Motivation drives people to be successful, to plan and achieve goals, to advance companies or to rise from employee to manager.
But people are not always motivated. What you can do about it and how you can learn to motivate employees as a manager (HR management employee), you can read in this article!
Table of contents
Why is motivation important?
Motivation at work: What does motivation do on the job?
What you need to consider when motivating employees
Types of motivation: Who needs what kind of motivation?
What are the most important basic motives of motivation
Motivational factors that have a positive impact on the company
Motivation strategies: Keeping employees motivated
Recognising alarm signals of de-motivation
Motivation killers: When do employees lose motivation?
Loss of motivation and its consequences: Consequences for the company
Counteracting motivation killers: How to sow motivation and reap performance
Learning self-motivation: Tips and tricks for overcoming your inner obstacle
Setting and achieving specific goals with SMART
What are the motivations for performance?
Motivating as a manager: 9 tips for motivating employees
5 classic additional benefits to motivate employees
Conclusion: Motivation is not just for children
FAQ: Things to know about employee motivation
Why is motivation important?
Motivation plays a big role in everyday life. In order to get private things done, where the desire and fun are often lacking, you have to know how to motivate yourself properly. But especially in working life, motivation and employee satisfaction are important factors that cannot be missed. For companies, it has a great influence on success or failure. However, far too often, employee motivation is not taken into account when agreeing on goals within the company.
It should always be considered: If employees are dissatisfied, 100% performance cannot be expected from them. Just under 20% of them are in every company these days.
However, few are aware of the negative effects this can have. The complaints and grumblings can affect the working atmosphere. They may also create a bad mood among other colleagues. This can damage the company not only internally, but sooner or later also externally.
The employer should therefore know why motivation is one of the most important things in working life and how best to create it.
Advantages of a motivated employee
Employee well-being = success. Not only do they invest more time and energy in the job, they often even put team success above their own goals. The optimisation of internal company products has the highest priority. To this end, they often even go beyond the minimum requirements and exploit their existing potential to the greatest possible extent. This shows that an employee’s motivation has an impact on his or her performance and, at the same time, on the company’s success.
Another great advantage is the bond with the company: If employees are satisfied with the environment, the working climate and the tasks, they have no need to change their orientation. The commitment to the company and its goals grows. The employee’s positive impressions can, among other things, also provide for external advertising by speaking well of the company.
The risk of accidents at work decreases. Employees feel a special obligation to support the company as best they can and, if possible, without breakdowns. Therefore, they approach risky matters with necessary care and high concentration.
Motivated employees are important for a company. © bernardbodo – Adobe Stock
Motivation at work: What does motivation do on the job?
The idea of the ideal workplace is in constant flux. Ever new insights into the needs of employees guide the image of the perfect office and optimal working conditions. Yet the basic idea is very basic: the conditions at the workplace should promote employee motivation. Motivation killers therefore have no place in a modern office.
And for a good reason: if the motivation of the employees is high, productivity and efficiency in the company increase. Employees who have a personal interest in the content of their job perform better and show greater commitment more often. For this very reason, motivation in the office takes on great importance as a drive and resource. For this reason, superiors should design framework conditions and regulations at the workplace in such a way that they motivate and positively influence employees.
In principle, a distinction can be made between two types of motivation: Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In contrast to intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation is increased by external influences. For example, a supervisor uses rewards to get employees to perform a task. In this case, the extrinsic motivation of employees is increased by the reward. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, lies in the interest and desires of an employee himself.
Both forms of motivation can be influenced. However, employers should first find out whether employees already have intrinsic motivation before motivating through extrinsic incentives. Rewards and similar means do not show the same effects if an employee already shows interest in a task on his or her own. Managers should therefore know the attitudes and needs of their employees in order to be able to take appropriate measures to promote motivation.
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What you need to consider when motivating employees
There are various factors that influence an employee’s well-being in relation to a company. Just because you pay him a lot of money does not mean that the employee will also build up an emotional bond with the company. Give your employees security and trust. Control selectively, but not too much, what and how your workers do their tasks.
Of course, it is important that work is done with due diligence. Therefore, you should not lose sight of the success of the company. Test what your workers are capable of and what they are good at or not so good at.
Develop your employees individually. Not every employee has the same level of skills. However, you should not demand too little performance either. The less you demand of your employees, the less they will perform. Find the balance of these things for each employee.
It is still important to praise your workers when they perform their tasks well. This way they know they are on the right track. In addition, recognition increases self-esteem, which in turn stimulates the employee’s motivation.
Types of motivation: Who needs what kind of motivation?
Character, personality and self-confidence – in life and on the job you will meet all kinds of different people. As different as they are, they can also be motivated in different ways.
What drives people and how can you as a manager find out what motivates each individual? In the following, we have compiled 5 types of motivation for you based on our experience. You will learn which characteristics you can recognise and which motivational strategy is likely to help or work.
You can read more about leadership in: Leadership of Employees and Leadership Style as Decisive Parameters for Success in the Company
The spokesperson: He or she takes the helm at all times
Recognisable characteristics: You can recognise him by his conspicuous style of dress. The spokesperson likes to be the centre of attention. This motivational type has something to say about everything and usually only allows his word to count. As a leader, you have to oppose him sternly, otherwise he will take over.
In teamwork, this characteristic is not bad. He takes on the role of team leader and holds all the strings. He takes over the motivation for the team all by himself, so that you as a leader can gladly lean back.
Note: If mistakes happen, he quickly irons them out again without drama and does not blame other team members – even if it should be the case.
Motivation strategy: The motivational type of spokesperson likes to educate himself. Find out where his strengths and weaknesses lie. Focus his tasks on these points and offer him further training at company expense.
Tip: Never tell him to shut up! Rather keep him quiet when he is given challenging tasks.
The appreciator: Appreciation is his fountain of youth
Recognisable characteristics: He can be recognised by the way he works. He carries out his tasks with great care and “almost” without mistakes. The reason is obvious – he is looking for appreciation and recognition. Because: He believes that he will only receive this if he carries out his tasks meticulously.
Attention! If you believe that he is the perfect employee, don’t let yourself be blinded. Because the biggest problem with the appreciator is pessimism. You will look in vain for a positive attitude!
Motivation strategy: Don’t worry, the appreciative motivator can be guided very well if you show him the right way. Direct his attention to the social sphere. Strengthen him in his nature by showing him
pointing out his positive qualities,
and assigning him team tasks in which he has to support his colleagues.
Tip: Next time, let him plan the company outing. That way he has to deal with his colleagues.
The Caretaker: Valuable tasks give him security and safety
Recognisable characteristics: His appearance is very conservative – from his hairstyle to his clothes. If he does a task very well and you praise him for it, he plays it down and says that it could have been done better.
Note: He always sells himself short, no matter what you tell him. A shameful look on the floor indicates when he is not making statements.
Security and safety are important to the caretaker. © Monet – Adobe Stock
Motivation strategy: Praise does not come across to the Caretaker motivation type. Security and safety are important to them. He needs important tasks that help the company move forward.
Tip: Never treat him like a toddler. Give him important tasks. That way he will realise that he is important for the company.
The all-rounder: Developing and implementing strategies
Recognisable characteristics: He is casually and idiosyncratically dressed, always has a quip on his lips and likes to work in a team. Even on his own, he always completes his tasks correctly. He talks turkey – and expects the same from his counterpart.
Note: Don’t come at him with “could or it might be possible”. Only facts count for him.
Motivation strategy: If the motivational type “all-rounder” already has the most important prerequisites, does he need motivation at all? Yes, he does!
Tip: Give him tasks that consist exclusively of key data and a rough path. He must develop a strategy, discuss it with you and implement it. But be careful: don’t expect this strategy to be crowned with success the first time.
The group leader: Leave everything as it is
Distinctive feature: A fashionable style of dress, a good portion of self-confidence and team love belong to the group leader.
Note: He tries to solve every problem, no matter how small, in a diplomatic way. Because: He loves harmony!
Motivation strategy: Regular exchange of information with the superior is important to this motivation type. If the team does not work together, encourage him to act and be assertive.
Tip: Also show him that he is important to the company. Give him recurring tasks that he has already successfully completed. Caution: New tasks cause him anxiety. Self-confidence and security are his motivation.
What are the most important basic motives of motivation
Among other things, incentives are considered basic motives. These are divided into 4 types of motives:
Interindividual motives are about the behaviour in pursuit of the goal. Intraindividual motives refer exclusively to the incentive itself. Implicit motives are based on childhood experiences and explicit ones are based on interaction with the environment, demands and expectations.
What does this have to do with motivation?
The motive or motivation represents the goal and provides a direction that leads to the orientation of behaviour.
Achievement: The most important and meaningful basic motive
The basic motive of achievement is the most researched motive. It describes the behaviour that is directed towards the attainment of the state of good. People who act according to the basic motive of achievement strive to complete tasks particularly well. In doing so, they always want to surpass themselves – no matter how.
The incentive for this:
Positive emotions – pride and satisfaction resulting from completing a task.
The achievement motive is divided into two different motives:
Depending on the expectation of which of these two motives occurs, behaviour is influenced.
Note: People want to achieve success and avoid failure. Mostly, success is drawn from moderately difficult activities.
Power: The difference of exercising power
Leaders must exercise power over their employees. This does not mean that they oppress them. Rather, the exercise of power refers to giving instructions. Because without these, a company would not function – everyone would do what they want.
Important: Exercising power is the ability to influence others physically, psychologically and emotionally. People who act with the power motive must be aware of this source of power.
We present the 6 most common power motives:
Reward power: Others are rewarded for their behaviour.
Punishment power: Others are punished for their undesirable behaviour.
Role model power: This depends on how someone wants to be.
Expert power: People depend on the knowledge of others.
Legitimate power: This is based on the behaviour according to norms and laws of a person to be judged.
Information power: Influencing behaviour through knowledge of another person.
The source of power: Power is further divided into two areas. The hope of power – persons actively seek influence. This is often found in important positions in an organisation. The fear of losing power – Persons are looking for actions as a substitute that bring a feeling of strength. There is no risk of losing power.
Connection: The pursuit of…
… interpersonal relationships is called the connection motive. If these are fulfilled, there are positive consequences, such as well-being. The basis of this motive can already be traced back to earlier human behaviour. Good relationships have always been important – self-preservation of humanity.
This is divided into two areas:
Hope of connection – People who are oriented towards this basic motive are better able to judge other people. They are also more liked by others.
Fear of rejection – fear of failure in interpersonal relationships.
Attention. People who fear rejection are awkward and quickly feel uncomfortable when exposed to social situations.
Motivational factors that have a positive impact on the company
With the help of the following motivational factors, all the resources that your employees have within them in the company will be successfully called upon. We will now present the 5 most important factors of motivation.
There are several motivational factors that are important for companies. © Robert Kneschke – Adobe Stock
- find out the ideal workload from your employees based on the qualifications they have found. Each employee has different skills and can therefore work in his or her own area for the success of the company. The content of their tasks is crucial for their motivation. Within these tasks, you should make sure that the employee is given his own room for manoeuvre. Also make sure that he is neither overtaxed nor underchallenged.
Note: Overstraining usually causes frustration – understraining, on the other hand, causes boredom, which also applies to monotonous work. Therefore, it is extremely important that you find a good middle ground for each employee.
A good working atmosphere is important for motivated work. Conflicts in the company cause stress and frustration in the job. A good relationship between employees and management is important. The same applies when a new employee is hired in the company. He or she should be warmly welcomed and well trained. Because: Every employee wants to be appreciated by his colleagues and his boss.
Tip: Trust, composure, openness, security and a good dose of humour from the management level are important for employees. A good working atmosphere and working climate are worth more than any bonus payment.
A really good reward system, in whatever form, shows every employee that they are valuable to the company and that they are valued. A reward system can include the following:
promotion by the company.
The latter has the advantage that employees can specialise in their fields – which in turn helps the company to further success.
Tip: Engage intensively with your employees. Look at the skills and ask what each could think of as a reward for good work.
- A positive evaluation of your company is very important for applicants. Read the article – Kununu, Google and Co. – Influence of employer ratings on applicants.
5) Creating excellent working conditions for your employees is not difficult at all. Just the environment in which your employees spend time should radiate security and cosiness – even if it is the office space. Much more important than good furnishings are working conditions that fall under the following aspects:
poor hygienic conditions,
inadequate lighting in the workrooms,
inferior office furnishings
and room temperatures that are too cold or too hot.
If these aspects prevail, concentration suffers, among other things. You will also experience a high rate of illness in the company.
Tip: Involve all employees when making changes. Everyone should be allowed to express their problems and wishes. This ensures that each employee feels comfortable and brings his or her full strength to the company.
Motivational strategies: Keeping employees happy
A successful company and satisfied employees who are also productive – what CEO doesn’t want that! If you take the following motivational strategies to heart, these wishes will no longer be wishes.
Feeling good in the office increases motivation
When employees feel good, the company runs smoothly. Employees should always have the feeling that they are welcome and appreciated. Just as important as a good relationship between boss and employee is the relationship between colleagues. Always make sure that you, as CEO or manager, treat all employees according to the AGG (General Equal Treatment Laws).
As already mentioned, harmonious office spaces lead to satisfied employees and more productivity. You can already achieve more comfort with:
and seating for the breaks.
Tip: Offer fresh fruit and small snacks every day – free of charge, of course! Create a survey on what employees would like to see in terms of nutrition. Please also think about a Feel Good Manager. This person takes care of all the employees’ needs.
We have summarised everything worth knowing about the Feel Good Manager in an article – What a Feel Good Manager can achieve in your company.
Be open and honest with employees
Honesty and openness are essential for a successful company. We don’t want you to hand out company profits to employees now. What we mean is that you should involve employees in the planning and progress of your company. This way you relieve yourself – brainstorming brings so many positive benefits.
Employees who are allowed to take responsibility grow beyond themselves, which sometimes increases motivation. Apart from team building, it is the only motivational strategy that enormously improves the whole way of working and the behaviour among each other.
Note: Openness also means praising your employees. Public praise has much more effect than praise behind closed doors. But honesty in praise is very important.
Increase motivation by accepting mistakes
You can read everything you need to know about this in the article – Why a positive culture of mistakes determines the success of your company.
We will give you one more tip: Don’t let the boss hang out, refrain from bans and formulate negative statements with positive words. Find a solution to the problem in the team. This increases team spirit.
Working time models for everyone in the company – increase motivation by 100 percent
As different as people are, so are the times when you are productive. Face it – you pay for attendance, but not for labour. Counteract this by offering different working time models. You will be amazed at how the motivation of your employees increases. Sure, you will have to put up with some innovations for this, but it will pay off very quickly.
Working hours can be organised according to
part-time for parents,
in a home office
or a 4-day week can be offered.
Bonus payments and additional benefits serve as motivation
Appreciation, days off, special fields of activity, further education or training – employees love these additional benefits. They have long been worth more than any salary increases or one-off payments. Because: most people have understood that time is only available in small amounts. Money can’t buy time either.
Attention. Not every employee of yours already thinks this way. Therefore: Take the time to ask each employee about his or her preferences for bonus benefits.
Recognise alarm signals of de-motivation
Motivation is important to cope with tasks and challenges in a positive way and to lead a positive life. We have compiled 6 alarm signals of how you can tell you are falling into de-motivation. Managers should not skip this part, because the signals of de-motivation can be recognised at a glance on your employees.
Recognise signals of de-motivation in time. © R.-Andreas Klein – Adobe Stock
The level of performance decreases
De-motivation usually comes insidiously – before you recognise it, the baby may have already fallen into the well. To stay motivated, it is important to set achievable goals. Goals can be set externally or by oneself.
External goals are usually set by the employer. You are burning for it – however, if you notice that listlessness suddenly sets in, question the why. Is there:
A dispute in the team?
Problems with the supervisor?
Has the attitude towards the project changed?
All of these points reduce the level of performance. You work slower, achieve less, mistakes creep in and good work results fail to materialise. In other words, you no longer work as productively on the project.
Tip: If you have answers to the questions, talk to your supervisor or a trusted person. It is important that you are honest with yourself. Ask for a solution to the problems – be ruthless, open and honest.
An Employee Assistance Programme, or EAP, can also do wonders to keep performance high. This is a system-based short-term counselling that analyses employee concerns in a solution-oriented way and initiates measures for improvement. It applies external employee counselling at various points. This can be done through telephone contact, online tools or personal one-on-one meetings. The counselling is anonymous, confidential and neutral.
Work to rule leads to de-motivation
Do you notice that you no longer feel like doing your job? Do you no longer enjoy your job? Do you find yourself mentally switching off more and more often? Are you glad when the working day is over? In all likelihood, you are doing your job by the book. This is not only boring, but also lowers your own motivation enormously. Certainly, that is exactly what is expected of you. But if you are honest with yourself, you would simply like to achieve more than working strictly according to instructions. You feel inferior and not seen.
Tip: Ask your supervisor to consider giving you responsible tasks or a new assignment. Explain to him the reasons – explain that you want to grow. You will always find an activity in the company that will give you new motivation.
Communication problems also lead to negative motivation
Interpersonal communication is one of the most important components for motivation. Only through conversations can you know what others are thinking and pass on your ideas in such a way that they are included and implemented. Communicating the company’s strategy plays an important role in this context.
But communication is often not easy. Do you know the 4 ears model? This consists of the
Depending on how what you say comes across to the receiver, it can come across negatively or positively. If the former is the case, there will be problems with the communication. If the receiver reacts negatively to what you meant positively, you should urgently clarify what you really meant. Speak clearly and not through the grapevine.
If you do not clarify this, communication quickly turns into de-motivation. This is because you believe that others are not listening to you – in fact, it may be due to the way you express yourself.
Not rejoicing over achieved goals
It is human nature to set goals, both personal and professional. Without goals, you don’t know where the path will lead you. Failures to reach the goal often lead to de-motivation. You just have to be aware that mistakes happen. If you let yourself be influenced more by negative feelings, negative motivation increases. Joy remains absent. It is the same when you have set supposed goals. Therefore, it is important to be clear in advance whether they are real goals.
However, if you achieve goals, you should celebrate them properly. Look back positively on what you have achieved, make a note of personal feedback. Because if you ever have a failure, you can refer back to the feedback and see what you did to achieve the goal. Small mistakes can be spotted immediately.
Only think about what others expect of you
Do you primarily only think about what others expect from you? Do you ask yourself whether
the boss is satisfied with you?
Do you really fit into the team?
Do you have to adapt?
This kind of thinking is one of the biggest motivational killers of all. You may lose your personality because you are no longer yourself. You are more concerned with fitting in, not standing out or even having your own opinion. To put it clearly: you don’t want to cause a stir.
Tip: In order to increase your motivation again, you urgently need to break the cycle. Stand by your opinion, even if others don’t like it. Follow your principles and not those of others. If you increase your self-confidence, your self-confidence will increase.
Your own attitude as a signal of de-motivation
A common signal of de-motivation is negative thinking and talking. If your thoughts always revolve around the sources of others’ mistakes or why nothing goes according to plan, the spiral of de-motivation will continue to turn downwards. You have to change something immediately. From now on, concentrate only on positive things. Stop looking for sources of error and look for positive qualities in colleagues and tasks. Seek more personal development discussions with colleagues and smile. Because only when you break this cycle will your motivation rise again. We have compiled a free PDF with the biggest motivation traps and their solutions for you to print out and put on your notice board.
Motivation killers: When does employee motivation drop?
Even though employers can promote the motivation of their employees through various measures, it is first important to counteract motivation killers. Because: As long as negative factors influence the work of employees, encouraging means remain unsuccessful. Luring with incentives is thus superfluous if superiors do not change certain circumstances and adapt them to the needs of the employees.
Basically, the exchange between the employer and his employees is the basis for productivity and success. If the supervisor does not know about the wishes and demands of his employees, he cannot change anything about the conditions in the company. Communication and a functioning feedback loop are crucial. In this way, employers can identify motivation killers and remedy motivation losses.
Know your employees’ most common motivation killers! © Elnur – Adobe Stock
What are the worst motivational killers in the workplace?
Depending on the company and the type of work, different forms of motivation killers can be identified. In some circumstances, these can vary greatly from company to company. However, some motivational killers affect almost every company and have the same effect on all workers. Managers should identify these factors and take action as soon as possible, as motivation killers can have serious consequences for the company and its success.
Pressure: Everything seems to be going slowly and tasks are often left undone? By pushing, threatening and constantly checking, pressure can help to achieve success. But only for a short time: the motivation of employees decreases if they are permanently under pressure. This stress can also lead to physical as well as psychological problems and strains, for example burn-out.
Under- and over-demand: The employee’s skills determine which tasks he or she takes on. The fit between the demands and skills of the employee are crucial for his motivation to perform. If employees are bored in the office, they work less effectively because they do not see any challenge for themselves. But overtaxing activities also lead to a loss of motivation: a lack of success lowers motivation and reduces the effectiveness of the work.
Organisation: Organisational and technical mistakes happen – but they lower staff motivation. Since complications often cause delays, they hold up employees and bring their work to a standstill. The same applies to unsuccessful or chaotic meetings or incorrect task allocation. Optimal structuring of work processes also increases employee motivation. They can concentrate completely on their tasks if the basic processes run smoothly.
These factors mainly concern the structure of a company. There are also other aspects that supervisors should pay attention to. Motivation killers are often hidden in inconspicuous areas and familiar processes in the office. That is why employers should thoroughly examine processes and the organisation or structure of a company.
The worst motivation killers: What reduces the incentive to work?
In addition to structural conditions, faulty feedback processes also lead to a loss of motivation. The drive of employees is also reduced by a lack of feedback and appreciation, among other things. Thus, motivation killers are also hidden in the various facets of dealing with employees.
Praise: In the everyday life of employees, some processes run quite naturally. Employees complete certain tasks without receiving feedback for them. Yet it is precisely this feedback that is often considered motivating. If there is no praise for successful activities, the incentive to repeat the success decreases. The expectation of a reward – for example in the form of praise – encourages employees and increases their motivation to work. The absence of appropriate appreciation discourages and demotivates employees.
Salary: Positive feedback and regular feedback show employees that supervisors are interested in and value their work. In addition to this exchange, however, salary also serves as a sign of recognition. If an employee’s income is not commensurate with his or her performance, this can lead to frustration and loss of motivation. Appropriate pay is therefore essential.
Communication: Communication between employer and employee is multi-faceted. For example, supervisors need to make aspects such as frequency of communication, means of communication and tone of voice correct and appealing. A balanced exchange makes employees feel accepted and, above all, valued as team members. In addition, communication with employees provides employers with valuable information about their needs. In this way, supervisors prevent loss of motivation.
The task of examining all starting points in detail is demanding. However, employers and HR managers benefit from improving the circumstances. Motivational killers in the office not only lower productivity and efficiency, they also reduce employee retention. However, high turnover is not the only consequence of low work motivation: consequences show up in different areas and, above all, to varying degrees.
Loss of motivation and its consequences: Consequences for the company
Motivation killers lower the motivation of employees. Thus, employees with low motivation do not achieve their best performance and work less effectively. In the long run, however, low motivation has more far-reaching consequences. A lack of motivation causes problems both on an individual level and for the company, which employers have to spend time and money on remedying.
Employees suffer from the lack of drive in different ways. First, the motivation to come to the office at all decreases. Expectations of work are reduced and the employee may get caught in a vicious circle. When motivation to work is low, professional successes usually fail to materialise. Thus, the incentive to perform is also lacking in the future.
Without successes and positive feedback, the way employees deal with stress and demands at work also changes. Employees are less able to compensate for negative influences and also suffer from the conditions in terms of health. As a consequence, they drop out due to health reasons or develop permanent impairments. Consequences for the company include
decreasing productivity and efficiency
negative external image (keyword: employer branding)
Impairment of future development
If working conditions in a company are poor and employees are demotivated, word gets around quickly. A company thus develops a bad reputation and becomes unattractive as an employer. Managers should therefore also eliminate motivation killers with a view to future development. The consequences of a loss of motivation are far-reaching and cannot be calculated in advance.
Counteract motivation killers: How to sow motivation and reap performance
Supervisors should intervene early and prevent further losses of drive and motivation. After employers have identified the motivation killers in the company, they can take targeted action to counteract them. Just a few steps will help improve the situation and motivate employees.
Eliminate motivation killers: Be a role model as a supervisor
First of all, supervisors should check whether they themselves show the behaviour they expect from their employees. This is not only about performance: employers should not only be an example in their productivity, but also in the way they share their work. Since motivation is only maintained when there is a balance between work and relaxation, supervisors should model this.
Thus, employers should not only pay attention to their interaction with employees and an appropriate structure. Activities that increase motivation must also be exemplified. Among other things, social interaction, exercise and flexibility play an important role. Employers make it easier for their employees to implement motivation-enhancing activities if they model the desired behaviour.
Counteract motivation killers: Making everyday work motivating
In addition to the way in which superiors set an example of motivation, other approaches help to eliminate motivation killers. Since loss of motivation is caused by different factors, the countermeasures also vary from company to company. Basically, however, some components are central to maintaining or increasing motivation among employees.
Clarification of goals: In order for team projects, work and time allocation to work, employers and employees must first clarify the common goals. Supervisors should take time for detailed and possibly joint planning. It helps to formulate goals clearly in order to avoid misunderstandings.
Identify capacities: In order to prevent employees from being under- or overworked, it makes sense to know the skills and knowledge of the employees. At the same time, supervisors should have an overview of which tasks are to be fulfilled. An ideal allocation of assignments to the appropriate employees enables the responsible workers to stay motivated and complete their tasks conscientiously.
Internalise corporate culture: Every company has a philosophy on which the company is built. This basic idea includes values and norms that the company holds dear. In order to promote employee motivation, it helps to anchor this corporate culture in the minds of the employees. In this way, employees are more likely to see themselves as a community for which it is worthwhile to perform. As a team with the same sense of purpose, plans can be realised more effectively.
Flexibility and communication are also considered starting points for increasing motivation. In order to remove motivation killers from everyday work, it is beneficial to give employees autonomy. Employees who can decide for themselves as much as possible when, how and where they work are more motivated.
Because supervisors trust them and give them responsibility, employees are more conscientious and conscientious. Regular and open communication keeps employers and employees in close contact to clarify issues and solve problems. In this way, another motivation killer can be avoided.
Learning self-motivation: tips and tricks for overcoming your inner dragon
To prevent the low mood from overtaking you again, it is advantageous to motivate yourself anew every day. Self-motivation can be learned. Read on for the most important tips on how to outsmart yourself.
Start the day motivated!
Easier said than done? No! Get into the habit of a morning routine. Even a positive start to the day can work wonders. Find out what gives you positive impulses. This can be a long breakfast, sport or good music.
Try to motivate yourself. © Prostock-studio – Adobe Stock
Set yourself goals!
Make it clear to yourself every day what goal you would like to achieve that day. But: the goal should be realistic. A to-do list is very helpful here. If you have several goals, it makes sense to work through them one by one. If they are small goals, try to achieve them 1-2 times a day. If, on the other hand, it is a big goal, you should leave it at one – if you put yourself under pressure, you won’t achieve anything and your motivation will drop. It is also a good idea to set yourself time frames for achieving your goals in the beginning.
Pay attention to your feelings!
Before you tackle a goal, it can also help to imagine how it feels to achieve a goal. Positive emotions are triggered, which in turn leads to well-being. Recall positive feelings to motivate yourself on a daily basis. Even though it is always said that you should do ungracious tasks first, it can be helpful to do the tasks that come off quickly first.
Be aware of your success!
Self-motivation gives you more quality of life – which in turn brings success! If you want to achieve a big goal that cannot be reached in one day, divide it into small goals. Because small steps also lead to success. Don’t forget to reward yourself in between. Reward is one of the strongest self-motivation tips.
Give yourself a break!
Even if the workplace is overflowing, you can’t do without a break. We don’t just mean the statutory breaks. If you notice your concentration slipping during working hours, it’s time for a 5-minute break.
It is also important to follow your biorhythm. Go to bed on time and eat a healthy diet. Do some sport or go for a walk regularly.
Set and achieve specific goals with SMART
Motivation is divided into extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The former is used to achieve goals externally.
Example: Your boss promises a bonus if you achieve the set goal.
Intrinsic motivation is about goals that you set for yourself. In other words, motivation that arises from your personality.
Things that you enjoy doing.
Things that you yourself would like to do.
Activities that ultimately make only you happy.
The key to self-motivation is to set achievable goals. You can recognise these by the fact that you keep thinking about the goals.
In project management or in employee leadership, the term SMART is used in this regard. The term comes from the English language and describes the description of goals, goal setting, goal setting and feasibility. Let’s look at the individual letters of the term.
S – specific: Goals that are set must be clearly defined. They should be motivating and clear goals.
Tip: Think carefully about what you want. The definition must be clearly structured – if it is too vague, it is difficult to approach the goal. Deal with it daily, you will automatically motivate yourself.
M – measurable: All goals you set must be measurable. This means that areas of the goal should ideally be recorded as a percentage. Separate how many percent you are missing to achieve the goal and how many percent you have already achieved. The fewer the missing percentages and the higher the achieved percentages, the more motivated you will be.
A – ttractive: The actual meaning behind this is the achievability of the goals. Whether you set goals for yourself privately or professionally, do not set yourself anything that is difficult or impossible to achieve. That lowers motivation. On the other hand, achievable goals increase motivation enormously.
Tip: With each new goal, you should consider whether it is achievable. Regularly check the current status of what is achievable.
R – ealistic: We have already explained that goals must be realistic. Unrealistic goals are pure poison for the soul. A negative spiral develops from which it is difficult to get out of.
T – erminate: This point is important for self-motivation. Without a deadline, a goal automatically becomes unattainable. Motivation increases automatically if you have a fixed date and also achieve it in the end.
Goals according to the SMART formulas make you happy and successful
In summary, you should keep in mind to constantly examine the goals you have set to see if they are
All of this together contributes to you being more successful and, above all, happier.
What are the performance motives?
In this day and age, people appreciate knowing what drives a person to perform. The more precisely one can assess this, the easier it is to find out how to motivate them or even oneself. The foundation for this knowledge was laid as early as the beginning of the 20th century. Two scientists – motivational psychologist Henry Murray and motivational psychologist and personality theorist McClelland – dealt with it in detail.
What does achievement motivation say according to Murray?
Murray’s definition of achievement motivation states: ” The effort,
to accomplish something difficult,
to do it as quickly and as independently as possible,
overcoming obstacles and achieving a high standard of performance.”
Clearly defined, this means something like: Achievement motivation is the ability to accomplish difficult tasks as quickly and as independently as possible.
Murray stated that achievement motivation is based on needs. He also named the need theory after this. Murray also stated that needs organise people’s mental functions and behaviour.
What are needs?
Needs are anchored and governing forces that influence perception, processing of information and planning of behaviour. Accordingly, the goal of everyone should be the reduction of tension in behavioural control.
Murray divided the forces into two areas:
viscerogenic – innate needs
psychogenic needs, these develop in the course of life and with the build-up in the social environment.
From these facts Murray developed a thematic appersception test (TAT). One that tests people’s achievement motive. This TAT has been more than criticised, yet it produced interesting and surprising results.
What does McClelland’s achievement motive tell us?
Based on the template and findings of Murray’s TAT, McClelland succeeded in actually carrying out this test. He presented people with pictures on which they could recognise various social situations. The result was that the more people looked at the same picture, the different interpretations emerged. After the first test phase, people were asked to tell a story around the picture. McClelland then analysed all the results based on the story. He realised that the more performance-related the person described a picture, the more pronounced was his or her motivation to perform.
The three basic motives that resulted from all this were power, affiliation and achievement. We have already described these to you at the beginning of the article.
The research results according to McClelland
Depending on the experiential value assigned to people in the course of their lives, the various needs are shaped to different degrees. Depending on which need prevails, this will influence your behaviour in the workplace.
Motivating as a manager: 9 tips for motivating employees
Up to this point, you have learned a lot about motivation, empowerment and their basic motives. The question now is how best to apply these achievements. As a manager, you have to motivate your employees every day and communicate the company’s strategy. You have already read how to recognise employees by their performance motive of your personality. Now we come to the best tips on how you can pass on motivation instead of pressure to your employees and maybe even motivate yourself.
Tip 1: Personal praise serves as appreciation
Every employee likes to be praised by his or her supervisor. As a rule, this is done in a face-to-face meeting. It is more valuable for the employee to receive praise from you publicly. Bring facts to the table for which you want to praise the employee. This way he or she can be sure that you mean the praise. If a whole team is to be showered with praise, bring everyone to the table. Start with the team praise and end the conversation by patting each individual employee on the back for the work they have created. This fosters team spirit!
Tip 2: Honesty is the best policy
Take praise as an example. Only ever give praise when you really mean it. Your employees will notice if you are just trying to make “friends”.
Tip 3: Praise only with facts
Praise can quickly backfire if you praise employees without further justification.
Negative praise: “Mr. Mayer, you did a great job!”
Positive praise: “Mr Mayer, you know, I have to praise you for ….. . You really solved the problem exceptionally well!”
Praising properly has to be learned! © Pormezz – Adobe Stock
Tip 4: Show emotion
If you decide to praise, don’t hold back. Show joy and other emotions towards your employee. This underlines the sincerity of the praise and you will become a very popular boss.
Tip 5: Time, place and personality
By this we mean that there are employees who prefer to receive your praise in public rather than behind closed doors. Other employees might find public praise rather embarrassing. Therefore, it is important to know which category which employee falls into.
Tip 6: Don’t put praise on the back burner
Praise should be given when something has been done well by the employee or team in a timely manner. Don’t get the idea of collecting praise and showering it on employees. This creates discomfort for work well done weeks or months ago. There are probably even employees who have already forgotten about the success.
Tip 7: Never praise and criticise together
If you want to score points for praise with your employees, then you should really take this tip to heart. It can make employees nervous when they are called into the office because they don’t know what to expect. However, strictly separate the two so that the employee can adjust to what is coming up.
Tip 8: Don’t keep feedback to yourself
If you receive feedback from customers – whether positive or negative – don’t keep it to yourself. Only if your employees are up to date on whether they have done something well or badly can they keep it or change it. Because for every employee, customer satisfaction is the most valuable asset. Also, your team then knows that you are not pocketing praise and blame.
Tip 9: Sometimes words are not enough
This means a handshake or a tap on the shoulder to emphasise the praise. But be careful! First find out whether the employee allows physical closeness at all. If necessary, ask him or her about it.
Attention! We have summarised the best tips for motivating employees in this free download. You can print it out and hang it on your notice board. Because immediately at hand, you can act faster.
5 classic fringe benefits to motivate employees
When it comes to motivating employees, performance-related pay is the be-all and end-all. If your employees regularly do a good job and you praise them for it, you should also think about additional benefits. These go down well with your employees and underline particularly high praise.
We present 5 classic fringe benefits that employees like to receive.
Definition of fringe benefits
Additional benefits that employees enjoy are things like:
free food offered in the company (snacks, fruit, etc.)
compensatory time off
The possibilities are endless. Not only do fringe benefits help motivate employees, they also benefit you as a company. Corporate benefits look good in job advertisements and attract potential applicants.
Rank 5: Personal and financial security
In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide for oneself financially. Employees are happy when the company takes care of this matter. At the top of the popularity scale are:
company pension scheme
company health insurance
Rank 4: Bonus payment as an additional benefit
Bonus payments can be used in many different ways. The following are a few examples that are well received:
Finance your employee’s travel between home and work. Currently, the allowance is 0.30 euros per kilometre. You are taxed at a flat rate.
If you have branch offices of your company and wish to transfer an employee there, it is possible for you to pay the moving costs for the employee. These costs may include transport, brokerage and/or travel costs. The flat rate for relocation costs is 640 euros for single persons and 1279 euros for married couples (flat rates may increase or decrease annually).
Special bonus for company loyalty
Rank 3: Material benefits
There are employees who like to be rewarded with material things. Examples are:
Mobile phones, laptops
Jewellery for the ladies
Ties or cufflinks for the gentlemen
When it comes to additional material benefits, however, there are a few things to watch out for. Here are 3 examples.
If you want to give employees a company car as a fringe benefit, they may only use it for business purposes. However, if he pays a monetary benefit, this is taxed and he can also use the company car privately.
The advantage with technical equipment clearly lies with the employee. They are allowed to use their smartphone, tablet or laptop for private as well as business purposes. However, all technical devices are your property.
Small gifts, such as jewellery for the ladies, bags, vouchers and the like are subject to an exemption limit of 60 euros gross.
Rank 2: Flexibility for your employees
Flexible working hours are high among all fringe benefits. Examples would be: Flexitime, home office or the 4-day week. See how you can apply this in your company.
Rank 1: Further education and training
In times of the war for talent, it is increasingly difficult to find suitable skilled personnel. You should therefore focus on modern recruitment.
But why are you still looking? Your company certainly has employees with unimagined skills!
There are different types of training and further education. © Photo Girlfriend – Adobe Stock
Create an employee survey in which you offer training and development measures. You could also ask each employee if he/she would like to specialise in his/her field. After all, both sides benefit.
Examples of training and development:
Celebrations, excursions and team events
Whether it’s Christmas, an anniversary, a summer party or team events – all of these activities are a great way to balance out a busy working day. If you plan an excursion or a small celebration every two months, it will strengthen the team’s cohesion.
Conclusion: Motivation is not just for children
If you have read this far, it is easy to understand why motivation is not just for children. Motivation increases performance, lowers employee turnover and moves your business forward both faster and more profitably. Don’t just think about your profits. Because: without your employees, you would not get to where you are together as a team.
Would you like to increase your company profit, but your employees are difficult to motivate? You have received many tips from us. Change your company culture – change your employees – change work behaviour.
FAQ: Things to know about employee motivation
What are the possibilities for employee motivation?
Many employees are more motivated when the working atmosphere, for example in the office, is pleasant. This includes flowers, decorations, etc. In addition, an open and honest relationship between employees and managers is motivating, as is the acceptance of mistakes by the supervisor. Different working time models that are individually adapted to each employee as well as bonus payments and additional benefits from the employer also contribute to increased employee motivation.
Why is employee motivation important?
Motivated employees are relevant for the success of the company. Only when employees are motivated can they be productive and deliver good work.
How can you recognise demotivated employees?
There are six factors by which you can recognise demotivated employees. One is an indication that the performance level of the workforce is decreasing. Even when working according to strict rules, motivation quickly changes to demotivation. In addition, there is another important aspect: communication. If there are problems here, employees often find it more difficult to work. In addition, demotivation is promoted when people are not happy about achieved goals, you only think about what others expect of you or your own attitude becomes a signal of demotivation.
What are typical motivation killers?
When there is too much pressure, under-demand or over-demand as well as poor organisation in the company, one can clearly speak of motivation killers.