5 min read
13 Ways to Help Employees with Self-Motivation at Work
By: Michelle Bennett on Feb 7, 2023 5:00:00 AM
Have you noticed the get-up and go has got up and went for one or many of your employees? If so, you’re not alone. Many leaders across all industries and functions are noticing their employees are struggling with low motivation at work.
A study by Pew Research uncovered that 42% of workers ages 18 to 49 agreed that they have difficulty feeling motivated at work. It’s even worse for those 18 to 29, with 53% agreeing they lack the self-motivation needed to get their job done.
If you’re looking to help your employees become self-motivated, here are 13 ways to do just that.
How To Help Employees with Self-Motivation at Work
- Give recognition
- Equip them with tools
- Provide ongoing coaching
- Invest in training and development
- Lead by example
- Develop and track goals
- Facilitate peer support
- Communicate clearly
- Play to their talents
- Provide autonomy
- Give stretch assignments
- Encourage innovation and creativity
- Be empathetic
Providing praise and recognition has been shown to boost good feelings and motivation. It can be as simple as a quick email acknowledging your appreciation or providing recognition when witnessing a positive behavior to bump an employee’s self-motivation at work.
Equip them with tools
What may appear as a lack of self-motivation may actually be a struggle with organization in disguise. Poor time management or a non-existent to-do list may hinder an employee. If so, share The Self-Management Workbook for Ambitious Professionals with tips, tools, and a playbook to organize and manage their productivity.
Provide ongoing coaching
It’s vital to have individualized time with employees, such as one-on-one meetings, where you provide coaching, feedback, and encouragement. Doing so will help with motivation, boost confidence, and show your employees you are invested in them and see them succeed. It also signals that they’re a priority in your busy schedule.
Invest in training and development
A lack of knowledge or the skills needed to perform a duty may come across as a struggle with self-motivation. To support them, making an investment in training and development not only upskills an employee where needed; it also shows that they’re valued.
Lead by example
If you’re missing deadlines, falling short on goals, or are not accountable to your team, it will be hard for those around you to find the drive they need. If you want your team to be self-motivated, it starts with you and the behaviors you demonstrate.
Develop and track goals
Having a goal and working towards it can be an incredible source of self-motivation at work. Use the goal-setting workbook with each employee to set their goals, create an action plan, and in your time together, track their progress to provide any needed coaching and encouragement.
Facilitate peer support
Connecting teammates to work together, support, and encourage each other toward their goals and ambitions can produce great results and amplify motivation. Moreover, it's been found that peer feedback can enhance motivation and performance by as much as 14%.
Unclear communication, vague expectations, and little direction can hamper an employee's self-motivation as they’re unsure of where to start or what to do. To ensure what you said is clear, have your employee repeat what you’d like them to do and your expectations. This way, you can ensure you’re both on the same page.
Play to their talents
There is incredible power when you leverage an individual’s natural talents and delegate work that utilizes them. Gallup noted, “By understanding someone's natural talents, more often than not, we can get a clear perspective about their deepest and most substantial motivations. Simply put, their talents are their motivations; they're usually inseparable.”
Your employees spend a large part of their life at work, and understanding what makes them happy and motivated is critical. For many, autonomy, which is the freedom to work in a way that suits them, is a significant factor in job happiness. For example, a study from the University of Birmingham found that when employees had higher levels of autonomy in their work, they reported positive effects on their enjoyment of work, overall well-being, and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Give stretch assignments
By their very nature, stretch assignments are projects or tasks currently above their level and outside their job description. So, as expected, being given a new project that requires individuals to grow their knowledge and skill can be a great motivational booster, especially if they're bored or feel stagnant in their current roles.
Encourage innovation and creativity
A surefire way to stifle employees' self-motivation is to shoot down their ideas or utter continually, "that's the way we've always done it." Instead, create an environment that encourages innovation and creativity by empowering employees to solve problems, giving them free time to think about innovations, and removing the red tape so their ideas can actually be implemented.
The last couple of years have been hard for everyone, and a little empathy can go a long way in showing your support and helping them regain their self-motivation. You can show empathy by actively listening, validating their perspectives and feelings, and being curious about them and how they’re doing.
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