How Do I Choose the Best Motivation Strategies?

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  • Written By: Amanda Barnhart
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2018
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Choosing which motivation strategies are best for you or others around you, such as employees, involves analyzing the factors that compel an individual to begin and complete a task. Some strategies involve external or material rewards, while others rely on more intangible factors to motivate. Selecting an appropriate motivation strategy for an individual or a group also depends on pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. Some people lack motivation because they are disinterested, distracted, or uninvolved, while others have trouble with motivation due to fear, anxiety, or internal or external intimidation.

The first step in choosing the best motivation strategies is to identify the task at hand and determine why motivation is lacking or needs to be increased. One way to discover strengths and weaknesses is to make a chart or table of the advantages of being motivated to complete the task or project and the disadvantages or “road blocks” to doing it. This can help determine if the problem is disinterest or boredom or if it is fear of failure or anxiety related to what needs to be done.


Once the blocks to motivation are identified, choosing motivation strategies should focus on ways to overcome these issues. A person who is disinterested or bored might find strategies that help personalize the activity or change the manner in which it is done stimulating, which can increase motivation. Allowing fresh input and ideas stirs up excitement and commitment to a project, which can help motivate those who lack drive due to boredom.

Fear of failure or negative self-talk can have a profound impact on motivation. Visualizing success and keeping a list of positive outcomes of increased motivation and task completion can be helpful motivation strategies if fear presents a problem. Reminding people they are doing well and expressing gratitude can also help reinforce positive thoughts in a work environment. Employees often feel they are only recognized when they make mistakes, so taking every opportunity to praise good work makes for a more harmonious work environment and more motivated employees.

While motivation is often unrelated to external rewards, such as a bonus at work, some people lack motivation due to a perceived lack of reward for their efforts. In some cases, a material reward greatly increases motivation, though it doesn’t always need to be monetary. For example, some people find setting small rewards for themselves, such as two hours to relax and watch a move, can help with motivating themselves to complete a daunting task. At work, material rewards can take the form of raises, promotions, or even a day of paid time off for employees who perform well and complete a task on time.

The importance of setting realistic goals cannot be overstated. Even a person who is sufficiently motivated can begin to lack enthusiasm and drive when goals are unreachable or are not clearly defined. Some people prefer to work on a large goal over a long period of time, but many people perform better when a large project is broken down into smaller goals with shorter deadlines. Breaking down large tasks into smaller ones can allow people to feel a sense of satisfaction and completion as each stage of the project is finished, which can also help provide motivation to keep going.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

I think that in organizations where employees have to do routine work and where they repeat the same tasks over and over, more motivational strategies are required. When Ford company was first established, it used to motivate its employees with rewards like cars and membership at clubs.

Post 2

Paid time off upon completion of tasks and projects sounds like an amazing strategy for motivation. If there are two things that motivate employees most, they must be compensation and vacation.

Some employers underestimate the value of time off from work. Especially if a job is demanding and stressful, it's necessary for employees to have some time off to rest, relax and rejuvenate themselves. Moreover, in some sectors, people routinely have to work over-time as well as weekends to meet deadlines.

A well rested employee performs better than a tired and stressed one. But many people are afraid to take time off because they need the money or feel that their employer will be upset. I love the idea of giving employees a few days off with compensation so that they can rest and return to work as enthusiastic as ever. There is no doubt that this method will work. I wish more employers used this strategy.

Post 1

I'm not an expert on this topic but I personally don't feel that there is a single motivation strategy that can be used for all employees in an organization. I think that different people are motivated by different things. Some people are motivated by money, others are motivated by verbal encouragement or praise, others are motivated by deadlines. Unless all of the employees in an organization are very similar and like-minded, a single motivation strategy is probably not going to work for everyone.

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