Are you happy and fulfilled in your job?
This, for many employees, is a huge question to answer. For one reason or the other, the workplace motivation and morale of several workers have ebbed. Lack of motivation is present in many outfits. And its consequences are severe on both the workers and the work.
Owing to the declining impetus, they’re no longer being challenged or feeling connected to their current roles. Going to work every day has become dull to the point of being painful, and they’re desperate for change. Furthermore, weekends and holidays have become a rat run to escape the gridlock of unfulfilling and unproductive tasks. And Monday is a hell of a day they never pray for, but can’t just break the jinx because of the need for survival.
Happy employees are good employees, and the effects of going to a job every day that you dislike are crushing. It, therefore, behooves employers to do all to keep the employees happy and motivated. This is done by having a shared vision and working as a team, valuing and adding values to the staff and providing incentives.
In the same vein, provoking employees to work with the threats of sanctions and fines may not be a good way to stir up motivation. The truth is it doesn’t get to most employees, especially the millennials. You simply end up raising a hill of igneous rock that needs chiseling and crushing to fit into your edifice.
Instead, an employer’s goal should be to create an enabling environment in which every employee flows easily and happily. The enabling environment does not necessarily have to be incentives and credits. It could be helping each employee to understand the purpose and mission of the business, and an employee’s place in the matrix.
Nevertheless, the need to stay motivated rests mainly on the shoulders of the employee. Irrespective of the environment, advantages or disadvantages of a workplace, a worker has the charge over his or her responses. It still boils down to you.
There is the parable of an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work. Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.
He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’
They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’
He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’
Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’
This is an interesting and thought-provoking narrative. Who wouldn’t be angry in such circumstance? We would probably go on strike or boycott work. Though it seems like an unjust action, there was an agreement or policy that validated the contract. Moreover, the manager has the liberty to do what he wants with his property.
Therefore, the cross is on the employee to decide his fate, whether to quit, protest or encourage himself or herself to still give his best to the work.
Here are six ways to increase your motivation in your career if you’re struggling lately.
- Remind yourself the “Why” of doing what you do.
Your motive in the work could be a great source of motivation for you. Why are you here? Why do you do what you do? Whatever the reason: money, fulfilment, passion, skill development, or what have you, it should drive you to give your best to what you do. However, you should be careful of nurturing a wrong motive that does not align with the goals and mission of the company, and the development of the society. Find a way to remind yourself often how you are contributing to the greater good through your work. Understanding that your quota is of value to the business encourages you to do more even when the reward is not worthwhile. Living on purpose is enough motivation.
- Find a work that interests you
Doing tasks that interest you is the number one factor that motivates you. This is because your purpose ultimately influences your interests. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean quitting or changing your job. It could simply mean asking your boss for a new project to keep your interests piqued, or perhaps shifting to a different role at the same company. You are more creative and productive when you do what you are wired for. It also makes you fulfilling and interesting.
- Learn a new skill
A situation where you find yourself doing what you were not trained to do could be of advantage to you. It is an opportunity to learn a new skill and add to your résumé.
Identify a skill relevant to your current role that interests you, and pitch the idea to your boss. Especially if it’s something that will benefit the company, they might even be willing to fund your training or allow you to use work time to develop it. It’s a win for you to add value to the employer, while also adding value to your marketability.
- Request for feedback
Don’t get too wrapped in your tasks that you don’t realize the ways you are adding values to your company, or what you need to do to improve your output. Asking your boss for feedback would give you an insight into all these. Ask if they think you’re doing a good job and if there are ways you can improve. There’s always room to learn and grow in any professional role, and there’s no one better to help you target specific areas of growth than the people you interact with daily. Their feedback could be key to getting clarity for your next role.
- Give yourself to service
Sometimes, what we need to keep the momentum high on our job is a reminder that life is about service. We will not be remembered for the assets acquired or the heights attained. We will be recognised for our service to others and the problems we solved. The self-focused mindset doesn’t move you an inch closer to your goal. Lose up yourself to a cause greater than you.
This sort of commitment frees up areas of constriction in the mind and can often connect you to your authentic spirit. Give if you want to receive.
- Take a break
Rest is primary to being in good health and to ensure progress at work. Taking a break is not limited to vacations, which enables you have time for fun and family. You also need a break daily and on weekends. Do you still have time for lunch? Or your mind is always jostling with your unfinished tasks even during your so called ‘break’. Always take a break and make it a break indeed. This refreshes and re-energizes you to push on with any friction or wear and tear.
Finally, staying enthusiastic and active in your career is being connected to a purpose bigger than yourself, knowing why you do the work you do, and creating a space for yourself to thrive, be it through taking vacations or communicating with your boss (whether it’s to change your role, get a raise, or collect basic feedback).
The world is earnestly waiting for what you’ve got to give. Take that lack of motivation as an invitation to play bigger, and to own who you truly are.