Employee Motivation in the Workplace

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Employee Motivation in Workplace
All of us are born with self-motivation. It is an intrinsic part of who we are. In fact all of us have our own unique style of motivation and are driven by a very specific need all our own. However, pop-psychology with the complicit sales training industry, has taken it upon themselves to decide what is and what is not motivation, all of which is based upon biased research.

Is Motivation Really Motivation?

What they have done is confuse enthusiasm for motivation, and all of us get to pay the price for that confusion, especially managers and employees. So what is enthusiasm?

Enthusiasm is defined as eagerness, fervor, zeal, passion, or devotion. It is a temporary emotion. Temporary in the sense that it can only be sustained for a brief period of time, until it is either replaced by another emotion or a sustained feeling. (See the article: The Difference Between Emotions and Feelings.) That is why you can go to any number of so called “motivational seminars” get really “pumped” only to have that enthusiasm and energy fade away after a few days. It’s an emotional high that lasts only a short while until you are right back where you left off and once again in need of another seminar. What you are really experiencing at such seminars is a form of social hysteria, albeit in a positive form. What these events should be called is “Enthusiasm Seminars”.

Employee Motivation.

One of the main areas of our life where motivation becomes a subject of contention and confusion is the workplace. It often starts with the numbers. Profits are down and a company looks internally for the cause. Upper management gets leaned on and squeezes middle management who then pressures lower management who in turn accuse employees of not having enough motivation.The solution is usually a motivational seminar, workshop, or other program to get everyone fired up and back up to peak performance.

Thus, motivation gets treated as if it were a skill one can learn. (See the article: What is Motivation) However, with such training, a downward spiral soon begins that is fraught with confusion, distress, and self sabotage. As explained earlier, programs such as an “Motivational (Enthusiasm) Seminar” have only temporary effects. You can only sustain your enthusiasm for just so long. Inevitably, your enthusiasm wanes. When this happens you’ll typically ask yourself: “What’s wrong with me?” Doubt, and a lack of confidence follows and the stress builds. Does this sound familiar to you?

Understand that there is nothing wrong with you, and there is nothing to fix. You are actually behaving normally. The problems lies with our culture’s inaccurate understanding of motivation.

Motivation is not a learned skill. Natural motivation is very simply: The full expression of your state of “being”. Natural motivation is the energy that compels you to leave your bed each morning. It’s a deep seated, propelling need to express your unique existence to the world.

Therefore, for anyone to teach that motivation is a learned skill of “doing”, demonstrates a lack of understanding of the basic function of motivation. This is the reason why so many people are confused about motivation and why pop-psychology continues to design inherently flawed testing methods, books, seminars, and workshops which sadly point people down the wrong path.

Westernized cultures (Particularly Americans), live in a capitalistic society that cannot afford to define motivation as simply a state of “being”. That is why Motivational Gurus, do not use Mother Teresa as an example of what it means to be motivated even though she is a fine example of natural, authentic motivation. From their prospective, there is simply no profit to be had in using her as an example of what it truly means to be motivated.

The Solution to Employee Motivation in the Workplace.

The answer to employee motivation in the workplace is natural and always effective. Simply put, if you enjoy what you do for work, there is no need to seek out motivation because it is already present. If any professional feels the need to attend a “Motivational Seminar,” they should seriously consider another profession. Imagine for a moment that your surgeon is running late to your pre-surgery consultation, because he, or she has yet to return from a “motivational seminar”. How might you feel? For that matter, what might you do? Would you still go under the knife?

Motivation comes naturally to each of us from a deep level within. No one should have to go out and find their motivation. Your motivation is not somewhere out there, it’s intrinsic, It’s within you. Ask yourself why plumbers, carpenters, electricians, doctors, computer technicians, and in fact most professionals do not have a desperate need to attend motivational seminars in order to get fired up to do their job.

The real secret to all this, is to discover the exact style of motivation you already posses. It is as if, you were given a unique set of prescription glasses through which you see a reality all your own. It is that prescription which dictates how you should live life and what career you should pursue. We call this your Life Theme. Discovering it and learning how it guides you is vital in creating meaningful, sustainable change in your personal and business life.

It is through discovering who employees are at their very core that management will be able to generate natural and effective motivation in the workplace. Managers who discover their own Life Theme as well as that of their employees, are capable of building dynamic, highly productive and profitable teams where everyone has a greater sense of fulfillment and sustained cooperation. Management will also know which projects should be delegated to which individuals in order to attain the highest level of productivity. Each person will be able to maximize their Authentic Expression with each project, completely by-passing the typical, costly debating and negotiating process. No longer will ego-battles slow down production and cause inner-office struggle.

Knowing your Life Theme and what specifically motivates you naturally, as well as knowing the same about those who work with you on a day to day basis is not only the best solution for employee motivation in the workplace, we feel it is the future of business.

Click here if you are ready to bring about more peace, contentment and balance into your life.

Click here if you are ready to take back control and gain mastery over your life.

About the author

CEO of Authentic Systems, Degree in Philosophy from University of California, Berkeley.
12 Responses
  1. Brett

    Thank you for teasing out the differences between the terms “enthusiasm” and “motivation”.

    I think most of us, to our own disservice, go through life never knowing, or discounting the power, of terms/words, and therefore leave the potent energy contained within said words, dormant.

    There is power in and behind those words.

    1. John Voris

      Ludwig Wittgenstein, considered to be the the most brilliant mind when it came to language said…

      “…traditional philosophical problems as rooted in misunderstandings philosophers develop by distorting or forgetting what words actually mean in everyday use.”

  2. John Voris

    Bret,

    Very good insight.

    Power is found in revealing distinctions found in language. Using the wrong word or believing in the wrong meaning, can and has cost people both time and money.

    Our reality lives in the potency of language.

    Thanks for your comments. I look forward to any future comments.

    John

  3. Deborah Spagnuolo

    Company culture is such a huge part of employee motivation. A lot of companies say they care about culture, but few really understand how fundamental changes in culture can really increase the bottom line.

  4. John Voris

    Deborah,

    Social science consistently explain that any culture gives meaning to the symbolic structures that creates our reality within that environment.

    We take those structures and re-interpret their meaning to reflect our personal beleifs.

    It is this cultural foundation that defines the perimeters of our potential personal rendition.

    Very insightful on your part.

  5. Johannes Haravee

    I’m researching motivational systems for a course assignment and I’m glad that I stumbled upon this. I’m going to have to rethink my presentation layout and strategy. Thanks for the insights.

  6. Silburn Clarke

    I like the concept of authenticity.
    Deci & Ryan of self-determination school of thought tells us that authentic motivation is the highest state of their motivational continuum. The assertion that if you are not motivated to work in a profession which you “volitionally” entered then you are in the wrong profession is quite insightful. Maybe your original motive in selection of that profession was extrinsic and not so volitional after all.

  7. Biz Burnett

    John,

    Your statement above, “Our reality lives in the potency of language.” is off-the-charts profound. Unpacking that a bit…

    The word “Language” is defined as “the system of words or signs [and symbols] that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other.” I would change that definition to “…express thoughts and feelings to each other and to ourselves.”

    The word “Potency” is defined as “the ability or capacity to achieve or bring about a particular result.” Ability and capacity to get any result clearly vary by individual.

    So it seems that what you’re saying is that the QUALITY of the reality we individually and collectively live/experience depends on how accurately our language expresses our thoughts and feelings to each other and ourselves.

  8. John Voris

    Biz,

    If we lived alone, such as a feral child, would we have a language? Would a person like this have a need for a language or does it require that others are present?

    Four people can generate an accurate linguistic expression of their thoughts and feelings yet have four different realities. It is not the accuracy that determines the quality but from which Theme gives FORM to the description.

    So that, “Our reality lives in the potency of language,” as it is generated from our individual Authentic Theme and Identity. Finally, we are always moving toward our potential as potency of being.

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