Dealing With Office Motivation Issues
Office motivation problems or issues often carry a price tag. The employees pay a price, the organization pays a price, and often the company pays a price when an issue isn't adequately addressed.
Office motivation issue can be tied to things that have happened in the past, current conditions, or as is often the case, a fear of the future. If an organization announces that a workforce reduction is going to be put into affect in the near future, you can almost hear the wheels of progress start to slow down. It's a Catch-22 situation for management. On the one hand, letting employees know what the future may bring, either good or bad, is a good practice. On the other hand, if the future looks bleak, motivation can definitely take a hit.
What lies behind some office motivation issues isn't always easy to discern, and the root of the problem almost always has to be dealt with before the issue will go away. Cheer leading doesn't always work, and in fact can at times backfire. That which is causing the motivation problem or crisis has to be dealt with or removed, and telling people to put their heads down and just work harder is seldom a satisfactory approach.
When something like 9/11 happens, there isn't much anyone can do. After 9/11 just about everyone, not only those living in New York City, felt terrible, and motivated only in the sense of wanting to get at the perpetrators of the crime. When something bad happens, those in the workforce who usually are highly motivated will often continue at their work and do the best they can, being the first to tell you that their performance is probably sub-par. Others will go through the motions, or at least attempt to mask their true feelings. Others will simply deflate.
Quality Of Management - In most cases, when bad things happen in the workplace they are fortunately not on the scale of a 9/11. In most cases, motivational issues are brought about by the workers themselves, and their management, in the way they deal with one another. Office motivation is seldom very high in an organization that has a bad boss, however one defines a bad boss. Employees may try their best, and work at staying motivated, but when there is a lack of leadership or poor leadership, motivation is hard to maintain. Poor management or a lack of it can be a triple threat to office motivation, as events of the past, the present, and potential future problems can all come into sharp focus.
Self-Help – Useful, But Not A Complete Solution - Self-improvement books tell us how to clear our minds of worry and clutter, and not to sweat those things we cannot control. That's sound advice, but in some instances not particularly helpful. Some offices have a hard worker who won't even look up from his or her desk if a riot were to break out in the building. That is the exception of course. Most of us don't require a riot to take our minds away from the desire to accomplish the tasks we've been assigned to do and lose our motivation in the process.
Mutual Respect Is Key - Small things, including showing a lack of respect towards one or more fellow employees can sow the seeds of dissatisfaction and poor motivation. An astute manager, who knows his or her people, shows them respect, and earns their respect, can usually though not always detect the seeds of discontent, and a good manager deals with them before they are allowed to sprout.
Office motivation isn't something you get from a book, or exists because management dictates it. It is like a garden, which has to be continuously tended, lest weeds appear and eventually take over.