When it comes to sustained workplace motivation, most people need to figure it out themselves. While this isn’t entirely uncalled for, it also raises some questions about the role that bosses, managers, advisers, and even co-workers can play in motivating others and one another.
Without a little inspiration every now and then, people may feel stuck in their work, or lose their momentum. If you’re able to be there for them, this can be the perfect opportunity to create a more supportive workplace environment.
It is often not about how much work, but individuals want to feel that their work has relevance to them personally and to the organization as a whole. They want to be challenged to use the skills and training they have. Or, they may even desire to learn new skills and see how what they are doing will also fulfill their personal goals and prepare them for future roles and career development.
In today’s article, I will provide a few ideas for how you can be a source of inspiration and motivation to those around you. I’ll also mention some ways you can motivate yourself. More specifically, I will also cover the topic of sustained motivation in healthcare.
Why Is Motivating Others Important?
People who feel driven, feel their work is valued, feel they are making a positive difference, and feel supported by the people around them are more likely to perform better in their jobs. They tend to be more engaged and productive. This creates an environment where they feel their hard work shines and is appreciated.
Making sure employees are motivated and feel safe at work is not only important for each individual’s well-being, it’s also financially important. Employers lose around $300 billion each year due to disengaged employees. It is even more if they choose to leave because they are not fully motivated and engaged.
1. Show the Vision
People are more likely to work hard if they know what they’re working toward. Managers should be up front about what success looks like for the business and be able to share the “why” behind tasks and assignments.
Employees want to feel useful and know where their function fits within the business. Showing them how what they work on has relevance to achieving the long- and short-term vision of the organization can help. When they see that their values and role is aligned with that of the organization, it creates more meaning for them.
2. Give Compliments
When somebody does something well, be sure to recognize it. If you can do so in front of other co-workers, that’s even more effective. It’s great to be seen doing something well when you’ve been working so hard for it. Verbal recognition can help renew the employee’s drive and sense of purpose.
Remember: Negative comments are best shared privately.
3. Emphasize Respect
If employees don’t feel respected, whether that be by a boss or co-workers, they may have a harder time engaging in the work that they do. They may even decide to take their talents elsewhere in an attempt to find respect and value.
People should always feel respected, especially during difficult conversations, including a disagreement. A lack of respect is one of the quickest ways to stifle motivation. Respect is revealed when we acknowledge others and treat them with dignity regardless of title or rank.
4. Talk About Goals
Beyond company goals, employees benefit from regular conversations with their managers and even colleagues about their personal goals.
Where do they see themselves in one year? Five years? What are their plans for reaching those goals; what steps will they take? How can you help them learn and grow to reach their achievements? How can you provide challenges for them?
Most people have something that they’re working toward, possibly something that they’re very excited about. Taking an interest (or even an active role, if that’s what the other person wants) will make them feel valued as an individual, not just someone who works at a business.
5. Ask About Preference
People communicate differently and have preferences when being communicated to. Perhaps they feel more anxious in the mornings when getting started with work, and that’s not the best time to engage in a difficult discussion with them or ask them to do any new tasks. Maybe some people need more direct language than others and would profit from more in-depth explanations. All these things need to be taken into account when trying to motivate others.
While knowledge about how to best interact with individuals takes time to acquire, there’s also no shame in asking people what style of communication they prefer. When possible, it is always good to try and accommodate them. This also gives you the opportunity to communicate your own preferences.
Asking these questions and creating the space for a dialogue encourages employees. It helps them feel valued and respected, and it often motivates them to work for or alongside someone who cares about them.
Motivating Others in Healthcare
In a field where burnout is high and recognition is often low, finding continued motivation as a healthcare professional can feel difficult. It’s especially significant in this industry, as low motivation can lead to error and breakdowns in communication with resultant lower-quality patient care and outcomes.
As a healthcare professional, while you value the care and treatment of other human beings, the system often feels like it is working against you. You may feel short on time as the list of patients and demands grow, and resources never feel like they are enough. Here are a few suggestions to foster motivation in healthcare:
- Recognize when someone does something well and tell them.
- Be supportive when they’re having a difficult day. Maybe you can even assist them.
- Make sure there are resources available for people who feel like they’re struggling. At the least, lend an ear, listen attentively, and hold space for them.
- Ensure everyone understands the importance of their position within the framework of the practice.
- Practice open communication, and make sure everyone has the time and space to make their voices heard.
Sometimes, you need to be the one receiving motivation rather than motivating others. If that’s the point you’re at, it’s important to recognize this and find ways to get what you need. Your boss and co-workers may be able to help you, but it’s also important to have some ideas for your own for self-motivation.
Only you know what works best for you, but here are a few tactics you can try:
- Practice positive self-talk, and try to set aside a little bit of time each day to do so.
- Imagine yourself reaching your goals and visualize the steps necessary to get there.
- Celebrate your accomplishments, and take the time to reward yourself. Maybe reward yourself with a movie, a new book, a special meal, or a chat with a friend.
- Practice self-care by getting plenty of rest, making time for exercise, and practicing proper nutrition. Take a walk outside or at least find a picture of nature to get your energy flowing again.
- Hold yourself accountable for your words, actions, and responsibilities. It will feel great when you stop to reflect and see what you have accomplished.
If you truly feel it is a drag to come to work each day and you cannot find someone to help you regain the positivity in your life, then you may want to make a change.
Sustained motivation and motivating others can be difficult to achieve in today’s world of digital communication and packed schedules. However, if everyone in a workplace comes together and tries to understand each other’s needs, goals, and expectations, and how they fit into the overall organizational picture, you may discover the motivation you desire, and you may be able to find all of the motivation you need.
Motivating others often comes from conversations. How we communicate is at the core and an area in which I focus. That’s my specialty. If you feel like your team or organization could use some training about how to best communicate and motivate each other, get in touch with me to schedule an appointment. I’d love to offer you some tools to enable you to achieve your goals.