What is your motivation to work? It’s a question similar to what many employers ask prospective job candidates during a job interview: Why do you want this job?
That’s because they want to know if these applicants are passionate about getting a job. Because they know one’s motivation and enthusiasm can profoundly impact one’s performance on a job.
But it isn’t enough to have the motivation to write a job application letter to get a job. You must have the required level of motivation to want to work daily.
“Of course, motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis,” says Zig Ziglar.
Reasons for Motivation at Work
For many people, success is enough reason to stay motivated. And for several others, the desire to settle their bills and fend for themselves (and their families) is what motivates them to work.
Aside from all these, study shows that many employees work because of the desire to learn new things and continuously improve themselves.
What is your Motivation to Work?
Your employer can indeed adopt different ways to motivate employees. But you may have to sit down and ask yourself, what is your real motivation to work? Which of the following among these is your primary inspiration to want to work each time you wake up in the morning?
- Work-life balance
- Career advancement opportunities
- Employer ethics and values
- Compensation and benefits
- Continuous learning opportunities
- Organizational stability
These are the identified factors in a worldwide survey carried out to find out what organization attributes employees think are most important for employers to engage their workers.
What Motivates Employees in the Workplace?
This is a crucial question every employer must answer to achieve their business goal with a team of motivated employees. When a manager keeps his employees motivated, their performance and productivity go up.
Employees in any organization across different industries need a good level of motivation to function at their peak. And it often includes both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. But a business manager can externally influence his workers’ motivation in different ways.
That said, you must find out what drives your staff to want to work in the workplace. In any case, some of which include:
- positive work-life balance,
- Sense of purpose and fulfillment
- Opportunities for career advancement and continuous learning
- Conducive nature of the workplace
- Good compensation and rewards
What is your Motivation to Work: Top 10 Motivators at Work
1. Recognition of Workers’ diligence and hard work
When employers appreciate employees’ efforts and diligent work toward the success of their organization, they tend to want to do more. It’s an agelong, natural psychology. It works magic anytime and anywhere— and at work.
It is just like a seven years old student who answers a question correctly in the classroom. When the teacher adopts positive reinforcement like praises, and applause from his classmates, he feels motivated to answer more questions. That’s because praise and recognition feel good.
And everybody wants it. Employees do too. And, of course, it is a strong motivator to want to give their best. But when their diligent work goes unappreciated by their employers, it punctures their motivation.
2. Job Security
Nothing can be more disheartening for a worker willing to give his best to realize that his employer will lay him off the following day. Especially, for a circumstance that is not his fault.
If that happens, it doesn’t only affect the person fired. Rather it impacts the motivation of others. Because that occurrence can let the feeling of insecurity creep into the heart of the workers, as they accept the reality that they can get fired anytime.
And they, in turn, may be unwilling to own their jobs and the company’s corporate goal, unlike companies where there’s job security.
3. Attractive Salary
No one wants to work for free. Neither would you. Well, you might have heard people work for free at some point in their career journey. But the truth is that no one would do that for a long time because living expenses and costs wouldn’t permit it.
You’ve got basic needs such as clothing, feeding, health, and rent to settle. And that involves money.
You can see money is crucial in your life. If it wasn’t, over 50% of people working up every morning get a 9-5 job. They probably sleep some more at home or during the day long. But that’s not the case. So you can say money is one of the top 10 motivators at work.
4. Career development opportunities
Henry Ford says, “Anyone who stops learning is old, at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” I couldn’t agree more with Ford. Indeed, learning is continuous.
And one thing that motivates most employees, especially millennials, is the desire to learn and keep improving. Because that way, they can stay fresh and relevant at their workplaces, considering the technological explosion.
What you learned today may not be relevant next year– and in years to come. That’s why employees appreciate employers that invest in their learning and career development, which could be skill acquisition programs, seminars, workshops, or as the case may be.
5. Conducive work environment
There are different types of workspace environments, but one that doesn’t support maximum productivity will negatively influence workers’ motivation.
Essentially, a work environment has to do with the arrangement of the workspace of a company, ethics, values and code of conduct, the extent of the presence and use of technology, etc.
When workers have the necessary tools and technology they need to execute their job effectively, coupled with productive-friendly rules and regulations, they become motivated.
6. Work-life balance
You’ll agree that stress seems to be part of our lives. But some days seem different, particularly due to stressors at work. And one-way employers help workers to effectively cushion the effect of stress at work is by establishing a positive work-life balance.
That way, employees are not overworked at the expense of their health. Neither should their work cause irreparable strain in their relationships with family members.
For example, if you’re working with a company that encourages staff to observe their break time religiously or to go for leave when due. You’ll feel more motivated than in a company whose management rarely cares.
7. Sense of purpose and fulfillment
Ask many employees what motivates them to do what they’re currently doing, and chances are that you’ll hear something like this: “I love my job.”
That’s because, beyond money, their job gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Particularly if their job or work has an affinity with their passion or what they believe they’re born to do.
For example, a teacher who’s passionate about teaching and thinks she was born to teach, will be more motivated at work than one who’s only teaching for the pay.
8. Good management leadership
We have bad leaders just the same way we have good ones. It is the same thing for corporate management. Many may not want to accept it. But does the type of managers and the leadership style they adopt cause a boost to the motivation of workers, or does the reverse?
For instance, when leaders are not insensitive to the employees’ needs, they feel bruised and not valued. And in turn, it affects their motivation.
9. Interesting job
Just the way some jobs are more stressful than others, some jobs seem more fun and interesting than others. That’s to say, the nature of a job can be a motivating force to a worker.
For example, an employee who performs a job role that he finds fascinating and enjoyable would feel more motivated than a person who finds his work very boring, less challenging, and perhaps monotonous.
10. Having a say
Employees are not machines. They’re humans with feelings, and who would appreciate it when they are allowed to express themselves when the situation demands them? Unfortunately, for managers who are sticklers of micromanagement, that would seldom happen.
That’s because micromanagers rarely allow their workers to use their initiatives, as they have problems trusting their effectiveness to work with less or no supervision.
A final thought on What is your Motivation to Work
Whatever your motivation to work is may not be the same for someone else. But what motivates employees in the workplace is generic across different industries. Interestingly, some of the reasons for motivation at Work have been outlined and explained in this post.