Love what you do – Steve Jobs

Being a teacher this year has taught me plenty!! One such non-delightful but necessary lesson I have learnt, is that there is little worse than working with someone/ group of people who lack in Motivation. By motivation I mean, “If they didn’t have to be there..they wouldn’t.” (my grade 6’s…cough cough).
While teaching these delightful horrors (ok, I’m exaggerating) today, this concept of “staying motivated” got me thinking…When have I been the one giving off these feelings?
I did my Psychology Honours thesis on the concept of job satisfaction and loved every minute of working through my statistics. It is a known fact that companies with high job satisfaction, are more likely to not only retain employees for longer periods of time, but they are also known to produce higher results. Why is this you may ask?? Well..we ALL thrive off being valued in a company and being utilized according to our skills and talents. Ultimately both of these aforementioned reasons lead to employees that are more motivated to be at work, and to continue working for such a company.
Having worked in a corporate environment as well as in a more relaxed setting, there is one thing I am certain about, and that is that regardless of the type of work you are doing, your attitude towards work WILL have a direct affect on those working around you. I remember once walking into an office after an amazing weekend away with friends, and asking (no one in particular), how their weekend was. That particular day, not one soul even lifted their heads to glance at me. For much of the day, the only squeak I heard, was when someone shared a negative comment and everyone nodded or grunted in agreement.
#1 – Were they busy? Yes, of course they were. (Honestly)
#2 – Did they want to be there? No!! I think it would be safe to say, that they were there to get their work done as quickly as possible…and then to get out of there.
This saddened me..and as much I am hoping it saddens you too, I’m guessing you are actually currently thinking, “Am I the unmotivated sod that sides with every negative comment that passes through our office??”  
I’m not interested in which one you are (I have been both in my short lifetime)… And I’m certainly not here to judge, as I know it’s not easy to love a job you hate. But what I do want to challenge those of you, who find yourself in the unmotivated bracket, on is…
Firstly – ACCESS your reason for lack of motivation.
Are you unmotivated because you’ve got too comfortable at work? Are you bored? Have work tasks become so normal you could do them in your sleep? Are you needing a new challenge? Did you ever feel motivated to come to work?


From this point on it’s fairly simple…
Either – You need to start thinking clearly about your future…and whether it involves hating your job. Is it time for a career change/ move to a new company???
Or – You are merely needing to shift things up a bit. You were once motivated…and now you not. Something’s got to change!! Here are some ideas…
       What would be your next big promotion at work? And now, what can you do to move yourself there, at a quicker pace than you currently are. Could you ask for new responsibilities? Could you suggest giving over old repetitive tasks to someone new? (Think of a way that could help move you forward…and not keep you where you are at).
       When was your last raise? (Unfortunately, this does play a role in motivation!!) When is your next performance appraisal? After your last one, did you ask questions regarding your increase/ lack thereof? Yes, this is a touchy subject but it’s also an important one. You need to feel valued at work and pay does play a part in this. Be wise with your words, honour those in leadership but never fear to ask questions respectfully.
       What daily tasks could you do differently? (This is self explanatory and will work differently for everyone). A simple example could be, changing from checking your emails first thing on Monday morning, to spending your first 10minutes at work catching up with colleagues about weekend festivities.
       What one thing is your company missing/lacking in, that YOU could bring to the table? Here are 2 quick examples…
Example 1 – Everyone is so focused on themselves that they forget about caring for others. Could you possibly suggest a community project that the office could get involved in?? I worked for a company once that made 100 sandwiches together every Friday morning..and these were delivered to 2 local Primary Schools in the area. It was GREAT for team building, only took 30minutes of our time and helped us all focus on something bigger than ourselves.
Example 2 – Everyone is exhausted at work. How can we possibly stay motivated? One of my closest friends organized for a beautician to come and give a little pampering talk at our Book club one night. It was a surprise for all of us, but definitely cheered us up and reminded us of how important it is to take time out to look after ourselves. Why not organize this for a lunch hour at work? Gift bags are often given out at such occasions too, which is always a treat!  
Let’s become the motivated people that add a new dynamic to work environments. The type of people that love waking up in the mornings (most days) and are excited to be alive and to privileged enough to have landed the job, we have. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.