Average Joe might tell himself “Ugh, it’s just a case of the Mondays,” whenever he feels unmotivated at work, but when it’s happening more often than just Mondays, he’s likely suffering from an all-too common struggle: lack of engagement and motivation in the workplace.
85 percent of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work, which heavily affects productivity and retention. Unhappy, unmotivated employees aren’t going to perform well or want to stick around for long.
The Root: What Motivates Employees?
So what can employers do to help? First, it’s important to understand what motivates employees and how they stay engaged. According to Forbes, “motivation happens when people solve their own problems, and create their own aspirations and expectations.” And when employees feel engaged, they are invested in their work, they know what their company’s goals are, and they have the tools and drive to effectively contribute to the organization.
That means employees want opportunities to continuously learn and grow at work. They want a strong culture of learning that empowers them to develop and strengthen new skills and receive frequent feedback that prompts growth.
How Managers Influence Engagement and Motivation
Managers play a key role in creating an engaging work culture. The Harvard Business Review indicates three factors that help with engagement and motivation: encouraging employees “to play to their strengths, creating opportunities to experiment, and helping them personalize the purpose of the work,” especially when considering the unique needs of each employee and dealing with a multigenerational workforce.
Great managers motivate and engage their employees by ensuring that employees feel appreciated and recognized. Managers can also help employees understand where their role fits in at the organization, which gives employees a deeper sense of purpose and enables them to feel a part of the big picture.
Regular developmental conversations between managers and employees are also key. Ongoing 1:1s provide an opportunity for both parties to discuss goals and progress, share feedback, and demonstrates to employees that managers actually care about them and are invested in their growth.
When employees feel valued, know how their work benefits their organization, and have managers who set the tone with a strong culture of learning, they’re more likely to feel engaged at work, feel more loyal to their company, and want to stay.
Learn more about motivating your employees through continuous learning & development opportunities.