Why does motivation turn people into a profession

At the latest when you apply, it is asked again - our motivation for a job, written down in a few paragraphs. To formulate accurately what drives us professionally is truly a challenge. Because often we don't know exactly ourselves.

1. What is motivation?
2. Importance of motivation in the job
3. What kind of motivational type am I?
4. How can I motivate others?
5. The 10 most important motivators at work
6. How HR developers recognize motivated employees
7. s.mile project - our contribution to the meaning of work

How are you doing with that? Do you value success and having fun at work? What motivates you to achieve top performance? Money, recognition or maybe flexible working hours? Do you find meaning in your job? And is it important to you to know and share the employer's goals? It pays to think about these questions now and then. Because knowing what moves and motivates us at work can contribute a lot to our own satisfaction in life. Even more: When people go to work motivated, the economy also benefits.

What is motivation?

The business psychological society describes motivation as an internal source of energy that drives behavior. Motivation describes the pursuit of goals. This pursuit can be based on various motives, such as power, self-actualization, or social contact.

A distinction is made between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The extrinsic motivation is caused by the environment. In addition to financial incentives, for example, the work environment, supervisors or colleagues can motivate them. The intrinsic motivation comes from within and is based on enjoying the job itself: The work is fun and motivates in itself. Each of us controls this type of motivation. Innate optimism, the ability to regenerate or inner conviction can contribute a lot to one's own motivation.


Motivation in the job: more and more important

With the change towards the knowledge society, many tasks have become more complex and complex. Whereas in the past the clear distribution of tasks was more common, today many threads often come together with one person. We are increasingly working in multidisciplinary teams, with flatter hierarchies and more flexible working conditions. Perhaps you also see this development in your job? We are more free in our work design than perhaps our parents, but we also have to make more responsible and responsible decisions ourselves.

Our motivation at work is therefore extremely important. Due to the disintegrating, clear command structures in many professions, employers must increasingly rely on the internal motivation and control of employees. A low level of motivation can not only spoil the joy in the workplace, but also significantly disrupt the flow of work.

Motivation at work increases satisfaction and added value

According to the Federal Statistical Office, adults spend an average of 45 hours a week at work - not counting the time each of us spends mentally at work at home. In addition, work and leisure are merging more and more thanks to flexible work models. The time we spend in the office is decreasing. You have probably already worked at home too? Or, conversely, maybe spent free time with your colleagues or employees? The job contributes a lot to our quality of life. Satisfaction and fun go hand in hand with a high level of motivation. Those who work in a motivated way also protect their health: the risk of depression, burnout or other signs of overload decreases.

Companies also benefit from motivated employees. Research results show: When we work with motivation, we perform better, are more innovative, are less absent from work, make fewer mistakes and stay with the company more often. In addition, motivated employees increase profitability, productivity, growth and competitiveness.

In short: if people are motivated in the job, they increase added value. That makes sense, because those who are motivated are more committed to looking for solutions than someone who does their job according to regulations. On the other hand, employers lose a lot of money due to demotivated employees: employees who have already resigned internally can cost the German economy up to 100 billion euros per year, the management consultancy Gallup calculated in its Engagement Index 2016.


What kind of motivational type am I?

Do you also know times when you lose motivation in your job? In order not to fall into a spiral of listlessness and dissatisfaction, self-motivation is a helpful tool. But what motivates you? Do you allow yourself to be motivated by external factors such as money and recognition or are you more motivated by having fun at work or being driven by the opportunity for self-realization? A self-test by management professor Waldemar Pelz provides information. The Haufe Academy also offers tips and seminars that show you how to regain motivation at work and avoid stress. One of the tips: say no sometimes and pay attention to your own limits. Correctly assessing and communicating one's resources is a strength that creates freedom and increases motivation.

In any case, it makes sense to find out why you are lacking motivation in the workplace - perhaps already during the application. Is there a lack of knowledge or a strategy on how to best approach tasks? Then it can help to acquire missing skills. The survey “Value of further training” showed that two out of three employees would like to receive further training more often. Developing yourself professionally and personally can make a significant contribution to job satisfaction.


Leading better: How can I motivate others?

The above-mentioned Gallup survey shows that bosses are a major contributor to a lack of motivation among employees. Only one in five stated that “the leadership I experience at work motivates me to do an excellent job”. The ability to motivate can be learned. Appropriate further training, such as that offered by the Haufe Academy for managers, can make a big difference and facilitate professional development - for superiors and their employees alike.

For you as the boss, it is a good start to know what motivates employees the most. The intrinsic, i.e. inner motivation, is considered to be the more sustainable. However, promoting this as a superior is more difficult than extrinsic motivation. One of our tips: design the work in such a way that it is self-motivated, for example through more room for maneuver and decision-making as well as diverse and feasible tasks.


The 10 most important motivators at work: what motivates us

But external incentives are also an important factor in increasing motivation in the workplace. The Manpower study "Arbeitsmotivation 2018" determined the top 10 motivators in Germany: Good working relationship with colleagues and superiors (46 percent)

  1. Flexible working hours (37 percent)
  2. Friendly relationship with colleagues even after work (30 percent)
  3. Good coffee (27 percent)
  4. Free drinks (27 percent)
  5. Lots of teamwork (24 percent)
  6. Small attentions, e.g. B. Flowers or chocolate saints (23 percent)
  7. Workplace health promotion (23 percent)
  8. Appealing interior design (21 percent)
  9. Plants in the office (18 percent)


This is how HR developers recognize motivated employees

In addition to the question of how their own employees can be motivated, employers are also faced with the challenge of finding motivated employees. Are you also currently looking? HR expert Arthur Schneider has ten helpful questions for the interview formulated with which you can determine the motivation of applicants - for example: "What do you think enables really good performance?"

It is not only in the interests of employers to find suitable and motivated employees. We are people. If we feel comfortable at work, identify with the company in any way and are motivated, then we contribute a lot to our well-being and our personal happiness in the first place.


S.mile project: our contribution to the meaning of work

As a provider of qualification and development for people and companies, we deal intensively with the issues of work with meaning and motivation. In order to make our work and its meaning more tangible for us in the company, the Haufe Academy started an unusual project in the summer of 2016: With the s.mile (= smart mile) project, we give twelve very different people the opportunity to work over the period of to use the complete qualification and development offer of the Haufe Academy free of charge for two years.

Here in the Perspektivenblog you can get to know the participants of our s.mile project better and maybe learn from them and be inspired. What drives them, what motivates them and what are their goals? What gives them orientation? We look forward to sharing these insights with you.