Work motivation: what are the advantages of boosting it in work organisations?

Work motivation refers to a person's desire or willingness to make an effort in a job or professional area. In psychology, it is defined as a set of energetic forces that originate within individuals in relation to the cultural, social and organisational environment of work. As a result of this interaction, work-related behaviours originate that determine how work is performed, in what direction and with what intensity and duration.

Find out what work motivation is and what are the advantages of boosting it in your company. Motivated and happy employees are essential.

Graciela Ares Follow

Reading time: 11 min

What is work motivation?

Factors that drive work motivation may include financial income, status and recognition, sense of achievement, relationships with colleagues and the feeling that one’s work is useful or important, as well as by an individual’s personality traits, needs and adaptation to the work environment. There are various theories on work motivation, such as the existence, relationship and growth theory, the job characteristics model, the Porter-Lawler model of motivation, which asserted that money can motivate not only performance, but also companionship and dedication.

Importance of work motivation

Work motivation is one of the most important factors in achieving an organisation’s goals, because it has a direct relationship with performance, productivity and collaborative work. For example, a satisfied and motivated employee can be up to 12% more productive and 31% more efficient at work than an unmotivated employee. As a result, more and more organisations have started to take concrete actions to boost work motivation, contributing to increased employee satisfaction, engagement and loyalty.

Types of work motivation

In order to take actions that contribute to increasing work motivation, it is important to take into account that motivation can be of different types:

  • Positive motivation: When it is acted upon in pursuit of a reward, prize or bonus.
  • Negative motivation: When you act to avoid punishment, for example, a financial reduction or an administrative sanction.
  • Intrinsic motivation: Intrinsic motivation derives from the characteristics of an individual, such as short, medium and long-term personal goals, habits and desires.
  • Extrinsic motivation: Extrinsic work motivation is motivation that is driven by factors external to an individual, such as recognition from an organisation or financial gain. This type of motivation can be positive or negative depending on the stimulus to which it is exposed.

How do you promote work motivation?

Some of the strategies you can implement to boost motivation among your employees are:

  • Lead with vision: One of the most important aspects of implementing work motivation is intelligent and empathetic leadership that manages to lead collective efforts towards well-defined goals with visible results. The worst thing that can happen to a company is to have managers with ambiguous goals and strategies at the helm, as employees will soon begin to notice that their work is drifting, thus decreasing their motivation. If each employee knows how his or her individual actions can personally contribute to the company’s overall goal, he or she will provide the necessary motivation to perform even the simplest task.
  • Set specific, achievable goals: Many managers are clear about the organisation’s big goals, but the smaller goals are the key to motivation. Therefore, in addition to ensuring that all goals contribute to the overall goal, specific goals should be set that are easier to achieve in a shorter period of time. If employees achieve objectives frequently, the feeling of job satisfaction increases and will act as a strong motivator to continue with the next set of objectives.
  • Recognise good work: Employees need to know that leaders see and appreciate their efforts. Giving well-deserved recognition increases self-esteem, enthusiasm and boosts morale. Recognition tools are a simple way to allow everyone in the company to celebrate the people who bring the company’s values to life. Talking with team members to design a career path will help create the momentum to reach the next stage and feel that they have a long and productive journey ahead of them within the company.
  • Implement an HR area with a coaching approach: It is important that the HR department has a mentoring approach, following up on this issue and rescuing the brilliance of that member who is failing.

Ask: How are they doing? How do they feel? etc. Take the time to investigate and analyse what is the factor that really determines the lack of enthusiasm and the lack of brilliance of the member of the company.

  • Give your teams autonomy: When a person does not feel in control of their time and energy, motivation levels can drop a lot. Therefore, allowing some elements of freedom in the workplace, whether through flexitime, unlimited time off or working from home, demonstrates leaders’ trust in employees. This increases motivation, as the satisfaction of a job well done comes from the hand-holding and the feeling of having had control, having done it their way.
  • Give your teams autonomy: When a person does not feel in control of their time and energy, motivation levels can drop significantly. Therefore, allowing some elements of freedom in the workplace, whether through flexitime, unlimited time off or working from home, demonstrates leaders’ trust in employees. This increases motivation, as the satisfaction of a job well done comes from the hand-holding and the feeling of having had control, having done it their way.
  • Create a welcoming work environment: An environment with sub-optimal working conditions, such as cramped space, poor lighting or sweltering heat can create a negative mood that affects employees’ ability to concentrate and energy. It is therefore advisable to create a welcoming culture with breakout areas, open spaces and play areas that increase employees’ willingness to come to work and even go to have a good time.
  • Offer unique benefits: Offering employee benefits aimed at improving the quality of life both inside and outside of work helps to increase morale and a sense of loyalty to the company. If it is good to set goals and targets, it is better to reward them in relation to those goals. Although it may sound like a game, employees have the illusion of benefits or rewards for a job well done. It is called “job recognition”. There are many ways to motivate, and each employee has different needs.
  • Encourage teamwork: Another idea to help leaders raise work motivation levels is to encourage employees to get out of their “comfort zone”, to meet people from other areas and different lines of business. Contact with people who look at the world in a different way can help us adjust our own reference points and foster a learning attitude that will be very positive.
  • Create a career development plan: Demonstrating to employees that they have real growth opportunities in the organisation is key to increasing their motivation to meet and exceed expectations. Therefore, ask what they are looking for in their time at the company and outline what they need to do to achieve it.
  • Create a welcoming work environment: An environment with sub-optimal working conditions, such as cramped space, poor lighting or sweltering heat can create a negative mood that affects employees’ ability to concentrate and energy. It is therefore advisable to create a welcoming culture with breakout areas, open spaces and play areas that increase employees’ willingness to come to work and even go to have a good time.
  • Offer unique benefits: Offering employee benefits aimed at improving the quality of life both inside and outside of work helps to increase morale and a sense of loyalty to the company. If it is good to set goals and targets, it is better to reward them in relation to those goals. Although it may sound like a game, employees have the illusion of benefits or rewards for a job well done. It is called “job recognition”. There are many ways to motivate, and each employee has different needs.
  • Encourage teamwork: Another idea to help leaders raise work motivation levels is to encourage employees to get out of their “comfort zone”, to meet people from other areas and different lines of business. Contact with people who look at the world in a different way can help us adjust our own reference points and foster a learning attitude that will be very positive.
  • Create a career development plan: Demonstrating to employees that they have real growth opportunities in the organisation is key to increasing their motivation to meet and exceed expectations. Therefore, ask what they are looking for in their time at the company and set out what they need to do to achieve it.

The benefits of boosting employee motivation

Developing plans and actions to boost employee motivation can bring great benefits to an organisation, and the following are some of the most important:

One of the most important benefits of taking action to boost work motivation is the increase in employee commitment. When the organisation provides employees with benefits to improve their quality of life and career path, their commitment to the company increases.

  • Lower levels of absenteeism: Motivated employees enjoy their day-to-day work and are committed to achieving their goals, so they are less likely to be absent for reasons other than major causes that could jeopardise their productivity.
  • Talent retention is taken care of: Retaining committed employees is very important because the costs of hiring and training new staff can be very high for a company, while retaining experienced employees not only eliminates these costs, but also helps to facilitate the organisation’s internal processes and knowledge.
  • Improved work climate: Work motivation contributes to a good working environment and climate, encouraging participation, camaraderie and a harmonious organisational culture that contributes to achieving the overall objectives.
  • Employee performance is enhanced: Motivated employees tend to work harder, arrive on time and concentrate on their daily tasks. Productivity levels can increase and overall company performance can be higher.
  • Quality and customer service is improved: Motivated employees set higher standards for themselves both to create higher quality products and to provide top-notch customer service, meeting and exceeding the expectations of their roles.

How to identify a lack of work motivation in employees?

There are three factors that you should take into account to identify a lack of work motivation and take corrective action in a timely manner:

Decreased energy and enthusiasm

If someone was full of ideas and always at the forefront of new projects, ready to start them, and suddenly the desire to go the extra mile disappears, it is time to take a look to find out what is really going on with them. To be able to evaluate the performance of employees and to have more details to help you know which way to go.

Constant resistance to change

It is precisely the inability to cope with change that can be one of the main reasons for this lack of lustre or motivated work. The truth is that we often tend to assume that leaders have a great capacity to cope with change, but this is not always the case with the other members of the ship’s crew. It is therefore very important that leaders constantly guide, support and focus the members of the crew who, due to operational stress, lose their way in achieving business objectives.

Lack of compliance with company rules

When a talent constantly breaks company rules, when he used to respect them and now he does not, it is a clear example that he wants to be noticed and that something is wrong with him. It is difficult to assign a metric to measure employee motivation. The only genuine way to measure it is to know how they really feel.

How to measure work motivation?

While it is difficult to establish a single metric to measure the work motivation of people who may be so different, some of the strategies that can be implemented to measure and evaluate it correctly are:

  • Work Climate Surveys: Employee pulse surveys allow for short, frequent and confidential surveys, helping the HR team gather relevant information about what motivates employees and the ability to act on it.
  • 360-degree assessment: Many times, people don’t stop to think about what their strengths or weaknesses are, or why they react the way they do to certain changes or difficult-to-understand situations. A 360-degree feedback tool is a great help in rescuing a struggling member of a company who needs to change. It helps to gather collective feedback from colleagues, identifying the employee’s strengths and weaknesses in a constructive way.
  • Work culture measurement software: Having a technological tool such as a work culture measurement software not only allows you to apply surveys in a practical way, but you can see the results on a dashboard in real time, quickly measure trends and identify problems before they have irremediable consequences.

This also allows you to understand what employees find motivating and what they believe holds them back, helping you to quickly find a solution. It also offers the possibility to periodically check in with them to see if anything has improved or changed. Demonstrating that a company cares, listens and acts on the things that really matter to each employee will help to maintain and increase work motivation.

In closing this article, I would like to emphasise and give importance to this one thing we need to learn: Bad habits are hard to break, because most people don’t want to change, due to the energy drain it means for them to get out of the comfort zone and into the learning zone.

Quoting Harvard Business School professor Kotter in his book “The Change Leader” where he states that the first requirement for success is “a climate of change readiness“. This recommendation is based on the belief that human beings only really change when they come to the conclusion that they have no choice but to change.

It is essential for an organisation to have motivated and happy employees.


Communication

Contact our communication department or requests additional material.

Raffle Meta Quest 2 Headset
close-link
Telefónica Centenary logo Celebrate with us the Telefónica Centenary
START THE ADVENTURE