Motivation: What Is It and Where Does It Come From?

What gets you motivated in the morning? For some it’s money; they go to work because they have bills to pay, a family to support, etc. But money isn’t a motivator for everyone. Motivation is unique to everyone, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what gets people motivated. However, there are ways to figure out the things that motivate your team members.

Motivation From Within

You can send your team off to seminars with motivational speakers; however, you may find that it won’t cause much improvement. This is because motivation comes from within ourselves. People naturally enjoy doing things that they love. Are your employees happy? Do they enjoy their work? If not, perhaps their talents aren’t being used effectively in their current position. When people are given jobs related to their talents, they tend to produce better work and stay self-motivated because they genuinely enjoy what they are doing. Get to know your staff and learn how their talents and interests can their boost their work efficiency.


Some people are natural leaders and like to have more control in their work. Having responsibilities and being given a say in decision making can give some employees a sense of power or control that can be very motivational. When a person is given more responsibility, they tend to have a closer connection with their work. Empowering employees also creates a healthier working environment by helping to reduce micro management.


Employers can sometimes get too caught up in team-building exercises. It is very important to have a team that works well together. The saying “a team is only as strong as its weakest link” doesn’t just refer to sport teams. Everyone needs to pull their weight. If you’ve been working on team building and the whole department is still struggling with motivation, the problem could stem from only a few individuals. Take the time to get to know each team member and ask them what keeps them inspired in the workplace. Use that to build tasks that are more aligned with their talents and interests to boost motivation and productivity.

Finding what each person wants or needs to be most successful can be helpful in motivating everyone in a department to work toward a common goal. The best way to start is by taking the time to get to know your team members.

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