Money can generate interest in work

No motivation in the job? Is the boss to blame?

Money is NOT the most important thing

Where does a low motivation come from?

Klaus Sejkora

Klaus Sejkora: There are a lot of possible causes. If you disregard those in the private or health sector and concentrate on the professional area, then I would start from the opposite side and ask: What actually motivates me? Contrary to some opinion, money is not the main motivator. First and foremost for me is the social relationship. When we come into a group of people, we unconsciously stretch out our antennae and look: Where are people here with whom a conversation or collaboration could be interesting? If you have an environment in the company, especially a supervisor who is not interested in you, then your brain goes into standby and that has an extremely demotivating effect. So a main motivator is really the question: is there any interest in me? Both in me as a person and in my work? If that interest doesn't exist, rule-of-law is the next step. The second motivator is to be able to see meaning in the work. A sense of myself but also a sense of humanity.

I need clear and achievable goals

Do you feel that you are hearing this wish more and more often?

Klaus Sejkora: Exactly. If I only do my job to make money, or if I feel that my work is completely pointless, then it is very demotivating. We all want to find meaning in our life and we want to find that in work too, where we spend most of our waking time. And it doesn't matter what it is or what I see the point in: I have to find it. The third point is that I have clear, understandable, and achievable goals. It is not enough to say: you have to make ten percent more profit so that the company can also make a profit.

Praise: Hardly anyone asks why something is going well

So motivation lows are mainly caused by mistakes in leadership?

Klaus Sejkora: I would say yes - but in a broader sense it is about how management designs the working environment.

What tips do you have for managers, for example to show employees that they are interested in their person?

Klaus Sejkora: For example, you should really be interested in the performance of the individual employees. Also or especially when something is going well, ask why something worked so well. It is about constructive criticism on the one hand, but also constructive praise. The praise in particular is mostly neglected or it is assumed that anyone can do that anyway. Errors, on the other hand, are no longer analyzed until they go. But you should also talk about successes and take a closer look at them. Small details of human contact are also important. You should know a little about the employee, for example, ask how the house is going on or how a young family is doing with the offspring. It is not about asking private questions or going into details, but about being interested in the situation in life and also knowing what is going on in the life of an employee.

Like little children: people need attention

How can you point out mistakes to your manager?

Klaus Sejkora: You can demand what is missing from the manager. It can look like this, for example: "I would like to talk to you about the task more often, some things are not clear to me" or "I would like more praise and recognition." People are generally genetically motivated to achieve success and get to know the world. A child is not demotivated unless it gets too little attention. Our brain is hungry for new things, if we are always involved in the same processes, it gets boring and the motivation drops.

“Procrastination” is silent rebellion against something that seems pointless.

How can you motivate yourself to do unloved work?

Klaus Sejkora: First you should try to find out the meaning of a job. “Procrastination” is very often a silent rebellion against something that seems pointless to one. If the meaning is not apparent, then one should ask. The reason: "Because it just has to be done" is not enough. The second thing to do is to find out what might be of interest to you. In this way you can arouse your own interest in a job. Point three is the exchange with other people about work: that can also happen in the private sphere and yes, here you can also complain about something that makes things easier.

The boss is not an animator in the holiday club

But it is not the job of the manager, like the animator in the holiday club, to constantly create a good mood and to motivate. It is the job of every single employee to motivate themselves - that also includes signing a service contract: that I have the professional but also self-motivating prerequisites for a job.

About the person: Klaus Sejkora

Klaus Sejkora, psychologist, psychotherapist, trainer and coach, co-director of the Danube Institute Campus for Transaction Analysis Deggendorf-Linz for education and training and management training. Author and co-author of several books: separation or new beginning. Help for Couples in Crisis (2015), Positive Leadership. Resilience instead of burnout. (2015, together with Henning Schulze; 2nd revised and expanded edition will appear in 2017), The Art of Strong Leadership. Make full use of personal potential - strengthen employees' resources. (2016, together with Henning Schulze)

Photo credit: file404 / Shutterstock, Sejkora