When the majority of people in a workplace show up to work engaged and excited about what they need to do, sustaining and maintaining high levels of motivation in the workplace becomes a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. In organizations with high levels of motivation, there is an infectious energizing spirit that overtakes everyone. People feed off each other in a positive way to sustain motivation.
Individuals who are highly motivated want to work with others who are like them. They crave it, and when they are used to it they won’t settle for less. Interestingly, I have seen how new hires are actually peer pressured into joining a culture of high motivation. In these circumstances, it’s as though the mass of motivated employees are saying to new people, “You better get on board, or else this isn’t going to work out for you.” A key lesson I’ve learned is that when there are high levels of motivation, employees will not only manage themselves, they will manage each other.
When the majority of people in an organization are motivated, others will either raise their level of motivation to match it – on their own or through positive peer pressure – or they will leave. When the majority of people are actively engaged and working hard to fulfill the mission and vision of the organization, it sets the standard for what is expected of others.
A unique quality of organizations with high levels of motivation is that people experience a feeling of not wanting to be left out. When employees see others working on tasks and projects that are exciting, but require high levels of motivation to accomplish, they want to be involved in these sorts of activities too. When others are having fun working on tasks that are meaningful and exciting, this increases the overall motivation in the workplace.
I believe the most important theme that increases motivation is feeling a connection to the organization that goes beyond receiving a paycheck. The two most common connections I have seen, often together, are an affinity for the purpose of the organization, and a connection to others within the organization, including both leaders and peers. People don’t want to let the organization and those they care about within the organization down. They are motivated to work hard for the benefit of both the organization and those they work with.
If you are looking for the secret to developing high levels of motivation in your workplace, focus on building a great culture where people like to work. High levels of motivation are the result of a great work culture.