It’s your job to motivate me

It’s been hard keeping up the motivation to work these last two weeks.  (Sorry, boss!) 

But I’m both human and honest so let me tell you:  how motivated would you be if you’re working while the Olympics are happening in your town, you’re steps away from the German and Irish house (essentially, official national beer gardens), and your office is across the street from the flaming cauldron?  My beautiful office is now a curse because now when I look out the window,  everyday I get to watch thousands of people walk by, sometimes a tidal wave of red when they jump up and cheer in unison every time the home team wins a medal.  Sighhhh….

I know what you’re thinking… you feel sorry for me and wish you could ease my pain.  Yeah right!

Which brings me to this brilliant piece of research I read in the Harvard Business Review.  The discovery of what really motivates workers is #1 on their list of Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.  Is it the pay, flex time, recognition or just being really engaged in the work?  Heck no!  It’s progress at work!  Go figure, actually getting stuff done is motivating to a person:

On days when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak.  On days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest.

I bet you’re now thinking back to your best work days and linking up those times when you felt like, “Yeah! I rock!”.  Who really enjoys spinning their wheels because politics, lack of resources, indecision, or the inability to get a hold of someone is holding work back?  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy recognition as much as the next person but sometimes I just want to stop banging my head against the wall.

So pass this around to managers you know!  Managers:  your job is to remove roadblocks for your employees, provide the right resources, coach, enable creative solutions, and generate support and buy-in.  In short, your job is to help your staff make progress at work.  Progress = Motivation.  In other words, if your employees aren’t motivated, chances are that it’s your fault.

As for my lack of motivation right now?  Don’t blame my manager.  We really only have the German Haus and athletes to blame.  And here it is, for one last time:  Go Canada Go!


One Response

  1. Absolutely! While seeing the hordes of Olympic celebrants swarming around Yaletown sometimes gave me a sense of longing to be out there with them, I found the last two weeks of February to be amazingly productive. My mood improved not only as Canada won gold, but as I really got things done!

    2009 was a tough year in many ways, but I think the feeling that things were moving slowly (or not at all – or backwards!) really had an impact on my daily motivation. 2010 has brought a renewed sense of optimism, and a drive to succeed!

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