7 Key Steps to Creating a Motivating Work Setting

by Klaus on November 24, 2019

in Articles

Motivation in the workplace is what keeps it going. It is an important aspect of any manmade business endeavour. It is the energy that drives employees and keeps them productive and on point, amongst other things. So much so, that businesses have been formed to fill the niche market of creating and maintaining workplace motivation. It adds great value to the workplace by building a culture of productivity and a sense of accomplishing great things. 

There are many ways to achieve it and no single solution is enough by itself. It usually comes down to a cocktail, custom-tailored to your particular business setting and situation. Here, we are going to cover some of the methods used all over the world for the sole purpose of creating, rising and maintaining morale amongst the workforce.

Knowing what people want

Motivation can be very subjective. What is desirable and a priority for one person may very well not even be on the radar for another. This translates from a personal to a work environment. Everyone needs to be employed in one form or another to be a functional member of society and acquire resources necessary for life. Sometimes those resources are enough of a motivation in themselves. Lately, this has not been the case nearly as much as with older generations of employees. 

Compensation is always going to be the key motivating factor why a person comes to work, but it is losing ground to other factors like office culture, dental and healthcare or higher causes like being socially responsible. It is up to you to know what motivates your individual employees in order for everyone to capitalize on that. It will help you create the next steps when building the motivation of a collective in the workplace by focusing on its individual parts.

Acknowledging work, effort and accomplishments

Some of the greatest drivers for workplace happiness and therefore, motivation are pride, fairness, respect and the feeling of appreciation. Employees need to feel valued and need to know that their work matters. It is a simple feedback loop where their accomplishments need to have a tangible effect on the end goal. The opposite of that would be for employees never to see the fruits of their labour or how it added value to a larger project. A supportive work environment where success is celebrated, both individual and collective can be achieved in many ways and is very important for work culture. You need to make strong, clear and continuous effort to encourage innovation with idea boards and incentives. 

Also, we work better with people we know personally and get along with. Encourage team outings and celebrations, especially for completing successful projects and meeting deadlines and projections. These approaches are simple and inexpensive, they are always the starting point for any motivation-elevating program.

Realistic, measurable goals

Projects tend to drag on and have no end in sight. One of the most demoralizing things to go through is to be stuck in place with a project that does not seem to go anywhere. It ties in with our previous point, when people do not see any visible, measurable progress, they tend to lose morale. It also indicates that their work is making a dent in the universe. 

That is why it is paramount to set clear and achievable goals. What this usually means is that these goals need to be small, bite-sized endeavours that can be achieved so that the end goal comes a little bit closer to completion. One of the worst things for morale and therefore productivity, you can do is to give a very vague plan for a project that will span for the next few years with little to no feedback on how everything is going and how employees are contributing.

Training and development

Another one of the main needs of any human being, ambitious or not, is the constant ability to improve oneself. Learning, development and work can be the best motivator for any workplace. No one likes being stuck in place for an extended period of time. It is in human nature to move on to bigger and better things at some point in everyone’s lives. The quality and diversity of training options you provide to employees that meet the required performance numbers are essential for accomplishing motivation in the workplace.

 Depending on the industry and niche your company finds itself in, there are always plenty of courses that everyone can offer to their employees. This not only gives much more purpose in life but it increases the value people can bring to themselves and to the company as well. Employees will feel valued and appreciated only if they had a chance to prove their worth, learn new traits and offer more to the world.

Autonomy

The ultimate goal when talking about motivation is to achieve a state where people are perpetually driven by their own work. It is a sort of self-sustaining proposition but one that still needs some maintenance. Companies often fail to maintain control over the most critical issues, probably because they do not see them as such. Relationships, communication recognition and employee involvement are all intangible values that are very important and can deteriorate if not cared for. 

For those best-performing employees, the best form of reward is to give them space, autonomy and the ability to run their own work. They do not need a manager always looking over their shoulder and micromanaging them. Other employees will take notice of this and will constantly strive to achieve the exact same thing. If employees do their work well, the reward of such recognition and trust placed upon them is invaluable.

The infrastructure

Talk of motivation in the workplace needs to be backed up with proper infrastructure. What that might entail is very subjective and highly dependant on the industry your particular company is in. But there are some things that everyone needs to have in their workplace. A proper infrastructure means having control over the atmosphere in the workplace and manage it to functional levels, it means hygiene is at adequate levels and everything is supported digitally. 

For instance, a software design company needs to have most of its resources diverted towards high-performance computers, ones that can crunch numbers and render multimedia files as quickly and reliably as possible. We all know that saying, time is money. But what they do not say is that time wasted is also motivation and nerves going down the drain. 

Proper lighting is the most basic example, so much so in fact that plenty of businesses fail to seriously consider it. Natural light has proved to be the best for any work environment. Granular control over the lighting in an office can reduce eye fatigue and chances for accidents. Installing modern blinds in the office can also help for those long days in front of a screen, reducing panel glare. 

There are many more things to go over when discussing support infrastructure, but let’s leave that for everyone to come up with themselves while factoring in all the aspects that make your business unique.

Promoting innovation

The most productive and successful businesses know how to promote and encourage innovation in their employees. Again, it is where operational transparency, that we have touched upon earlier in this article, comes into play. It also relates to employees knowing the effect their work has on clients. Employees need not simply go through the motions of being a worker bee by punching in and out of the clock and collecting a paycheck. They are an integral part of any business mechanism and every single one of them has a unique thought, a unique way of looking at the problem and solving it. 

Most companies tend to extinguish these sparks of innovation under the guise of traditional methods by saying “It is simply the way it has always been done here”. Employees know best the intricacies of their own work and can offer invaluable insight into how the process can be optimized for everyone’s benefit. It means money, time and nerves saved. There is rarely a more motivating occurrence than improving upon a system by just a little, that can be all it takes. 

Create a feedback loop that takes into account all employee suggestions and criticism in an effort to improve upon everyone’s work experience. And as always, give credit where credit is due.

Conclusion

We all spend a large chunk of our lives at the workplace. We place our hard work and lives on the line for something greater than ourselves. The most natural thing we can all strive for is to make those countless hours spent working pleasurable and meaningful. Positive energy, happiness and a sense of personal and professional purpose are what every person craves for. Include these 7 tips in your work culture and make yours a better working environment.

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