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Work Motivation for Increased Success

Work Motivation for Increased Success

Being motivated and staying motivated are two indispensable qualities we must acquire if we're to be happy and succeed.  This pertains to a double life for most: Your life at home and your life at work.  Usually, if you're happy at one, you're happy at the other - but not necessarily. 


Some people use the job to escape from the problems at home and vice versa.  Neither should be used as an escape or a refuge.  A balance must be sought between motivation at home and in the work place.  Actually, you can use these motivational tips to accomplish both.


Ask for job clarification.  If you don't understand your job, you can't produce the results expected.  Go to your immediate supervisor and ask for job clarity.  What you may have thought was difficult could merely be that you didn't understand what was needed.


Determine your path for advancement.  You can't hit a target if you can't see it.  Sure, you can take the shotgun approach and fire at random but you have a much better chance at hitting the mark if you know where you're going and how to get there.  Motivation is much easier if you understand what's expected of you and the path to the next step.


Do more than is required.  Don't be a showoff, but don't do just enough to get by either.  The boss will notice both and treat you appropriately.  Take on new challenges.  Volunteer for extra work and get it done.  You may have to stay late sometime but this is your future we're talking about.  What's a little extra overtime as compared with a lifetime of achievement?


Push your limits.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Oh, that's hard when you first do it but go ahead.  You may find you love it out there.  It's an old saying that if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got.  Do more and you'll get more.


Get educated.  Read books, take classes, and sign up for educational seminars that will advance you in your field of work.  The time to learn is now.  Don't wait until the need arises for you to learn a new skill or to better the skills you have.  If you learn them, you will use them.


Don't procrastinate.  Do it now.  Do it now.  Get it done and put it behind you.  Don't let any project or job overwhelm you.  Persistence leads to completion one small step at a time.  Giant steps are not necessary.  Baby steps will do, but you must take the first step.


Stay healthy.  You can't stay motivated if you don't feel well.  This too is an everyday mission.  Get plenty of rest, eat right and exercise.  Just do those three things and good health will be a given. These motivation tips work well on the job but also in all aspects of living.  Be proud of yourself, prepare and be a leader wherever you are.



Finding the Source of Your Motivation


You know what needs to be done.  It's obvious when you look at yourself or what lies around you.  The work has been assigned, whether by your superior or yourself, and you must get started - but somehow, you lack the motivation to get off square one.


Success can't be achieved without motivation.  Where is the source of your motivation?  Where can you turn for the inspiration that will propel you forward?  We're all different and are all motivated by different things. 


Some are motivated by the visualization of completing the task and reaching the goal.  It could be to get a job promotion and a bigger paycheck, or finish another chapter in the book you're writing, or losing five pounds by the end of the week.  Seeing yourself as actually grasping these goals could motivate you to travel the road to success. 


Visualize completion.  Never lose sight of your ultimate goal.  Know you're going to get what you deserve soon and push forward with renewed motivation.  You know that success is not just an option but is a real fact.  Believe this and motivation is easy.


Preparation fuels motivation.  Motivation without the skills to achieve your goals is not enough and if you know you're lacking something to move forward motivation is hard to summon.  Motivation is fueled by knowledge followed closely by persistence.


Change your environment.  New surroundings often give you a renewed outlook on your life.  It can be something simple.  Put a new plant in your home or office, hang a new picture or open the curtains and let in the light. 


This also includes surrounding yourself with positive people.  When you're around positive and successful friends their attitude rubs off on you.  You absorb their energy.  Conversely, when you're with negative people or drab and depressing surroundings you absorb that energy as well.


Other methods to find the source of your motivation is to re-evaluate your tasks and make certain you're working toward your goal.  Brainstorm and look for new information.  You can do this by taking a break, go for a walk, exercise, work in the yard or relax with an inspirational book.  Using your brain in different ways will stimulate it and stimulation leads to motivation.


Do something for others.  When we do for others, we find motivation within ourselves.  Many times, the way to achieve your goal is to assist others in reaching theirs.  Seek to serve and you'll become energized and motivated when people rely on you.  Disappoint them and you disappoint yourself - and you're not going to let that happen, are you?


Some find a motivational source by talking or reading aloud to themselves.  Keep an inspirational book handy at all times. When you actually hear the positive affirmations, they become more effective.


Motivation comes from many different sources and you must find what works for you from within.  Believe in yourself.  Anticipate the good that will happen in your life.  Never fear the bad.  Do this and motivation is yours.



Does This Motivational Theory Hold True?


David McClelland's achievement motivation theory is widely known and has been adopted successfully in many organizations.  McClelland contended that his methods were better than traditional tests based on IQ and personality. 


Primarily, he advocated competency-based assessments and tests while promoting improvements in employee assessment methods. McClelland outlined three types of motivational needs. 


These include motivation of achievement, authority/power and affiliation.  These were described in his 1961 book, The Achieving Society.  He contends that these needs are found in all workers and supervisors and characterizes their techniques in motivating and being motivated.


·         Achievement motivation describes an employee who is attaining goals, both simple, realistic and challenging but attainable.  He must feel a sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to advance in the job.  Positive feedback is also required for this person to feel fulfilled. 


·         Authority/power motivation is a person driven to make a difference.  He must demonstrate a need to be in authority even to the point of power.  His ideas must be expressed, appreciated and implemented.  Motivation for this person is derived from achieving personal status and prestige. 


·         Affiliation motivation is an employee who has a need to be a team player.  He wants to be popular and well-liked by both fellow employees and managers.  Being affiliated with other people on the job is his motivation.  He thrives on friendly relationships and interaction with other people.


According to the McClellan theory, most employees possess a combination of these individual characteristics.  He contends that they all exhibit positive and negative influences in the workplace. 


Some may undermine a manager's decision-making process while others may lead to lack of flexibility and demand too much if they're too goal oriented even though they could make the best leaders.


Still, McClelland favored the achievement-motivated people to get things done and advance within the company.  For these employees, achievement is more important than money and financial reward is merely a measure of success, not the ultimate goal. 


The company benefits because achievement-based employees are always seeking ways to do better including avenues of improvement and efficiency.  So, does this theory hold true today? 


For years, the theory has been extensively tested and debated.  Almost all employees possess a need for all three:  achievement, authority or power, and affiliation.   And, whereas all these qualities have status in the work place too much of either can be less than desirable.  Most managers today seek a combination of these qualities in an effort to achieve balance in the business.



How to Use Motivation Rewards to Reach Your Goals


Using rewards to reach a goal is not uncommon.  It's done all the time in business as employers reward their employees with bonuses, trips and days off for a job well done.  Retail stores motivate their customers to shop with them by offering discounts and loyalty cards you get punched each time you buy something there with the promise of something free the next time you come it.


You may be familiar with the two types of motivation called Intrinsic and Extrinsic.  Intrinsic motivation is when a person is motivated from within him or herself.  They work on a task or project or to achieve a goal simply for the love of doing it.  Extrinsic motivation is when a person works on a task or tries to reach a goal, but is rewarded when that goal or steps to that goal are reached.


Studies have shown that intrinsic is a better motivator than extrinsic but most of us are spoiled to the point of not doing something unless we're rewarded.  Motivation is a behavior you can influence to your advantage. 


But realize that even a highly motivated person can get discouraged or tired of working on a task if he's not noticed and rewarded. People need to know they're appreciated and that their good work does not go unnoticed.


We're all different and all motivated by different things.  What motivates you may not motivate your spouse or your boss.  It's a valued skill when you're able to match the type of motivation with the person to be motivated.  Try different things and when one doesn't work try another until the desired results are accomplished. 


Employers do this all the time but many use fear motivation with the threat that you could lose your job if you don't do the work.  This is not a permanent solution and most companies who implement this kind of motivation experience a high rate of employee turnover.


Begin with a realistic goal but a goal that is challenging and you'll feel a sense of pride when it's accomplished.  If you're trying to lose weight for instance and your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 3 months, reward yourself for every milestone reached. 


If you lost 3 pounds in the first month, celebrate by going to lunch with a friend or treat yourself to a pedicure.  (Both men and women enjoy this.)  Be happy with the reward and you'll start anticipating the loss of your next 3 or 4 pounds.


If you tend to cheat and find it difficult to stick to the rules, work with a friend who will keep track of your progress and administer the reward when they're earned.  Make the reward irresistible to you and make it worthwhile even though it doesn't have to be expensive.  The experience you associate with the reward is what will keep you motivated.


Motivation rewards work for almost any desired goal and can work wonders with children.  Remember to have your reward aligned with your goal and you're on the way to reaching your target with fun and anticipation.



5 Ways to Improve Your Employee Motivation Skills


Look around at the successful businesses in your area or anywhere in the world.  What made them successful?  Reasons for business success are many and complex but one of the underlying reasons for success in most businesses is employee motivation. 


If your employees are not motivated, your business will suffer from the inside out and it could begin to crumble one employee at a time.  Soon, you'll be surrounded by poor, dissatisfied employees with the good ones gone seeking job fulfillment.


Without question, people work to make money, to make a living and support their family and the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed or would like to achieve.  But if your business strives to maintain a healthy environment it must go beyond monetary reward.  If we fail to gain fulfillment in our work and feel needed then the paycheck becomes secondary and may not be worth it at all.


1.  Treat your employees with respect.  If possible, learn their names and address them as such each time you see them.  If their job gives them no dignity they will dread coming to work and want to leave as soon as possible.  Without respect, there is no company loyalty and they will undermine you each chance they get.


2.  Earn your employees trust.  Make them feel an important part of the company's success.  Share with them company plans for change and expansion.  Communicate with employees individually and as a group. 


If they hear about a change in their company from an outsider or on the news, they feel left out and even betrayed.  Be generous with inter office memos to be followed with meetings in person.  Lack of communication with employees is one of the chief reasons for inter office turmoil.  When the truth is not shared, false rumors can triumph.


3.  Listen to what your employees have to say.  In many cases, your employees are closer to the job than you are.  They have a feel for what's right and what's wrong and will be willing to share this information with their employer if they'll listen.  You may not want to take action on all their suggestions, but give them an opportunity to vent.  You may be surprised at what's going on right under your nose.


4.  Show your appreciation.  Merit raises are nice but sometimes not feasible.  Schedule an appreciation day with a small party or get together.  Perhaps name an employee of the month. 


Present them with small tokens of your gratitude such as a bonus, employee pin or a coupon for dinner.  Your appreciation should be spread throughout the year, not just at an annual meeting.  Frequent boosts of employee morale are essential.


5.  Provide employees incentives for advancement.  No one wants to work in a dead-end job.  Find out what each employee wants in the job and in life in general and express an interest in helping him or her to fulfill those desires.  Many times, you'll learn they want nothing more than to love what they do and feel they're contributing to the overall effort.


Your employees deserve to have your respect, trust and appreciation.  Communicate with them and provide work incentives and your employee motivation skills will greatly improve.  So will your business. 


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