our everyday life

How to Stay Motivated & Succeed in the Workplace

by Billie Nordmeyer, studioD

Look inside any office and you’ll see a diverse group of employees, each of whom possesses a unique background, aptitude and desire to achieve. Even so, a company will expect these employees to work collectively to attain certain business goals. But personal and company achievement doesn’t just happen, it requires that employees identify valuable personal contributions, define workable strategies and perform well enough, frequently enough, to achieve desired outcomes. Accomplishing these goals requires personal motivation.

Commit to Your Personal Best

There are endless opportunities for personal achievement in the workplace. If you’re not interested in a particular project, you can always take classes to prepare for a new career. If you aren’t excited about the financial rewards you ‘ll receive if you earn a promotion, you might decide to learn new business processes you can use when you start your own business. But identifying personal goals is only part of the battle. As executive coach Siimon Reynolds suggests in "Forbes," you also must be sufficiently motivated to perform in an exceptional way as you work to accomplish your goals.

Find Sources of Motivation

Motivation, according to Michael Pantalon, Ph.D., is a recognition of why you want to accomplish a particular goal. If you find your motivation flagging, a walk around the block as you imagine the benefits of your goals or a stroll down the corridor of your company’s C-suite to see the actual rewards of achieving objectives can be inspiring. Afterwards, tap into that inspiration as you work to achieve your goals. For example, if money motivates you, remind yourself daily of the bonus you'll receive when you complete your project on time and on budget. But if, instead, you work in quality management and are motivated by projects that allow you to make a difference in your work place, you might focus on identifying the ways a particular manufacturing quality control system, if implemented, might improve product quality by reducing the rate of defects in manufactured parts.

Employ Critical Visualization

For many years, the self-help industry suggested that to succeed, you must see yourself accomplishing your objectives. However, a 2010 study conducted by psychologists Heather Barry Kappes of New York University and Gabriele Oettinger, Ph.D, of New York University and the University of Hamburg, and published in the "Journal of Experimental Psychology," questioned the rationale of positive visualization. According to Kappes and Oettinger, positive visualization may be counterproductive to a person's efforts to remain motivated because as the visualization process convinces the person that his goal is accomplished, his body acts accordingly. Blood pressure decreases as does heart rate, depriving the person of the energy needed to actually accomplish the goal. Consequently, the study suggests that you might best maintain your motivation if you think of your goal in terms of possible obstacles in your path and possible setbacks, and attempt to address each one before they occur.

Acknowledge Intermediate Successes

Depending on whether you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, your willingness to wait years to be rewarded for your hard work will vary. Consequently, acknowledging intermediate successes, rather than long-term results, might be critical to your ability to remain motivated. For example, rather than delaying a celebration until you become a certified public accountant, celebrate intermediate steps, such as the completion of one part of a CPA examination preparation course. You can also boost motivation by ending your workday remembering your day’s achievements, such as the problems you resolved or the customer contacts that you made. As you recognize your achievements, you boost your confidence as well as your motivation to continue to excel in your work.

About the Author

Billie Nordmeyer works as a consultant advising small businesses and Fortune 500 companies on performance improvement initiatives, as well as SAP software selection and implementation. During her career, she has published business and technology-based articles and texts. Nordmeyer holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting, a Master of Arts in international management and a Master of Business Administration in finance.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images