How to Improve Motivation at Work

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Improving motivation at work is not an easy task, but can be accomplished by using effective tactics.
Improving motivation at work is not an easy task, but can be accomplished by using effective tactics. (Image: motivation black image by pdesign from Fotolia.com)

Whether you are feeling personally unmotivated in the workplace or you are responsible for managing and motivating others, increasing motivation can be a fairly daunting task. Lack of motivation can lead to careless mistakes, missed deadlines and unhappy customers. In general, it’s bad for business. If you have a personal history of slacking off or exhibiting an apathetic attitude, it could mean a pink slip, especially when times are tough and employers are cutting corners wherever possible. Luckily, there are a few tactics that you can use to motivate yourself and others to make the workplace more productive and help secure your own position.

Create deadlines. Most people are more productive and motivated under pressure. If you are a manager, provide your employees with specific deadlines for completing specific tasks. If you are attempting to increase your own personal motivation, create artificial deadlines and challenge yourself to meet them.

Implement a reward or incentive system. Most businesses believe that a salary or wage alone should be enough to motivate employees. However, overtime and salaries are predicted and expected for time earned. Providing additional incentive programs, such as employee of the month recognition, additional vacation days or monetary rewards for performance will create an added incentive and sense of competition among co-workers. The result will be increased motivation and productivity. To motivate yourself, you may not be able to persuade your boss to provide additional incentives, but you can provide them to yourself. For example, you could allow yourself to take a mini-vacation after getting to work and completing all assignments on time for a week. The key is to artificially create a reward system for yourself and allow yourself to indulge when you’ve performed well.

Check your workload. If an employee is drowning in too much work or assignments that he cannot handle, he will experience burnout, which can lead to extreme lack of motivation. Conversely, if your employees are not challenged or do not have enough to do, they will begin to show signs of apathy toward the job. Check with your employees on a regular basis to find out where they stand and make adjustments to their workload or assignments if necessary. If you are the unmotivated employee, perform a similar check. If you are swamped with work, ask your boss to ease the load, provide you with support staff or extend deadlines for certain projects. In some cases, this will not be possible, however, most bosses recognize the importance of this balance.

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