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I believe that every person is motivated about something; the challenge is to find out how to create a work environment that enables people to express that motivation at work. So how do you motivate employees? The answer to this question seems like is would be simple but it is actually quite complex. In order for employees to become and remain self-motivated, they need to have a reason. In fact, the word motivation means having a motive or reason. In my research I have learned several guidelines about creating a work environment in which people will choose to contribute and succeed. The first guideline that I feel is critical to motivation is employee involvement. Most people want involvement in decisions that affect their work although some may not want the final accountability. I believe that the best involvement is the expectation that people are competent to make decisions about their work every single day on the job. As a manager, you should express the expectation that people make decisions that will improve their work and the people who actually make decisions about improvements in their work should be recognized for it. When an employee makes a thoughtful decision, you should never punish it. You can coach and provide training and information following the decisions but I feel that it is wrong to damage the employee’s confidence and trust that you are truly supportive of their involvement. Trust is the second guideline that I find to be extremely important when trying to encourage self-motivation. Trust is the basis for much of the climate that you want to create in the work place. Trust is the necessary foundation for, feeling able to rely upon a person, cooperating with and experiencing teamwork with a group, taking thoughtful risks and experiencing believable communication.
The third guideline I learned in my research and believe to be a must for motivation is Self-Esteem. People who have high self-esteem are more likely to continuously improve the work environment. They are willing to take intelligent risks because they have confidence in their ideas and competence. This sounds great but what about the employees that do not have high self-esteem. Well this is where it is the job of the Manager to create a motivating work environment to enhance staff self-esteem. I read that people feel that they are more competent, more capable, more appreciated and more contributing in this type of environment. So how does the manager enhance staff self-esteem? First, the manager should act as if they have high self-esteem. The managers behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and example are a powerful role model for staff members. A concept called the Pygmalion Effect emphasizes that the positive and high expectations of the supervisor help mold the expectations individuals hold for their own high performance. A second concept, called the Galatea Effect states that even more important than the manager’s expectations, the expectations an individual has for his or her own performance will dominate that performance. I have chosen to go into more depth on this guideline because I feel that it is very high on the list of factors effecting self-motivation. I know how much my self-esteem level can control my motivation and effectiveness. In my work experience as both an employee and a manager, I have found several ideas to help increase staff self-esteem, the following are a few of my preferred ideas that I have found to be successful: Practice personal integrity and fairness, model it and expect it from others. Provide feedback that reinforces what people do well and provide constructive criticism on areas that need improvement. Learn what employees feel positive about doing and maximize their opportunity to contribute in these activities. Provide assignments that stimulate growth. Ask people to stretch beyond what you have observed them doing in the past, create challenges for them. Allow the implementation of new ideas, even if they are different from yours. Demonstrate that it its ok to disagree with the supervisor. When this approach works, a manager should praise the employee and encourage them to come up with more good ideas.
Motivation can be referred to as “forces that energize, direct and sustain a person’s efforts”(Bateman &Snell 2002). As
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