For a productive workplace

Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2016   English | العربية  

This month, Calum Clarke-Brown examines a topic which can be close to the hearts of every employee, regardless of the position, he or she is in – motivation at work. Read on for some sage advice…

  Sometimes, finding the willpower to motivate yourself at work can feel like climbing Mount Everest.

Most people have, at some point in their professional careers, struggled to complete even the most basic everyday task because of miscommunication, lack of understanding, or simply because they haven’t wanted to. .

If you surf the internet for information on motivation in the workplace, statements such as the one following can be found: ‘Motivated people are those who have made a conscious decision to devote considerable efforts to achieving something that they value’. .

Whether you agree with this (or others like them) or not, they describe some important characteristics and attributes of motivation. .

One factor this statement fails to describe is the effect our working environment has on our ability to work effectively and to be motivated. .

How often have you witnessed the unexpected transformation of a hardworking colleague who has very quickly become very high maintenance - and whose performance has suffered significantly? If you have, it’s possible that this dramatic change in behaviour has come about as a result of the workplace culture failing to keep that person engaged or motivated. .

Traditional arguments relating to motivation in the workplace suggest that people have an inherent dislike of work: they prefer to be directed and avoid taking responsibility. .

As a result, employees lack ambition - and thus, desire safety and security over improved status, personal fulfillment, responsibilities and accomplishment. .

Unfortunately, this way of thinking is fairly common in the 21st century working environment. This is problematic as cultures in the workplace are at serious risk of being able to continue generating an environment of demotivation among employees. .

The motivation of staff is a crucial role for the leadership of any organisation, with the workplace quickly becoming confused and disorganised, with basic goal accomplishment difficult to achieve. Persistent conflict between leaders and employees can also create hostile environments, thus contributing to mistakes and a fear of failure: ironically, this further promotes demotivating cultures. .

Under these circumstances, employees can feel little or no selfworth. They can experience increased stress and often begin to doubt themselves. If this declining cycle of tension and mistrust continues, then innovation and creativity will be suppressed and compliance will dominate! .

The chaotic landscape of the modern day workplace can often leave people feeling overwhelmed. This is especially so when members of staff are regularly working overtime. The possibility is that they have chosen to do this themselves or, are being placed under increasing pressure to complete tasks outside normal working hours. .

In either case, this can lead to exhaustion, depression and anxieties about going to work, which invariably affect an individual’s home life as well. .

People are essentially sociable creatures and are at their happiest when part of a collective group, which in itself can result in increasing motivation and the drive to succeed. .

So, feeling demotivated at work isn’t necessarily down to an individual’s shortcomings - it could be as a result of the culture at his or her place of work, and if this is the case, the following may help: .

• Avoid unnecessary conflict with managers, people of authority, or even other staff members. A toxic atmosphere can cripple your ability to care about what you are doing. .

• If there is disorganisation, step up to the mark. By doing so, you will demonstrate leadership where there might not be any. This could well earn you the respect of your work mates - and those in a position of authority. .

• If you are unsure about your role or tasks, then ask someone to explain it or them to you. It’s better to ask and not make a mistake than not ask and continue to make errors. .

• If you feel you are a bit of an outcast, make the effort to get to know the people around you. .

• Finally, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere for work. A change in environment can instantly boost your motivation; however, leaving a job before you can walk into another, can have serious consequences. .

If work becomes a regular struggle, then the possibilities are that it has a culture that demotivates you. To clarify this, think about the way you operate as an employee and how your department and overall organisation functions. .

There are things you can do to encourage a more motivational environment, but remember, as Richard Branson has been quoted: ‘Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress’. .
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