In a world of constant distractions pulling us in fifteen different directions, it can be challenging to stay motivated at work. Many workplaces face lulls in energy and efficiency between big and exciting projects, leaving workers itching for a new motivation to make the day to day in the office a bit easier.

Trends show that employees showing up to work, but are subconsciously checking out: according to a recent study, only 19% of Australians are engaging in the practice of “going above and beyond.” This troubling statistic says a lot about the state of work, but it says more about how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to inspire motivation in the workplace.

If you’re looking to re-motivate your workplace with real, actionable strategies that don’t involve hiring a guru or renting out a yoga studio, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can re-energize your team below.


Use Measurable Goals

One of the most significant motivation-sapping issues in the workplace is a lack of clear, definable goals. Goals that are too ambitious and vague can decrease motivation and increase frustration, confusion, and the tendency to go into autopilot during the workweek.

This is why many workplaces implement SMART goals, which can help clearly define your team’s purpose and current objective.

SMART goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-related. An example of a motivating SMART goal would be to add 1,000 new leads to our email marketing list by the end of the quarter.


Celebrate Achievement

Motivation in the workplace is fleeting, especially in today’s always-on world, where the landscape of your business can change in an instant. Because of this, you must celebrate your team’s successes and individual achievements as they happen.

This type of workplace motivation works best when approached in a way that helps connect your team to the bigger picture. Don’t just congratulate an employee on a job well done; tell them how their hard work will help move your team forward toward its goals.


Embrace Positivity

A positive attitude can be infectious, and a workplace filled with can-do attitudes is much more likely to feel motivated and energized than one led with a glass-half-empty mindset. When motivation in the workplace ebbs with the slow periods, struggles, and challenges your team may face, positivity will carry the team forward to better times.

Small changes in the way you frame problems, achievements, and daily work life can make a massive impact on the positivity and motivation of your team. Instead of constantly worrying about the bad, always be the one looking for a silver lining.


Make Recharging A Priority

A highly stressed team won’t only be lacking workplace motivation, they’ll be lacking a healthy work-life balance essential for their productivity and happiness. If your team tends to attack a problem (with or without results) for hours on end to the point of frustration and burnout, make taking rest breaks a priority.

Short breaks are essential to our brain health. Our minds benefit greatly from daydreaming and taking a break in general. Small breaks work in our favor to help us combat the tiredness and stress of the workday, helping bring motivation and focus back into the office.


Nurture Inspiration

Inspiration within your team will come and go, but there are ways you can help foster the spirit of creativity and innovation. Encouraging your team to be creative help boost the motivation to find new and inspiring ways to solve workplace challenges.

There are millions of ways you can inspire your team, but with this type of motivation, you should aim for ideas such as:

  • Encouraging the open sharing of ideas
  • Avoiding the tendency for micromanagement
  • Look for the lessons in failure or mistakes
  • Contribute to your team’s day-to-day success
  • Provide your team with a change of scenery

Aim for Transparency

Transparency within the workplace is becoming increasingly important as we spend more time at work than ever before. Transparency within your team helps build trust within your working relationships.

When your team can trust that they’re all working with the same information from the same source, it gives them more confidence in their work and purpose.

When a team works with multiple sources of information, unclear or conflicting instructions, or towards a vague goal, it can crush workplace efficiency and energy.


Provide the Bigger Picture

In the same way that transparency helps nurture trust within your team, giving context to your team’s role provides purpose. One of the main internal drivers of motivation is purpose.

When your team can confidently say that they know their daily work is contributing to the bigger picture, they will be more motivated to push through to a project’s end.

When defining the bigger picture for your team, make sure you do so with clarity. When trying to inspire motivation, you must give your team clear goals and objectives while working to dispel confusion. Always relate your team’s goals to the bigger picture with as much transparency as possible.


Be A Model of Motivation in the Workplace

In the same way that being positive influences further positivity, being a self-motivated leader inspires your team to bring their own best to work. Working under a leader with a go-getter attitude who is always looking for solutions and who frequently celebrates success can elevate the motivation of an entire office.

When you tell a team lead, you’ll help with their next big presentation, commit to it. If you know one of your team members is struggling, reach out, and offer assistance.

Showcase your motivation to be there for your employees, and you’ll often find they start returning the favor with increased effort and positivity toward their work.


Employ Training and Development

According to a recent LinkedIn report, as many as 94% of people would stay at a job longer if they invested real effort into employee training and development. Not only is investing in your team’s learning a great way to retain employees, but it’s also an effective way to motivate them.

The ability to learn and grow within your team will help provide your team with an additional sense of purpose beyond your SMART goals and the bigger picture, a purpose that feels more personal and useful to their overall lives.


Give Go-Getters Autonomy

As George Patton once said, “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do, and let them surprise you with their results.”

When your team knows they can be entrusted with a task and given autonomy to complete it, they’ll feel more trusted, motivated, and inspired to bring their best effort to the project.

There’s nothing that saps at your motivation more than a micromanaging boss, especially when you come into a project already inspired to do your best. Avoid micromanaging members of your team that have proven themselves able to handle deadlines and deliver quality results.


Promote Health and Wellbeing

A healthy work-life balance is essential to bringing motivation back into the workplace. In an office full of exhausted and poorly-fed zombies, nobody will have the energy needed to push through to a project’s end.

In the same way, it’s crucial to promote a workplace culture that emphasizes the need to rest over the need to be continually working. Just as short breaks during the workday are essential, so to are longer breaks that allow your team the chance to indeed rest, recharge, and re-motivate themselves.

Make sure you’re allowing your team to take long vacations or extended weekends as needed between stressful periods.


Manage Your Management Style

Leadership should come from a place of wanting to help and support your team rather than micromanage them. Solicit feedback from your team to see if there are any quirks to your management style that are sapping them of creativity and motivation.

Sometimes, it can be as simple as changing the way you reward success or implement feedback. Even small changes in your leadership style can renew your team’s sense of motivation.


Encourage Innovation

In the same way that nobody likes to be micromanaged, no one wants to have their ideas pushed aside in favor of the status quo. Be open to innovation with your team and let them know that fresh ideas are always welcome at the table.

When your team feels as though they can be creative, they’ll be more willing to approach their work from multiple angles to find the best plan of attack.


Implement Consistent Communication

One of the main ways that our workplace motivation is stolen from us is through miscommunication. Our new great idea isn’t presented correctly and shoved aside, or our hard work goes unnoticed lost in a sea of unread emails. Each workplace will take a different approach to effective communication.

However, if you start to notice your team’s motivation waning, checking in to make sure your lines of communication are both consistent and impactful should be your first step.

When someone in your team has a sudden idea, do they know who to turn to have it vetted? When there’s an issue causing them to check their motivation and inspiration at the door, do they know who they can turn to for a recharge?


Place Value on Individual Contribution

Above all, motivation in the workplace comes down to knowing that your job, its tasks, and your daily work have a unique contribution to the larger goal.

Making sure your employees know the value of their contributions to the team can do wonders for your office’s morale and motivation. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Randomly rewarding small accomplishments
  • Praising outstanding team members at meetings
  • Offering incentive for those already going above and beyond
  • Creating a culture of celebrating your achievements

All in all, there are plenty of ways to integrate motivation into your workflow. You don’t even have to implement all the strategies at once to make a difference. To get started, talk to your employees and see what would motivate them the most.

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