How to stay motivated at work

Do you look forward to going to work? Or do you positively dread it? Whatever your current level of motivation for your job, it’s useful to take a moment to consider why you feel the way you do – and what you might want to do about it. If you manage people, this is also very useful when considering how you can keep your team motivated and engaged. Being able to self-motivate is high on the list of things that identify high performers.

What affects employee motivation?

Firstly let’s consider what affects an employee’s level of motivation. Take a look at the graph. Does it resonate with you?

Whilst levels of motivation and the drivers that influence them will vary from person to person, there are a number of general triggers that influence employees’ levels of motivation. These include:

  • Relationship with line manager
  • Relationships with peers / colleagues
  • Work content
  • Relationships with clients / customers
  • Remuneration
  • Work-life balance

The list goes on, but it’s also worth thinking about demotivators. For example, managers often think that bonuses are a motivator for employees. In many cases they are, however if bonuses don’t get paid out, or are lower that employees have anticipated, they actually act as de-motivators.

5 Steps to re-ignite your motivation at work

Many of the factors on the curve will be out of your control. So how can you, the employee, stay motivated at work? Here are my 5 top tips for moviating yourself a work.

1. Set yourself goals

Your line manage or employer will probably have given you goals or targets that you need to achieve. I would recommend you take personal ownership of these goals and break them down into mini or daily goals – for yourself. Being able to tick off achievements – however small is a great way of giving yourself a boost.

2. Keep good company

Try to keep good company at work. By this I mean that if you hang out with highly motivated people this is likely to rub-off on you to some extent. Likewise if you hang out with unhappy, ‘moaners’ their attitudes and views of the business are likely to affect how you feel. Building good working relationships and friendships at work will also increase your enjoyment of your job and create allies within the organisation.

3. Reward yourself

Even if your manager or organisation is not rewarding you in the way you feel they should, this dosen’t mean you can’t reward yourself. If you’ve completed a challenging piece of work, reward yourself with a coffee break or a quick catch up with colleagues. These little things help get you through the day.

4. Prioritise and plan

If you have a particularly challanging or onerous task on your to do list there is a tempation to put it off. Mark Twain famously said ‘if you have to eat a frog, do it first thing in the morning’. I agree with this, so to put this analgy into the workplace, I’d recommend:

  • Identify your frog – your most important or challenging task of the day
  • Eat it first – make this your first task. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by smaller or easier tasks.
  • Once you’ve completed this task, you can get on with other things
5. Talk to your line manager

It’s really important to communicate with your line manager and air any concerns or issues that are causing you to feel demotivated. I appreciate that sometimes you may feel your concerns are ‘falling on deaf ears’ but try your best. If your manager doesn’t know what’s concerning you they probably won’t think anything is wrong and so won’t take any action.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day work will always be ‘work’ – that’s why you get paid for doing it! However with a positive mindset and by following these simple steps you can influence how enjoyable your job will be and inturn impact your personal level of motivation for work.

Next steps

If you have consistently followed these steps and are still feeling unhappy and de-motivated, it may be time to consider your next steps. Your first approach should be to see if there are any internal opportunities or moves that you could apply for. Take a look at my article on how to get promoted.

If you decide it’s time to look for an external move Copeland can help. We specialise in sales, marketing and operations jobs in the UK automotive industry. By carefully selecting the right jobs for our candidates we help them find their next move. Our focus is to help employees throughout their automotive industry career. Learn about our specialisms and how we help employees.

Register your CV with us now to get started on your career progression:

Further Reading:

Automotive Salary Guide

30/60/90 Day Plans

Career Cheklist

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