Feeling Stuck? Here's how to overcome Motivational Barriers
Productivity is the lifeline of any business; however, some employers overwork their employees by expecting long working hours and making extreme demands regarding multitasking, devotion, and effort. The consequence of such actions includes unmotivated and unproductive team which only spells doom for business.
People can enhance and improve employee motivation and productivity by creating a work atmosphere that maximizes the factors that affect performance. The four main factors that drive our motivations are intrinsically connected to our basic human needs:
These factors are simple to understand, easy to measure, and can add more value to any organisation that is willing to put them into practice.
1. Physical Motivation
Being physically motivated is not just about fit on the physical body; it is about watching what you eat and taking care of your body holistically. The body needs physical strength to function properly, and this includes ensuring your employees are energised at all times. People who overeat or eat bad food might end up being too clumsy and grumpy at the office.
The food we eat defines us; and as they say, garbage in, garbage out. Whatever we consume determines whether our output will be greater or less; hence, by being conscious of our physical bodies and diet, we set the pace for performance and productivity.
Other than having a balanced diet, employees need to engage in exercise to remain active and alert at all times. When the body is tired and obese, you cannot work efficiently; you tend to sleep more, eat more, and even procrastinate more.
Employers ought to create an environment where workers go for team building activities and engage in games and other activities that contribute to their overall wellbeing. Eating well gives you more energy, and it becomes even better when you are physically fit since you deliver more quality service to an organisation.
2. Mental Motivation
Just as people need physical exercise and motivation, they also require mental motivation to work and perform better. Our bodies can become flabby from physical exhaustion, but things can get worse when it’s the mind that is flabby. Absent mental motivation makes employees bored and depressed. However, employers can create situations where the workers get to exercise their minds and hook them mentally to love their job.
Creating a positive work environment provides employees the opportunity to stretch their mental muscles while undertaking tasks or assignments. Moving ranks or switching departments is mentally stimulating and through such challenges, employees always look forward to the next challenge.
Other ways employers can motivate their employees mentally include allowing them to participate in their hobbies, organising cultural events, introducing new technologies, writing competitions, providing refresher courses or classes, and permitting them to socialise. Such activities are likely to stimulate their thinking and encourage lively conversations.
3. Emotional Motivation
One goal of developing emotional understanding among employees is to understand them. By so doing, it becomes easier to interact with them more effectively and understand their needs better. It can also assist you to figure out what truly motivates them even when they might even have problems articulating it.
Emotions reveal information that individuals can directly tell you since they arise from the operation of the motivational system. There are three aspects of motivation that you can read from the emotions displayed by your employees and include orientation, commitment, and success and such help you to understand what they are trying to communicate to you whether directly or indirectly.
It is easier to get caught up in the emotions of other people. Human beings are wired to have contagious goals. If we see someone else is passionate about something, we might also get motivated. Therefore, it is important to observe the emotions of your employees and what motivates them. Employers too must evaluate their personal emotional reactions since their energy affects massively how people react to situations in the workplace.
4. Spiritual Motivation
Every human being whether religious or nonreligious has a sense of spirituality and beliefs in the power of some supernatural power — even if this power is your inner strength. Religious matters give people that sense of security and connection to the rest of the world. Therefore, at the workplace, employees need an environment where they connect closely to that higher power that fills them spiritually when they feel bogged down by life issue or pressures.
Being spiritually connected takes away fear which is a major hindrance to productivity. A worried mind cannot perform; hence, giving employees time to fellowship together, have devotion, and even pray, together makes them feel re-energised.
Employees are motivated to know that the issues they are facing are not unique only to them and by knowing so, they develop a culture of encouraging each other. Creating an environment where both employers and employees share their fears through scriptures, and spiritual hymns is a good way of uniting or building a stronger workforce; hence, more productivity.
A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it
— Ray Davis
Four Common Barriers at the Workplace
1. Fear of losing a job or failing
Fear can be a motivating force; however, it isn’t usually a positive trait in a work environment. In most cases, it has far reaching effects which make employees anxious and uncertain about their current and future employment. Some employees depend solely on their jobs for income and other benefits; hence, fear causes stress which in the end affects performance and creativity.
Many people experience work-related anxiety which could be as a result of economic factors, concerns over job security, mismanagement of fear to fail; however, employees must ensure the issues do not affect their ability to maintain a safe and productive environment.
Some fear getting fired, and as this increases, the level of insecurity rises making people less satisfied with their work and even family lives. They become less committed to their job and less cooperative with other employees. The effects of being insecure at job vary and some people react more negatively than others. When there is uncertainty about your stay at your workplace especially the blue-collar workers, they become less satisfied with life something that affects their productivity.
The effects of fearing to lose a job results to among other things:
Stress — Employees who deal with anxiety often feel stressed because they think their job status is unknown or unpredictable.
Resistance — Such comes from the fear of the unknown. Such employees feel they don’t get encouraging feedback from their seniors; hence, they build conflict. They resist change or refuse to participate or go into isolation.
Uncertainty — Employees dealing with fear and work-related concerns often feel overwhelmed. The fear of losing a job, salary cut, retrenchment, and reduced benefits make them doubt the future of the company.
2. Poor Communication
The success of any business depends on the quality of available communication channels. It can improve your overall workplace culture, eliminate barriers, and resolve problems. Good communication builds stronger workplace relationships for increased productivity. Many problems happen due to poor communication skills, including increased employee turnover, poor customer service, and diminished productivity.
When employees don’t understand the company’s values, mission, and vision, it can result in trust issues and consequently reduced efficiency. Lack of information is the leading cause of poor communication at the workplace. Some employers and seniors keep junior staff in the dark about the company’s to secrets or fear to explain the mandate of the company clearly; in such cases, speculations, mistrust, and go-slow arise.
Such acts make some employees to feel less important in the eyes of their employers while others begin to avoid face to face interactions. Lack of email etiquette is also a source of poor communication, especially when the tone is inappropriate.
Also, bad business ethics and behaviours in the workplace can directly result in disjointed communication. Understanding these principles and actions from the get go is a significant step in countering these effects especially demoralising employees. Poor communication weakens the fabric of employee motivation and relationships.
Strained relations between the management and the employees are dangerous, but in some cases, it is often overlooked. When people read from different scripts and don’t understand goals and the direction the company is taking, problems are bound to occur. Emails that don’t follow a chain of command and face to face interaction cause trouble at the workplace.
3. Lack of progress
In many cases, employees often feel nobody is recognising or appreciating their efforts. They feel neglected and uncared for by their employers, and this automatically leads to reduced efficiency and motivation.
For some companies, the rules are dictatorial and rigid, and employees must use other unconventional means like strikes to be heard. When you combine this with other factors, the workers begin to lose any passion for work and in some cases, opposing unions are born.
When supervisors build walls and make it hard for subordinates to air their grievances or even use unorthodox means to correct employees, they are bound to retaliate. When the word of the boss is final, and there is no room for discussion, workers begin to break the rules just to hit back at the boss or the administration, and this kills their morale.
Employees love to see change and progress but when you close all avenues for change and the freedom to reason fails, the business becomes strained, and the workers see no reason to go out of their way to building the company. People begin to work for other selfish ends other than building the business.
As the economic environment puts more pressure on businesses to succeed, the competition becomes fiercer. Business owners face brutal burden to keep their companies running at a profit, and this trickles down to employee stress. Unless an employer addresses this concern, the pressure these workers experience can work against attainment of the business goals and vision. Sometimes, it is not easy to ward off the negative organisational effects of employee stress, particularly when the employer is not familiar with the signs of stress in business and fail to implement some control measures.
The stress can be the result of poor remuneration, lack of respect from bosses or peers, dictatorial rules, lack of opportunities for advancement, and fear among other things. Without proper means to air grievances, poor communication, inability to make decisions, and lack of appreciation can also lead to work-related stress.
The results may hurt the business, and it might not achieve its goals, and the employees might result in counterproductive work behaviours including personality change, high staff turnover, anger towards clients and the management, bodily harm, and disregard for company policies and rules. The company will suffer the loss of revenue, reduced customers, and poor ratings among other things. In most cases, the continual effects and exposure of internal stress on employees will repel clients, and the business will sink into debt.
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.
How to Avoid the Barriers of Motivation at the Workplace
Employers can help their employees to counter the above obstacles and maintain their business objectives. They must provide workers with a clear means of communication for any issues that might be affecting them individually and collectively.
There should be regular performance reviews, alternatives for career development, and a sense of autonomy in the jobs to enable workers to enjoy a flexible and exciting work environment.
Companies need to invest in lifestyle coaching as part of employee benefits to offer healthy ways to mitigate any looming problems especially stress.
They must recognise when employees are overburdened with projects and arrange for assistance and make an effort to create a positive and relaxing environment which will affect the productivity of the business positively.
Offering personalised incentives and promotions can help to boost performance.
Communication channels should be clear and employees must be taken through orientation upon hiring to understand what the company stands for; hence, create a sense of belongingness and ownership.
Employers also need to match tasks to talents by assigning the right duties to the individuals with the right skills and capabilities. They should celebrate achievement and setbacks, assure job security, encourage responsibility, provide safe working conditions, be part of the team, and help with personal problems. By so doing, the company boosts employee confidence and motivation smoothly.
Breaking these barriers at the workplace and keeping employees motivated is always a work in progress. There will be many adjustments in the process until it reaches its intended effectiveness. Employers must remove the barriers that block the process to improve employee motivation. With an efficient flow of information, it is easier to find solutions. With an open path of communication, feedback from the workers will help in determining solutions. Creating an efficient system and work environment will improve your ability to be a strong leader and eventually actualise the goals and objectives for your company with the support of proud and satisfied employees.
Being trapped in your past will eventually rob you of your future