5 Ways to Boost Motivation at Work

Performance management is both a leadership buzzword and a soilbed for upcoming change. Most people start a new job motivated to perform, but many lose motivation only a short time into their new role.

So the question for any organization is, “How do we foster motivation in our people?” Each manager must be involved in answering this question and shaping a culture that fosters motivation. What follows is a basic framework for shaping a culture that fosters peoples’ motivation at work. Here are 5 ways to boost motivation at work.

1. Foster a purpose-driven culture.

An inspiring and clearly stated purpose is the cornerstone of any motivated organization. Shared purpose enables community ownership of the work of the organization through an organizational mindset or culture. Does your organization have a clearly stated purpose? Does your team? Do you? The purpose should be short and simple so that everyone can learn it, understand it, and internalize it.

2. Foster a "fit" culture.

Once the organization has a clearly stated purpose it can staff, evaluate, and reward to instill or reinforce an organizational culture that will guide behavior. All people decisions should be made with fit with purpose in mind. Do your people’s skills, values, goals, and personality fit with the goal of achieving your organization’s purpose?

3. Foster a goal attainment culture.

The inspiring purpose should drive the goals that are set in the organization. Employee motivation is much more likely when people believe that their goals have meaning to the organization, that they will be meaningfully rewarded for goal attainment, and that they are capable of achieving their goals. Do people in your organization believe these things?

4. Foster a trust-driven culture.

Are relationships in your organization or work team built on mutual trust? When relationships are built on trust, managers are more likely to empower their people to work toward goals without feeling the need to micro-manage, and team members are more likely to believe that their effort will be recognized and rewarded.

5. Foster a development culture.

Once the organization knows its purpose, it can develop an employee development system that will prepare people to increasingly contribute toward the purpose. A development system that is tightly linked with purpose, is guided by assessment, and where most learning takes place in experiential settings is likely to motivate people to become the best version of them selves. Most organizations do not have development systems in place that meet these criteria. Does yours?


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Published February 28, 2012 | Written By Todd Darnold