Workplace motivation can be a challenge at the best of times, but how do you stay motivated when things are difficult? We can respond very differently to change, it might be that we think we can influence change or alternatively we can feel unable to affect change. And how we think about change may make all the difference for workplace motivation. Even when change may seem out of our control the first thing to remember in difficult circumstances is: how we think and act is up to us.
To influence workplace motivation in challenging situations we need to start with ourselves. It makes sense for your self, and for those who work with you, to choose to maintain as positive an attitude as possible, even in challenging situations.
Workplace Motivation: Choose your Attitude
How can you choose to respond to a situation? Four common ways to respond are to:
- Change the situation – do something about it, be proactive.
- Change yourself – examine your own attitudes, behaviour, skills, and decide to change them as appropriate.
- Accept the situation – that is, come to terms with and live with it.
- Leave the situation – find a constructive way of moving on. Can you avoid the situation, is it possible to move within your organisation. Exhaust all avenues within your own organisation before thinking further afield.
How do you maintain workplace motivation in difficult or changing situations?
Here are 7 tips:
- Seek opportunities – even in difficult change there are opportunities and positives. What makes work interesting and what makes it manageable.
- Be a supportive manager and try to work for one! All the evidence suggest that relationships with your immediate manager matters more than what is happening in the wider organisation. Workplace motivation is made easier when people feel supported and valued by their manager.
- Be credible; find a pragmatic optimism that is tempered with realism
- Help others to cope
- Start where they are and help them to see how they can choose to respond to the situation. Help them to think through the 4 choices above.
- Be an example in how you respond
- Make sure you have your own support network
You can find out more about our Antidotes to Austerity series where our session on motivation in the workplace will help you to re-think motivation when times are tough.