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Motivation in the Workplace – Challenges and Possibilities

By Ayush Dev Pant

Motivation is the fuel for human dedication. Despite all the progressions and developments in the world, motivation has not had any successor; however, the means of motivation have altered. Workplace motivation is an integral element of an efficient workforce, and it has the power to alter the position of a company. Gallup estimates the cost of poor management and lost productivity from employees in the U.S. who are not engaged or actively disengaged to be between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year. Managing motivation among employees depends upon a variety of principles of the organization, environment, and the leader’s proficiency. Today, this task is more challenging than ever as Millennials and Generation Z are gradually composing a significant portion of the workforce.

Motivation is not a one-sided process where the leader is expected to motivate all the employees of the team, but it is also about the proclivity of the employees. Employees who ask for feedback, celebrate others, and take a break tend to be more motivated than others. Not everyone can practice that, and that is where leaders should step in. Before introducing the extrinsic motivational factors, a leader should be able to nurture the subsisting intrinsic determinants of the employees. According to Aberdeen Group, having engaged employees increases customer loyalty by 233% and revenue by 26% annually. Engaged employees are highly influenced by the culture of the organization. The newer generations have a different outlook towards an organization as they compare their lifestyle values with that of the company. Effective motivation constitutes activities that can motivate any generation of employees as it is inclined more towards the intrinsic values.

According to Forbes, commitment to employee happiness, and chances to speak up and set examples worth following are the core attributes of effective motivation. Commitment to employee happiness can see productivity gains anywhere from 12% to 20%, if the commitment process focuses on duty atmosphere, flexibility and personal considerations. A platform for an employee to express their opinions on certain situations helps develop the sense of connection and enhance their value towards the organization. It escalates the employees’ ability to take initiations during different situations. Setting examples worth following depends upon a leaders’ thoughtfulness and integrity. Employees observe how the leaders carry themselves and how much they value their work. If employees really admire their leaders, there is much a leader can do towards amplifying the employees’ motivation and drive.

Employee turnover costs US companies $160 billion a year, according to Wrike, a work management and social collaboration software tool that scales across teams in any business. Team functioning is regarded as one of the crucial reasons for employee turnover. If employee’s willingness to work in groups is not addressed, their motivation towards work goes down drastically. Team functioning increases the understanding among the leaders and the employees where evaluation of work and application of motivation gets efficient and effective. It is one of the major reasons why companies today have collaborative approaches towards workforce. Collaboration simply assists in complementing the weaknesses of the employees as they come together for a common goal and help each other achieve that goal. The footprint? Motivation.

The gig economy will see a new generation take over the market and will witness the rise of freelancing. They have a different outlook towards their commitment and the current tools of motivation can turn out to be precarious for the leaders. The motivational factors for the future should consider social responsibility, job security, accumulative rewarding experiences, transparency, honest feedback, and collaborative platforms. This may require a company to change its culture, and it is definitely not going to be superficial. Team work is the key as a team functions on the basis of trust. Therefore, being a part of the collaborative team promotes clarity towards the outcome rather than the problems that are going to be in the way. With the right action plan the members will be making more connections, solving problems faster, and innovating better. Managing both workforce and motivation will be crucial challenges for leaders, but it may get easier as the newest members of the workforce are known for their empathetic nature.

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