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Employee Motivation: Understanding What Drives People at Work

19 Apr


Employee motivation is a complex and multifaceted topic that has long been a focus of research and discussion in the field of management. Understanding what drives people at work has become more critical than ever before. As a leader, you would be wise to complete your due diligence to get a better understanding of your employees’ psyche.

Currently, remote work and job insecurity are two leading factors that cause increased stress and burnout. According to a survey by Achievers, 48% of employees feel more burned out at work now than they did before the pandemic. Furthermore, 41% of employees feel less connected to their company culture since shifting to remote work. The shift to remote work has been particularly challenging for many workers, with the lines between work and home life becoming increasingly blurred. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from the workplace, further exacerbating stress and burnout.

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An invaluable form of employee motivation is intrinsic motivation, or the drive that comes from within. According to a study by Gartner, 80% of HR leaders report that employee experience has become more important since the pandemic. This includes fostering a sense of purpose and meaning in the work team members do. A sense of purpose can be particularly important in times of uncertainty and change, as it provides employees with a sense of direction and stability. A survey by Achievers found that 63% of employees who feel recognized and appreciated at work are very unlikely to look for a new job in the next six months. This highlights the importance of creating a work environment that fosters intrinsic motivation and industriousness.

Employee recognition is an essential aspect of fostering self-motivation. According to a survey by Bonusly, 82% of employees feel more motivated to work harder when they are recognized for their contributions. Furthermore, 40% of employees say they would put more effort into their work if they were recognized more often. Providing regular feedback and recognition can significantly impact worker motivation and engagement. This can include both formal recognition programs, such as employee of the month awards, and informal recognition, such as a simple thank you or shout-out during a team meeting.

Mental health has become a top concern for employees, with the pandemic exacerbating stress and anxiety. According to a survey by Deloitte, 73% of workers believe their employers have a responsibility to support their mental health. Providing mental health resources and support, such as telehealth, can help reduce stress and burnout, leading to increased motivation and productivity. This can include access to mental health counseling or therapy, stress management programs, and flexible work arrangements to accommodate employees’ mental health needs.

Creating a motivating work environment requires a deep understanding of the needs and inspirations of  team members. This can be achieved through regular feedback, employee surveys, and one-on-one meetings. Providing opportunities for growth and development, recognition and rewards, and maintaining a positive work culture can significantly impact worker motivation and engagement. This can include training and development programs, mentorship opportunities, a clear career path, and a supportive and an inclusive work culture.

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Employee motivation is critical to the success of any organization, especially during times of uncertainty and change. The latest trends and insights on motivation highlight the importance of intrinsic motivation, employee recognition, mental health support, and creating an encouraging work environment. By understanding what drives people at work and providing the necessary support and resources, employers can foster a productive and engaged workforce. For further assistance with your HR tasks, schedule a call with VensureHR. Our unique, custom solutions are tailored to help with the specific needs of each business.

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