Motivation is essential in a company, as employees need to be constantly willing to do their best and get good results. However, it’s not always easy to maintain it among people. Managers can have a hard time in keeping the employees eager to reach their full potential, as there are plenty of factors involved in the process. What challenges do managers face in motivating today’s workforce?

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What is motivation?

Motivation is that will that drives you towards achieving a goal. It cannot be complete without some energy that helps you sustain your work and actually try to turn that goal into reality. Also, motivation is about persuasion as well. However, it’s not about forcing someone to do something, but about making a person want to achieve the goal.

Motivation can be of several types. One of the most common is extrinsic motivation. This means that some external factors are the ones that convince people to work towards the goal. The category usually includes the salary, but there can also be some other advantages offered to the employees.

The other category is intrinsic motivation. This means that the goal itself is the only thing necessary to drive motivation. Instead of material gains or other incentives, employees get that satisfaction when they see the goal completed. Even working towards the goal’s accomplishment might be enough for them.

What keeps people motivated?

There are various factors that help people maintain that motivation. Most of them are incentives that bring some material gain, but others also have to do with learning and responsibility. A good salary is, of course, the most common motivating factor. To it, you can add some other benefits offered by managers to their employees.

However, there are other ways to increase motivation. If you are managing a workplace, you should make sure you create a nice working environment. Employees will appreciate if they feel good at work, and will be more eager to do a great job. Giving them all sorts of responsibilities might make them feel useful and, thus, more hardworking.

Once they solve a task, show them how much you appreciate your work. If they get the recognition they deserve, they are more likely to do a great job in the future as well. Make sure you always give them feedback, so that they should know what they have to do. Offering them the opportunity to grow is also a great incentive. If they get to learn from their job, they will be more likely to stay motivated.

What challenges do managers face in motivating today’s workforce?

Keeping employees motivated sounds doable in theory but, in practice, it’s actually a lot more difficult. It’s not always easy to make the employees want to do their job, especially when you are facing some changes that might affect their activity. In fact, what challenges do managers face in motivating today’s workforce, and how to overcome them?

1.      The constantly changing workforce

An organization cannot keep the same employees forever. Unavoidably, people will come and go within a company, and keeping up with their convictions is difficult. Each individual employee has their own set of beliefs and needs, and you can rarely find two of them who are alike.

Therefore, managers have a hard time understanding how different their employees are. Also, it’s hard to keep up with all the employee needs if they are constantly changing and evolving. While they might find a recipe that works for some of them, the same thing might not apply to others. This is when they start facing some serious challenges.

What they can do is try to know their employees more. Then, depending on the types of people they find, they can shape their strategies so that they fit to everyone. If not, they can apply different tactics for each employee.

2.      The invisible employee motives

Managers have a tough job when looking for incentives. Judging from the activity of the employees, they can only presume what should work as a motivator. However, their presumptions might prove wrong. This is quite a tough moment, so managers should know how to overcome it.

One solution might be to talk to that employee. If you see they’re not willing to do their job, try asking them what it wrong and what makes them unhappy. Together, you might solve the problem.

3.      A difficult economic situation

Since material gains are the main employee incentive, employees might face low motivation if the company is struggling economically. They might find themselves forced to work more without extra payment, or even their base salary might suffer.

Unfortunately, managers cannot improve the monetary gains. However, they can keep up the morale of the employees. By organizing frequent meetings, they can see how people are feeling, and find ways to keep them going. Promises of future benefits might work, but you shouldn’t raise your team’s hopes in vain.

4.      Changing job descriptions

If the company needs some changes, then the employees’ motivation might suffer. If managers give more responsibilities, and employees suddenly have more things to do, they might feel overwhelmed at first. Also, any kind of changes within the company might seem confusing, thus seriously affecting the motivation.

If the company needs to change some strategies, it’s understandable that managers often forget about the motivation tactics they need to apply. However, they shouldn’t forget how important this is. Maintaining motivation levels high is crucial, and the company won’t suffer in the end.

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Summing up

Therefore, what challenges do managers face in motivating today’s workforce? Diversity can be confusing in this case, and might put out some serious difficulties for managers. Companies should learn how to know their employees better, and how to shape their strategies for each of them.

They should also teach themselves how to overcome the challenges and keep motivation levels up. When facing other kinds of difficulties, having employees that are engaged in what they do and bring good results can actually save a company. Therefore, managers should focus on keeping their incentives up anytime.

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