Motivational Problems in the Workplace

Written by tyler lacoma
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Motivation refers to the methods that employers use to encourage and inspire employees in the workplace. Motivation is often part of a large company strategy to manage its organisation and help all workers complete company goals. There are many motivational theories that suggest different methods, such as cross training, employee empowerment and incentive systems, to increase motivation. Companies should always try to motivate employees, but following particular strategies can create issues that all businesses should be aware of.

Matching Style with Company Needs

Unfortunately, not all motivation methods match what the company needs. For instance, cross training can be a great way to create a mobile workforce and keep employees engaged in their tasks, but it comes at a high cost. As employees learn new jobs, efficiency often drops and production is affected, losing the company money. Not all motivational styles are suitable for all businesses. Some styles actually hurt much more than they help.

Incentive Dangers

Incentive programs use recognition and bonuses to reward employee performance so that the company can reach certain goals. Incentives can be a dangerous tool in competitive business environments. Employees might compete with each other to get bonuses, which can lead to mistrust and an unhealthy atmosphere where employees have no reason to help each other. Incentives must be based on overall company growth and distributed in a way that does not create relational problems, which can be a challenge for many businesses.


Misalignment occurs when one branch of the company, such as the human resources department, creates a useful motivational strategy but other parts of the company do not use it. For instance, managers and executives might have no desire to change employee tasks or to treat employees differently, so despite the new program nothing is changed. A worthwhile motivational strategy requires input from all levels of the company, which can be difficult to achieve, especially in large organisations.

Monitoring Results

A company needs to know if a motivational plan worked. This can be a tricky challenge itself, because businesses must decide how they are to measure effectiveness and when to conduct the necessary studies. It is a drain on time and resources, and the results can be difficult to interpret. Many businesses are unwilling to change their new plan even if the monitoring shows that it is not effective.

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