checking for results and supporting the people who deliver the outcomes.
Blog: John Baldoni Blog
John Baldoni, Inc. Top 50 Leadership expert/keynote speaker, author of 13 books on leadership, including Great Motivation Secrets of Great Leaders (McGrawHill)
Social Media: Twitter
To motivate employees, involve them in the company’s business. Share information so they understand how their work fits into the big picture and help them grow. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Barbara Weltman is an attorney, a prolific author with such titles as J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes and J.K. Lasser’s Guide to Self-Employment, and a trusted advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and Big Ideas for Small Business® at www.barbaraweltman.com and hosts a monthly radio host. She works with Fortune 500 companies seeking to reach the small business community. She has been named one of the 100 Small Business Influencers in the U.S. five years in a row.
The golden rule of employment is where the employee goals = company goals.
When the employee’s career goals match what the company is trying to achieve in the long term, people stay and prosper. As soon as this equation becomes unbalanced, great employees seek opportunities elsewhere.
Here are questions to ask to see if your goals still match and how to test your motivation:
- Are you challenged at work?
Every top performing employee wants to be challenged on a weekly basis. Are there still high performance expectations at work for you?
- Are you still making a difference?
You want to use your career to make a difference in the world. People really do feel a sense of accomplishment after working hard.
- Do see a path for advancing your career?
I will never forget in the late 1980’s how my IBM Branch Manager, Jim Corgel once took his business card and scratched out his name. He then wrote my name in its place. Jim was showing me where I could go in the organization.
- Does your company have a reputation as being a leading place to work?
It feels good to have bragging rights at every party and family event. How do you think the employees at Apple, Google and Groupon feel right about now? Like business rock stars? You bet!
- Are you paid well?
Are you paid above market rates and are you provided incentives to be the highest paid employee in your field?
- Do you have autonomy to make decisions on your own?
The more control you have over your daily environment, the higher level your job satisfaction will be.
Jan Rutherford, ThoughtLeaders LLC
I believe we only possess two innate controllables. That is, where you spend your time, and how you respond to your environment.
How you respond to your environment is analogous to choosing your attitude by way of controlling your emotional response to other people and situations. Becoming self-motivated starts with knowing that true passion comes from work in the service of others, and the realization that you can’t go it alone.
Don’t worry so much about being motivated or finding the precise passion right off the bat. Simply ask, for whose good do I serve?
Jan Rutherford is a principal with ThoughtLeaders LLC, where he teaches leadership and resilience. As a U.S. Army veteran, Jan knows what it means to lead and serve. You can reach him at [email protected]
Rob Salafia, ThoughtLeaders LLC
Motivation is lighting a fire under people. Inspiration is lighting a fire inside of people. People who are unmotivated tend to be missing a sense of connection. This connection can be to the work that they do, the people that they do it with, or the impact of their effort. Helping employees find meaning and purpose in their work is at the heart of inspiring engagement.
First, avoid trying to “fix” anything. Reach out and engage the individual in a personal dialogue. Demonstrate to them that you value their contribution. Find something specific that you can honestly reference where their effort mattered.
Then, seek to understand. Ask them some questions: What is most important to them in their work?, Is there anything in particular that is frustrating them or holding them back? Finally, ask they what type of project would be exciting for them to work on? You can build an entire development plan around their engagement on a project. Give them an opportunity to shine.
Rob Salafia is a principal at ThoughtLeaders LLC, where he teaches executive presence and communications. You can reach him at [email protected]
I’d suggest starting by understanding what it is that drives you and what you’re looking for in a job. What motivates you? What drives you? If you have that self awareness then look for an opportunity to bring that into your job. If you crave creativity, for example, then look for ways to inject creativity into your work.
I’d then suggest going to your boss with a list of ideas that you might be able to work on. Start by suggesting that you work on them on your own time and without any resources from the company until you prove that they are working and worth investing more into. Make it easy for them to say yes. Then get to work and prove yourself.
Evan Carmichael, Entrepreneurial Expert. Evan Carmichael #Believe in entrepreneurs. At 19, he built then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a VC helping raise $500k to $15mil. He now runs EvanCarmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs.
Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group
Most people want to do a great job, not even just a good job. If you have someone struggling with their “motivation,” first check with yourself:
– Does the person know the results you want? (This is clarity about what you want.)
– Does the person know why you want those results? (This is the purpose of the work.)
– Does the person know how to do the work? If not, does this person have other people to work with, so they can learn the work? (This is about mastery of the work.)
– Does the person have autonomy to do the work they way they want to, as long as they deliver the results you want? (This is about autonomy.)
– Does the system of work hinder from people finishing their work? (This is about autonomy, also.)
All motivation is intrinsic. If people don’t have autonomy, mastery, purpose and clarity for the work, they might not *look* motivated to you.
If you and the person can answer “yes” to all these questions, use your one-on-ones to see if there is something outside of work that’s taking energy from your employee.
It’s not a question of employee motivation. Often, the “unmotivated” employee is a product of a system of work that depletes joy and accomplishment in the work. As a manager, you can do something about that!
Johanna Rothman is the author of more than ten management and project management books. See her books, blogs, and articles at www.jrothman.com.
Feeling motivated? It’s always worth taking time to read up on how the pros conduct themselves. If you believe you and your employees’ motivation is reaching peak levels, it’s always worth looking into what else you can do to improve. Check out how successful people often start their mornings here.