Remaining Motivated at Work
by Meera Raghunandan
3 minutes read
I once had a conversation with a very senior board member of an organization who was a regular at the golf club I frequented. Now, in India, Golf is not a game played like gully cricket. It is meant for the elite; people who have already made it in their careers and are materialistically well-off. I often wondered what motivated these gentlemen to get up early in the morning, walk for about 5-6 km in the sun, all trying to get the ball into a hole.
That conversation was an eye-opener for me. A little about golf: it is a game where your goal is very clear from the start. There is no ambiguity about this at all. You get to pick the stick which you would want to use. The longer sticks help you to hit the ball farther away. The shorter sticks offer better accuracy. But no one tells you which stick to choose. It is your call and solely your decision.
Any avid golfer would agree that if someone else makes the choice of the golf stick for you, the joy in the game is over. When you hit the ball towards the hole, the feedback on how you have done is immediate. You instantly know whether it went off-course, farther than you aimed or short of the hole. Golf also gives you an opportunity called ‘progressive mastery.’ Each day you get a chance to get better at the sport. Finally, there is recognition. There is even a concept called ‘handicap’ in golf which is a mark of how well you perform. The ‘handicap’ score helps you get recognized at any golf club as a talented player.This left me pondering. Now, if we can bring these aspects of golf into our workplace culture, can we not be as motivated and encouraged to excel as these senior people who play on the golf course?
Keep a weather eye on the horizon Having clear goals is an important aspect to know where you are headed and what is expected from you. Having a discussion with your senior, documenting the expected outcomes is an important and, dare I say, a mandatory aspect to keep you moving towards them. Ensure that your goals are unambiguous, time-bound and realistic. Know how your success will be measured.
As important as it is to have goals at work, it is equally important to also have personal goals. These goals could span areas such as health, learning, hobbies, relationship and even financial or materialistic aspirations. Knowing what is important to you and doing work that will lead to success in both, your professional and personal goals, is critical to keep you motivated.
Point and follow-through Making your own decisions, having the freedom of choice of how to do things, is another aspect which raises motivation levels. If you are being constantly micro-managed, it can definitely lead to stress. Ensure that you have a discussion with your superior regarding the frequency of sync-up meetings so that both of you are comfortable with this approach. Getting feedback immediately on the work that you do will help in course correction early on in the game.
Many organizations mandate a yearly dialogue on the appraisal of an employee’s performance. But there is no restriction on you seeking proactive feedback on your work more frequently. A good word from your superior is going to make you that much more motivated to do better.
Shape your surroundings to shape yourself Ensure that your workspace gives you a chance to constantly develop. The environment must allow for “progressive mastery” for you to love what you are doing and excel at it as well. Sometimes your environment may not be conducive to learning, but don’t be disheartened! It is up to you to seek out the new things that you want to learn and keep developing.
An employee who is recognized for the good work he does is extremely motivated to continue contributing phenomenally. Most organizations have frameworks in place for recognizing their best employees and rewarding them. However, you could start something on a small scale, such as peer-recognition in a team, to charge your environment positively.
If you are able to assimilate these aspects into your workplace, you will find yourself charging ahead towards your goals with renewed focus and enthusiasm.
If you’re finding this difficult, simply talk to the workplace coaches and experienced mentors at Mentoring Matters about the challenges you are facing. You will find yourself motivated to deal with the challenges!
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and start your growth journey today.
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Meera Raghunandan is the co-founder of Mentoring Matters, a platform for businesses and
individuals across industries to drive holistic professional growth across mid and senior-level
positions through dedicated coaching by certified professionals.