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The Importance of Self-Motivation at Work

The Importance of Self-Motivation at Work

We all know what it feels like to lack motivation. Whether you are struggling to cut carbs, organise your garage, or finish a project, you just cannot seem to find the drive to get the job done. Unfortunately, many people lack self-motivation at work, and it can have a negative impact on the company as a whole.

That is why being self-motivated at work can be such an asset both for your employees and for your company. Learn what self-motivation looks like and how to foster it in your employees.

Self-Motivation at Work Helps Business Thrive

Employees who are self-motivated look beyond the bare minimum of what has required. They know what their goals are, strive to find more efficient ways of getting things done, and do not require constant hand-holding or reminders about what tasks need to be completed. They lift up the team’s performance and allow management and team members to direct their attention to where it is needed the most.

This, in turn, is good for business. Goals are often met or exceeded, employees are more engaged in their work, and new goals can be set. This increased engagement leads to higher employee retention, productivity, and sales. And all of this is good for a company’s bottom line and growth potential.

The Self-Motivated Employee Perspective

It is evident that being self-motivated at work leads to greater employee satisfaction and better business, but how do you get there? Psychology Today outlines two ways people motivate themselves:

  1. The “ought self-guide” focuses on duties, safety and security. It motivates people primarily through fear of falling short and disappointing others. This perspective tends to include a greater amount of self-criticism.
  2. The “ideal self-guide” aims more at aspirations and a desire to accomplish things. It lends itself more to creating new opportunities and seeking positive outcomes.

The “ought self-guide” can stifle creativity and create unnecessary stress and anxiety for employees. Employees who are stressed don’t perform at their highest ability. The latter form of self-motivation, focused on goals and aspirations rather than fear and duty, results in higher levels of happiness, satisfaction and confidence. Creating a positive work culture where the “ideal self-guide” is fostered will help strengthen employee motivation and morale overall.

How to Foster Self-Motivation in Your Employees

So how can you cultivate self-motivation at work in a positive, productive way? According to authors Kim Zoller and Kerry Preston, people are intrinsically motivated by three things:

  • Knowing where they fit into the larger picture
  • Feeling competent in what they do
  • Having a good degree of autonomy

If you are striving for employees who enjoy being self-motivated at work, here are a few tips to help you support them:

  • Ensure your employees grasp the bigger picture and their role in it. Explain how processes flow together, how their contribution fits in the overall organisation, and work toward the end objective.
  • Provide adequate training and recognise individual achievements regularly. Periodic reviews are a good time to acknowledge past successes and discuss future goals.
  • Help them establish quarterly and/or annual goals. These could include the development of new skills or capabilities that require a certain amount of self-discipline to achieve.
  • Reward effort by allowing them to pursue ideas. Even if it does not pay off, it can lead to innovation and more engaged employees.
  • Avoid micromanaging—discuss what needs to be accomplished and then step back and let your well-trained employees take ownership of how they get it done.

Focusing on these tips will help your employees adopt a positive, goal-oriented form of self-motivation that is good for business.

Cultivate Self-Motivation at Work

Neither micromanaging nor an “anything goes” approach will yield good results with employees. Instead, the ideal is a balanced management style that empowers employees to find motivation from within. Need help reaching that goal in your workplace? Monster understands that some things are easier said than done. Let us help you hire and cultivate a self-motivated staff that is ready to take your company to the next level. Post your job listing for free to Monster today.