The Science of Improving Motivation at Work

motivation at work

The topic of employee motivation can be quite daunting for managers, leaders, and human resources professionals.

Organizations that provide their members with meaningful, engaging work not only contribute to the growth of their bottom line, but also create a sense of vitality and fulfillment that echoes across their organizational cultures and their employees’ personal lives.

“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

In the context of work, an understanding of motivation can be applied to improve employee productivity and satisfaction; help set individual and organizational goals; put stress in perspective; and structure jobs so that they offer optimal levels of challenge, control, variety, and collaboration.

This article demystifies motivation in the workplace and presents recent findings in organizational behavior that have been found to contribute positively to practices of improving motivation and work life.

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This Article Contains:

Motivation in the workplace, motivation theories in organizational behavior, employee motivation strategies, motivation and job performance, leadership and motivation, motivation and good business, a take-home message.

Motivation in the workplace has been traditionally understood in terms of extrinsic rewards in the form of compensation, benefits, perks, awards, or career progression.

With today’s rapidly evolving knowledge economy, motivation requires more than a stick-and-carrot approach. Research shows that innovation and creativity, crucial to generating new ideas and greater productivity, are often stifled when extrinsic rewards are introduced.

Daniel Pink (2011) explains the tricky aspect of external rewards and argues that they are like drugs, where more frequent doses are needed more often. Rewards can often signal that an activity is undesirable.

Interesting and challenging activities are often rewarding in themselves. Rewards tend to focus and narrow attention and work well only if they enhance the ability to do something intrinsically valuable. Extrinsic motivation is best when used to motivate employees to perform routine and repetitive activities but can be detrimental for creative endeavors.

Anticipating rewards can also impair judgment and cause risk-seeking behavior because it activates dopamine. We don’t notice peripheral and long-term solutions when immediate rewards are offered. Studies have shown that people will often choose the low road when chasing after rewards because addictive behavior is short-term focused, and some may opt for a quick win.

Pink (2011) warns that greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible, and seven deadly flaws of rewards are soon to follow. He found that anticipating rewards often has undesirable consequences and tends to:

  • Extinguish intrinsic motivation
  • Decrease performance
  • Encourage cheating
  • Decrease creativity
  • Crowd out good behavior
  • Become addictive
  • Foster short-term thinking

Pink (2011) suggests that we should reward only routine tasks to boost motivation and provide rationale, acknowledge that some activities are boring, and allow people to complete the task their way. When we increase variety and mastery opportunities at work, we increase motivation.

Rewards should be given only after the task is completed, preferably as a surprise, varied in frequency, and alternated between tangible rewards and praise. Providing information and meaningful, specific feedback about the effort (not the person) has also been found to be more effective than material rewards for increasing motivation (Pink, 2011).

hawthorne effect

They have shaped the landscape of our understanding of organizational behavior and our approaches to employee motivation. We discuss a few of the most frequently applied theories of motivation in organizational behavior.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory

Frederick Herzberg’s (1959) two-factor theory of motivation, also known as dual-factor theory or motivation-hygiene theory, was a result of a study that analyzed responses of 200 accountants and engineers who were asked about their positive and negative feelings about their work. Herzberg (1959) concluded that two major factors influence employee motivation and satisfaction with their jobs:

  • Motivator factors, which can motivate employees to work harder and lead to on-the-job satisfaction, including experiences of greater engagement in and enjoyment of the work, feelings of recognition, and a sense of career progression
  • Hygiene factors, which can potentially lead to dissatisfaction and a lack of motivation if they are absent, such as adequate compensation, effective company policies, comprehensive benefits, or good relationships with managers and coworkers

Herzberg (1959) maintained that while motivator and hygiene factors both influence motivation, they appeared to work entirely independently of each other. He found that motivator factors increased employee satisfaction and motivation, but the absence of these factors didn’t necessarily cause dissatisfaction.

Likewise, the presence of hygiene factors didn’t appear to increase satisfaction and motivation, but their absence caused an increase in dissatisfaction. It is debatable whether his theory would hold true today outside of blue-collar industries, particularly among younger generations, who may be looking for meaningful work and growth.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory proposed that employees become motivated along a continuum of needs from basic physiological needs to higher level psychological needs for growth and self-actualization . The hierarchy was originally conceptualized into five levels:

  • Physiological needs that must be met for a person to survive, such as food, water, and shelter
  • Safety needs that include personal and financial security, health, and wellbeing
  • Belonging needs for friendships, relationships, and family
  • Esteem needs that include feelings of confidence in the self and respect from others
  • Self-actualization needs that define the desire to achieve everything we possibly can and realize our full potential

According to the hierarchy of needs, we must be in good health, safe, and secure with meaningful relationships and confidence before we can reach for the realization of our full potential.

For a full discussion of other theories of psychological needs and the importance of need satisfaction, see our article on How to Motivate .

Hawthorne effect

The Hawthorne effect, named after a series of social experiments on the influence of physical conditions on productivity at Western Electric’s factory in Hawthorne, Chicago, in the 1920s and 30s, was first described by Henry Landsberger in 1958 after he noticed some people tended to work harder and perform better when researchers were observing them.

Although the researchers changed many physical conditions throughout the experiments, including lighting, working hours, and breaks, increases in employee productivity were more significant in response to the attention being paid to them, rather than the physical changes themselves.

Today the Hawthorne effect is best understood as a justification for the value of providing employees with specific and meaningful feedback and recognition. It is contradicted by the existence of results-only workplace environments that allow complete autonomy and are focused on performance and deliverables rather than managing employees.

Expectancy theory

Expectancy theory proposes that we are motivated by our expectations of the outcomes as a result of our behavior and make a decision based on the likelihood of being rewarded for that behavior in a way that we perceive as valuable.

For example, an employee may be more likely to work harder if they have been promised a raise than if they only assumed they might get one.

Expectancy Theories

Expectancy theory posits that three elements affect our behavioral choices:

  • Expectancy is the belief that our effort will result in our desired goal and is based on our past experience and influenced by our self-confidence and anticipation of how difficult the goal is to achieve.
  • Instrumentality is the belief that we will receive a reward if we meet performance expectations.
  • Valence is the value we place on the reward.

Expectancy theory tells us that we are most motivated when we believe that we will receive the desired reward if we hit an achievable and valued target, and least motivated if we do not care for the reward or do not believe that our efforts will result in the reward.

Three-dimensional theory of attribution

Attribution theory explains how we attach meaning to our own and other people’s behavior and how the characteristics of these attributions can affect future motivation.

Bernard Weiner’s three-dimensional theory of attribution proposes that the nature of the specific attribution, such as bad luck or not working hard enough, is less important than the characteristics of that attribution as perceived and experienced by the individual. According to Weiner, there are three main characteristics of attributions that can influence how we behave in the future:

Stability is related to pervasiveness and permanence; an example of a stable factor is an employee believing that they failed to meet the expectation because of a lack of support or competence. An unstable factor might be not performing well due to illness or a temporary shortage of resources.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Colin Powell

According to Weiner, stable attributions for successful achievements can be informed by previous positive experiences, such as completing the project on time, and can lead to positive expectations and higher motivation for success in the future. Adverse situations, such as repeated failures to meet the deadline, can lead to stable attributions characterized by a sense of futility and lower expectations in the future.

Locus of control describes a perspective about the event as caused by either an internal or an external factor. For example, if the employee believes it was their fault the project failed, because of an innate quality such as a lack of skills or ability to meet the challenge, they may be less motivated in the future.

If they believe an external factor was to blame, such as an unrealistic deadline or shortage of staff, they may not experience such a drop in motivation.

Controllability defines how controllable or avoidable the situation was. If an employee believes they could have performed better, they may be less motivated to try again in the future than someone who believes that factors outside of their control caused the circumstances surrounding the setback.

Basic Attribution Categories

Theory X and theory Y

Douglas McGregor proposed two theories to describe managerial views on employee motivation: theory X and theory Y. These views of employee motivation have drastically different implications for management.

He divided leaders into those who believe most employees avoid work and dislike responsibility (theory X managers) and those who say that most employees enjoy work and exert effort when they have control in the workplace (theory Y managers).

To motivate theory X employees, the company needs to push and control their staff through enforcing rules and implementing punishments.

Theory Y employees, on the other hand, are perceived as consciously choosing to be involved in their work. They are self-motivated and can exert self-management, and leaders’ responsibility is to create a supportive environment and develop opportunities for employees to take on responsibility and show creativity.

Theory X is heavily informed by what we know about intrinsic motivation and the role that the satisfaction of basic psychological needs plays in effective employee motivation.

Theory X & Y

Taking theory X and theory Y as a starting point, theory Z was developed by Dr. William Ouchi. The theory combines American and Japanese management philosophies and focuses on long-term job security, consensual decision making, slow evaluation and promotion procedures, and individual responsibility within a group context.

Its noble goals include increasing employee loyalty to the company by providing a job for life, focusing on the employee’s wellbeing, and encouraging group work and social interaction to motivate employees in the workplace.

Features of Theory Z

There are several implications of these numerous theories on ways to motivate employees. They vary with whatever perspectives leadership ascribes to motivation and how that is cascaded down and incorporated into practices, policies, and culture.

The effectiveness of these approaches is further determined by whether individual preferences for motivation are considered. Nevertheless, various motivational theories can guide our focus on aspects of organizational behavior that may require intervening.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory , for example, implies that for the happiest and most productive workforce, companies need to work on improving both motivator and hygiene factors.

The theory suggests that to help motivate employees, the organization must ensure that everyone feels appreciated and supported, is given plenty of specific and meaningful feedback, and has an understanding of and confidence in how they can grow and progress professionally.

To prevent job dissatisfaction, companies must make sure to address hygiene factors by offering employees the best possible working conditions, fair pay, and supportive relationships.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs , on the other hand, can be used to transform a business where managers struggle with the abstract concept of self-actualization and tend to focus too much on lower level needs. Chip Conley, the founder of the Joie de Vivre hotel chain and head of hospitality at Airbnb, found one way to address this dilemma by helping his employees understand the meaning of their roles during a staff retreat.

In one exercise, he asked groups of housekeepers to describe themselves and their job responsibilities by giving their group a name that reflects the nature and the purpose of what they were doing. They came up with names such as “The Serenity Sisters,” “The Clutter Busters,” and “The Peace of Mind Police.”

These designations provided a meaningful rationale and gave them a sense that they were doing more than just cleaning, instead “creating a space for a traveler who was far away from home to feel safe and protected” (Pattison, 2010). By showing them the value of their roles, Conley enabled his employees to feel respected and motivated to work harder.

The Hawthorne effect studies and Weiner’s three-dimensional theory of attribution have implications for providing and soliciting regular feedback and praise. Recognizing employees’ efforts and providing specific and constructive feedback in the areas where they can improve can help prevent them from attributing their failures to an innate lack of skills.

Praising employees for improvement or using the correct methodology, even if the ultimate results were not achieved, can encourage them to reframe setbacks as learning opportunities. This can foster an environment of psychological safety that can further contribute to the view that success is controllable by using different strategies and setting achievable goals .

Theories X, Y, and Z show that one of the most impactful ways to build a thriving organization is to craft organizational practices that build autonomy, competence, and belonging. These practices include providing decision-making discretion, sharing information broadly, minimizing incidents of incivility, and offering performance feedback.

Being told what to do is not an effective way to negotiate. Having a sense of autonomy at work fuels vitality and growth and creates environments where employees are more likely to thrive when empowered to make decisions that affect their work.

Feedback satisfies the psychological need for competence. When others value our work, we tend to appreciate it more and work harder. Particularly two-way, open, frequent, and guided feedback creates opportunities for learning.

Frequent and specific feedback helps people know where they stand in terms of their skills, competencies, and performance, and builds feelings of competence and thriving. Immediate, specific, and public praise focusing on effort and behavior and not traits is most effective. Positive feedback energizes employees to seek their full potential.

Lack of appreciation is psychologically exhausting, and studies show that recognition improves health because people experience less stress. In addition to being acknowledged by their manager, peer-to-peer recognition was shown to have a positive impact on the employee experience (Anderson, 2018). Rewarding the team around the person who did well and giving more responsibility to top performers rather than time off also had a positive impact.

Stop trying to motivate your employees – Kerry Goyette

Other approaches to motivation at work include those that focus on meaning and those that stress the importance of creating positive work environments.

Meaningful work is increasingly considered to be a cornerstone of motivation. In some cases, burnout is not caused by too much work, but by too little meaning. For many years, researchers have recognized the motivating potential of task significance and doing work that affects the wellbeing of others.

All too often, employees do work that makes a difference but never have the chance to see or to meet the people affected. Research by Adam Grant (2013) speaks to the power of long-term goals that benefit others and shows how the use of meaning to motivate those who are not likely to climb the ladder can make the job meaningful by broadening perspectives.

Creating an upbeat, positive work environment can also play an essential role in increasing employee motivation and can be accomplished through the following:

  • Encouraging teamwork and sharing ideas
  • Providing tools and knowledge to perform well
  • Eliminating conflict as it arises
  • Giving employees the freedom to work independently when appropriate
  • Helping employees establish professional goals and objectives and aligning these goals with the individual’s self-esteem
  • Making the cause and effect relationship clear by establishing a goal and its reward
  • Offering encouragement when workers hit notable milestones
  • Celebrating employee achievements and team accomplishments while avoiding comparing one worker’s achievements to those of others
  • Offering the incentive of a profit-sharing program and collective goal setting and teamwork
  • Soliciting employee input through regular surveys of employee satisfaction
  • Providing professional enrichment through providing tuition reimbursement and encouraging employees to pursue additional education and participate in industry organizations, skills workshops, and seminars
  • Motivating through curiosity and creating an environment that stimulates employee interest to learn more
  • Using cooperation and competition as a form of motivation based on individual preferences

Sometimes, inexperienced leaders will assume that the same factors that motivate one employee, or the leaders themselves, will motivate others too. Some will make the mistake of introducing de-motivating factors into the workplace, such as punishment for mistakes or frequent criticism, but negative reinforcement rarely works and often backfires.

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There are several positive psychology interventions that can be used in the workplace to improve important outcomes, such as reduced job stress and increased motivation, work engagement, and job performance. Numerous empirical studies have been conducted in recent years to verify the effects of these interventions.

Psychological capital interventions

Psychological capital interventions are associated with a variety of work outcomes that include improved job performance, engagement, and organizational citizenship behaviors (Avey, 2014; Luthans & Youssef-Morgan 2017). Psychological capital refers to a psychological state that is malleable and open to development and consists of four major components:

  • Self-efficacy and confidence in our ability to succeed at challenging work tasks
  • Optimism and positive attributions about the future of our career or company
  • Hope and redirecting paths to work goals in the face of obstacles
  • Resilience in the workplace and bouncing back from adverse situations (Luthans & Youssef-Morgan, 2017)

Job crafting interventions

Job crafting interventions – where employees design and have control over the characteristics of their work to create an optimal fit between work demands and their personal strengths – can lead to improved performance and greater work engagement (Bakker, Tims, & Derks, 2012; van Wingerden, Bakker, & Derks, 2016).

The concept of job crafting is rooted in the jobs demands–resources theory and suggests that employee motivation, engagement, and performance can be influenced by practices such as (Bakker et al., 2012):

  • Attempts to alter social job resources, such as feedback and coaching
  • Structural job resources, such as opportunities to develop at work
  • Challenging job demands, such as reducing workload and creating new projects

Job crafting is a self-initiated, proactive process by which employees change elements of their jobs to optimize the fit between their job demands and personal needs, abilities, and strengths (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001).

leadership and motivation

Today’s motivation research shows that participation is likely to lead to several positive behaviors as long as managers encourage greater engagement, motivation, and productivity while recognizing the importance of rest and work recovery.

One key factor for increasing work engagement is psychological safety (Kahn, 1990). Psychological safety allows an employee or team member to engage in interpersonal risk taking and refers to being able to bring our authentic self to work without fear of negative consequences to self-image, status, or career (Edmondson, 1999).

When employees perceive psychological safety, they are less likely to be distracted by negative emotions such as fear, which stems from worrying about controlling perceptions of managers and colleagues.

Dealing with fear also requires intense emotional regulation (Barsade, Brief, & Spataro, 2003), which takes away from the ability to fully immerse ourselves in our work tasks. The presence of psychological safety in the workplace decreases such distractions and allows employees to expend their energy toward being absorbed and attentive to work tasks.

Effective structural features, such as coaching leadership and context support, are some ways managers can initiate psychological safety in the workplace (Hackman, 1987). Leaders’ behavior can significantly influence how employees behave and lead to greater trust (Tyler & Lind, 1992).

Supportive, coaching-oriented, and non-defensive responses to employee concerns and questions can lead to heightened feelings of safety and ensure the presence of vital psychological capital.

Another essential factor for increasing work engagement and motivation is the balance between employees’ job demands and resources.

Job demands can stem from time pressures, physical demands, high priority, and shift work and are not necessarily detrimental. High job demands and high resources can both increase engagement, but it is important that employees perceive that they are in balance, with sufficient resources to deal with their work demands (Crawford, LePine, & Rich, 2010).

Challenging demands can be very motivating, energizing employees to achieve their goals and stimulating their personal growth. Still, they also require that employees be more attentive and absorbed and direct more energy toward their work (Bakker & Demerouti, 2014).

Unfortunately, when employees perceive that they do not have enough control to tackle these challenging demands, the same high demands will be experienced as very depleting (Karasek, 1979).

This sense of perceived control can be increased with sufficient resources like managerial and peer support and, like the effects of psychological safety, can ensure that employees are not hindered by distraction that can limit their attention, absorption, and energy.

The job demands–resources occupational stress model suggests that job demands that force employees to be attentive and absorbed can be depleting if not coupled with adequate resources, and shows how sufficient resources allow employees to sustain a positive level of engagement that does not eventually lead to discouragement or burnout (Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001).

And last but not least, another set of factors that are critical for increasing work engagement involves core self-evaluations and self-concept (Judge & Bono, 2001). Efficacy, self-esteem, locus of control, identity, and perceived social impact may be critical drivers of an individual’s psychological availability, as evident in the attention, absorption, and energy directed toward their work.

Self-esteem and efficacy are enhanced by increasing employees’ general confidence in their abilities, which in turn assists in making them feel secure about themselves and, therefore, more motivated and engaged in their work (Crawford et al., 2010).

Social impact, in particular, has become increasingly important in the growing tendency for employees to seek out meaningful work. One such example is the MBA Oath created by 25 graduating Harvard business students pledging to lead professional careers marked with integrity and ethics:

The MBA oath

“As a business leader, I recognize my role in society.

My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone.

My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and tomorrow. Therefore, I promise that:

  • I will manage my enterprise with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society.
  • I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my enterprise.
  • I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.
  • I will protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my enterprise, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.
  • I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.
  • I will report the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
  • I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust, and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards. This oath, I make freely, and upon my honor.”

Job crafting is the process of personalizing work to better align with one’s strengths, values, and interests (Tims & Bakker, 2010).

Any job, at any level can be ‘crafted,’ and a well-crafted job offers more autonomy, deeper engagement and improved overall wellbeing.

There are three types of job crafting:

  • Task crafting involves adding or removing tasks, spending more or less time on certain tasks, or redesigning tasks so that they better align with your core strengths (Berg et al., 2013).
  • Relational crafting includes building, reframing, and adapting relationships to foster meaningfulness (Berg et al., 2013).
  • Cognitive crafting defines how we think about our jobs, including how we perceive tasks and the meaning behind them.

If you would like to guide others through their own unique job crafting journey, our set of Job Crafting Manuals (PDF) offer a ready-made 7-session coaching trajectory.

presentation about motivation at work

Prosocial motivation is an important driver behind many individual and collective accomplishments at work.

It is a strong predictor of persistence, performance, and productivity when accompanied by intrinsic motivation. Prosocial motivation was also indicative of more affiliative citizenship behaviors when it was accompanied by motivation toward impression management motivation and was a stronger predictor of job performance when managers were perceived as trustworthy (Ciulla, 2000).

On a day-to-day basis most jobs can’t fill the tall order of making the world better, but particular incidents at work have meaning because you make a valuable contribution or you are able to genuinely help someone in need.

J. B. Ciulla

Prosocial motivation was shown to enhance the creativity of intrinsically motivated employees, the performance of employees with high core self-evaluations, and the performance evaluations of proactive employees. The psychological mechanisms that enable this are the importance placed on task significance, encouraging perspective taking, and fostering social emotions of anticipated guilt and gratitude (Ciulla, 2000).

Some argue that organizations whose products and services contribute to positive human growth are examples of what constitutes good business (Csíkszentmihályi, 2004). Businesses with a soul are those enterprises where employees experience deep engagement and develop greater complexity.

In these unique environments, employees are provided opportunities to do what they do best. In return, their organizations reap the benefits of higher productivity and lower turnover, as well as greater profit, customer satisfaction, and workplace safety. Most importantly, however, the level of engagement, involvement, or degree to which employees are positively stretched contributes to the experience of wellbeing at work (Csíkszentmihályi, 2004).

presentation about motivation at work

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Daniel Pink (2011) argues that when it comes to motivation, management is the problem, not the solution, as it represents antiquated notions of what motivates people. He claims that even the most sophisticated forms of empowering employees and providing flexibility are no more than civilized forms of control.

He gives an example of companies that fall under the umbrella of what is known as results-only work environments (ROWEs), which allow all their employees to work whenever and wherever they want as long their work gets done.

Valuing results rather than face time can change the cultural definition of a successful worker by challenging the notion that long hours and constant availability signal commitment (Kelly, Moen, & Tranby, 2011).

Studies show that ROWEs can increase employees’ control over their work schedule; improve work–life fit; positively affect employees’ sleep duration, energy levels, self-reported health, and exercise; and decrease tobacco and alcohol use (Moen, Kelly, & Lam, 2013; Moen, Kelly, Tranby, & Huang, 2011).

Perhaps this type of solution sounds overly ambitious, and many traditional working environments are not ready for such drastic changes. Nevertheless, it is hard to ignore the quickly amassing evidence that work environments that offer autonomy, opportunities for growth, and pursuit of meaning are good for our health, our souls, and our society.

Leave us your thoughts on this topic.

Related reading: Motivation in Education: What It Takes to Motivate Our Kids

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Laloni Everitt

Good and helpful study thank you. It will help achieving goals for my clients. Thank you for this information

Olivera novitović, PhD

A lot of data is really given. Validation is correct. The next step is the exchange of knowledge in order to create an optimal model of motivation.


A good article, thank you for sharing. The views and work by the likes of Daniel Pink, Dan Ariely, Barry Schwartz etc have really got me questioning and reflecting on my own views on workplace motivation. There are far too many organisations and leaders who continue to rely on hedonic principles for motivation (until recently, myself included!!). An excellent book which shares these modern views is ‘Primed to Perform’ by Doshi and McGregor (2015). Based on the earlier work of Deci and Ryan’s self determination theory the book explores the principle of ‘why people work, determines how well they work’. A easy to read and enjoyable book that offers a very practical way of applying in the workplace.

Annelé Venter

Thanks for mentioning that. Sounds like a good read.

All the best, Annelé

Ida H Rivera

Motivation – a piece of art every manager should obtain and remember by heart and continue to embrace.

Sanjay Patil

Exceptionally good write-up on the subject applicable for personal and professional betterment. Simplified theorem appeals to think and learn at least one thing that means an inspiration to the reader. I appreciate your efforts through this contributive work.

Nelson Guevara

Excelente artículo sobre motivación. Me inspira. Gracias


Very helpful for everyone studying motivation right now! It’s brilliant the way it’s witten and also brought to the reader. Thank you.

Robyn Walshe

Such a brilliant piece! A super coverage of existing theories clearly written. It serves as an excellent overview (or reminder for those of us who once knew the older stuff by heart!) Thank you!

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Work motivation: what it is and why it is important

man in a blue shirt with a headset smiling at his laptop

It is easy to believe that motivation is a feeling that shows up when we need to perform, leaving us waiting for that magical sensation to appear. When it doesn’t, we’re left to blame all of our missed deadlines or wishes for the lack of it.

So what is motivation?

What is motivation?

Motivation is the driving force that propels us toward something we need or care about. It could be as small as a dry throat motivating you to get a glass of water to calm your thirst. It could be as big as a commitment to a friend to do an Ironman together motivating you to swim in the bay before dawn every day. In this way, motivation is a force that spurs us to action and to see things through to completion. 

Motivation is how we get things done when we have an objective we care about. That sounds logical and easy, except that we are also exceptionally good at losing motivation, even when we know we need something.

Types of motivation

Though there are many types of motivation , they generally fall under one of two categories: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation

Also known as “carrot and stick” motivation, extrinsic motivators are external . They can be rewards such as money, or avoiding negative impact such as losing your job. With extrinsic motivation, we have little to no control over the  positive or negative consequences themselves. But we are motivated to manage the areas we do have control over to either gain or avoid these consequences.

Intrinsic motivation

When we are intrinsically motivated , we complete a task for the enjoyment or feeling of satisfaction we get from doing so. Unlike extrinsic motivators, this type of motivation is not rewarded by external factors. The benefits of employing intrinsic motivation in the workplace include higher levels of employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

group of employees sitting outside with coffee laughing

Why is motivation important in the workplace?

On the surface, the impact of a well-motivated workforce is clear. Motivated employees are more productive. As we mentioned above, though, it goes further than that. Aside from the effectiveness of your teams, motivation is also shown to drive retention and improve company culture. 

Let’s break down the ways a motivated workplace benefits both employees and the business.

How motivation benefits the organization

  • Meet and exceed the company’s goals. Without a motivated workplace , companies could struggle to deliver on promises to customers, fail to execute daily operations, and let opportunities for the future slip away--talent will avoid demotivated workplaces.
  • Higher productivity. Happy employees experience 31 percent higher productivity. Improved employee satisfaction which can lead toward a positive growth for the company.
  • Championship. Motivated employees are often emotionally connected to their companies. Emotionally connected employees are 3 times more likely to become brand ambassadors.
  • Delighted customers. Workers put in extra effort leading to more output and better solutions. 
  • Quality. Quality improves as staff take a greater pride in their work.
  • Committed, experienced employees. A motivated workplace leads to higher level of staff retention and reduced turnover.

How motivation benefits the individual 

  • Self-efficacy and confidence in one’s ability to succeed at challenging work tasks
  • Increased proactivity and creativity
  • Optimism and positive attributions about the future of one’s career or company
  • Hope and redirecting paths to work goals in the face of obstacles
  • Resilience in the workplace and bouncing back from adverse situations

How meaning impacts motivation

Motivation is all the factors that encourage individuals to be committed to and interested in doing something over time. The feeling of intense interest and desire to act can be momentary. It lets you know you are going in the right direction, but the different aspects that drove you to feel that way are the ones that will maintain your actions. 

These factors can be different from one person to another. Find them by answering these questions:

  • What do I value?
  • Why do I value it?
  • What makes me feel vital?
  • What makes me feel committed?
  • What makes what I am doing purposeful? 

In coaching, I have come across many people who didn’t feel motivated at work. The first symptom was a sense of loss of meaning. So when we face demotivation in the workplace, we need to start by asking what the value behind the task is.

Motivation is highly related to the meaning we assign to what we are doing. Many times that meaning is not related to the immediate results of our work or to the specific task. We assign meaning based on a larger outcome or bigger purpose we see in the work. 

For example, you can feel passionate about building your own business but also dislike marketing activities. You might be highly motivated to do unpleasant marketing tasks because you know how much your business growth will depend on them. Connecting the task of promoting your business to your goal of growing it, and reminding yourself of that connection, can keep you going with better energy and attitude. 

When employees don’t feel as committed or connected to part of something important , when they can’t relate to the mission of the company or simply can’t see the importance of their role at a bigger scale, they often lose motivation.

motivated man working at computer in bright home office

Most common causes of workplace demotivation

Some of the most common demotivators at work are fairly mundane and even trivial. They seem addressable but the degree to which they are experienced is symptomatic of a larger disconnect in purpose , meaning, and values.

  • Micromanagement
  • Lack of progress or growth opportunities 
  • Job insecurity 
  • No confidence in company leadership
  • Poor communication
  • Unpleasant coworkers
  • Boredom  

Although all of these factors are huge motivation killers, they are likely to affect us less when the person feels a deeper connection to what they do.

Notice also what isn’t on the list of demotivators:  “difficult projects,” “ambiguity and uncertainty,” “long hours,” and “high expectations.” Although these factors can create stress for the individual, it is the type of stress that facilitates growth and learning . As long as the work or outcome is somewhat interesting or important to the individual, challenges, complexity, and stretch assignments tend to be far more motivating than easy or predefined work.  

Tapping into individual motivation through curiosity, desire to make more impact, and inclination to connect with others on something larger than themselves creates a vitality that benefits both the organization and the individual.

How to increase self-motivation at work

1. renew your motivation.

Motivation needs to be refreshed , sometimes daily. When we don’t get an immediate reward, or experience pleasure by avoiding a tedious task, it is important to remind ourselves why what we are doing is relevant or contributes to something more relevant. How? Take it to the next level and always find the bigger purpose. Focus on quality

2. Be aware of the value of your work and what it reflects about you

Take pride in your craftsmanship, even when the situation prioritizes quantity--make your work the best it can be in the circumstances. Many times, we set countable goals, such as finishing 20 invoices. When we do so, we focus only on reaching the number and are less likely to pay attention to what we are doing and enjoying the process. 

3. Let role models inspire you

Having someone we look up to can be a powerful way to get motivated. However, it can also be frustrating if we only focus on what they accomplished and forget the HOW. Don’t envy the person; don’t idealize. Learn more about what took them where they are and let them inspire you. Whether they are a co-worker or a famous CEO, learn their stories.

4. Organize your goals

It may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget to break down our goals into manageable actions . Smaller, frequent wins can create momentum as long as they are meaningful and clearly point toward the longer-term objective. Especially when we have too much on our plate, we tend to lose focus of what and why exactly we are doing things. To stay connected to your goal, you must have a clear vision of how every step you take is taking you closer. 

5. Harness your self-compassion

Few things can diminish motivation faster than self-doubt and negative self-talk . We cannot get everything right all the time. So try to be kind to yourself when mistakes happen.

diverse group of coworkers chatting at a desk

How to motivate employees

Keeping yourself motivated is its own challenge. Trying to motivate employees and teams is quite another. It takes a specific skillset and the ability to leverage a variety of leadership skills. Here are eight tips for motivating your team through both uncertain and more predictable landscapes.

1. Demonstrate interest

Ask, listen, and deliver. If you want to motivate a team member, ask them what they care about. What do they need to feel included? For your employees to feel heard, it is not enough for you to ask questions but to actually listen, provide feedback and demonstrate with actions that you take into account. 

2. Coach and support

When employees don’t need to worry about controlling the perceptions of managers and colleagues, they are more likely to openly ask for feedback and provide feedback. The energy of freely working together without politics or maneuvering is incredibly rewarding and motivating. Coaching leadership and context support, promote psychological safety in the workplace. This allows you to create a trust-based relationship with your employees, thus increasing satisfaction and motivation for both sides. 

3. Value individual and team contributions at a broader level

Raise awareness of the impact each team member has at a bigger level by talking about how their work influenced the management goals, for example. How is every role related to accomplishing the company’s mission? Ask them questions that generate reflection and facilitate a broader view of how their actions impact and contribute to the global operation of the company.

4. Build a positive work environment

Both motivation and demotivation can be contagious. Create a positive environment by setting an example. Say hello to everyone, ask them about their families, make jokes, bring appetizers to the meetings, and be vigilant about maintaining your own authentic enthusiasm and motivation. It is okay to dip or be discouraged occasionally, but model for your team how you continue to find your own motivation.

5. Be aware of your employees and their well-being within the company

Encourage your team members to work together and support each other. Help them see how they can benefit from learning from their colleagues and coaching each other, with healthy competition.

6. Empower your employees

Trust them and motivate them to take some initiative. Allow them to bring ideas and give them the freedom to make decisions without having to consult you, always leaving the door open for questions and coaching. Invite them to the planning and goal-setting process . 

7. Address employees' quality of life

Support work-life balance by knowing your employees and letting them put their family and health as a priority. If someone asks to arrive late to attend their daughter's recital or to attend a medical appointment, say yes. Thankful employees are more likely to overachieve.  On the other hand, make sure that the demands are challenging enough to avoid boredom but feasible enough to allow your employees to have a life after work. 

8. Invest in career pathing

Make every step meaningful. Whether to learn or to apply for a promotion, your employee should feel that everything they are doing will translate into growth, experience, and mobility . Make sure you have talked to them about their future and to coach them into turning work into a learning process that feels meaningful.

Am I motivating my employees enough?

One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your motivation techniques is by frequently asking yourself some questions about your team:

  • Are they taking the initiative?
  • Are they united as a team?
  • Do they provide feedback?
  • Do they show interest and engagement during meetings?

Other, more traditional, ways to measure motivation can be informative but are often lagging measures. By the time you see them, it’s too late. However, they can still provide insight that helps you understand the full picture.

How to measure work motivation

These formal ways to understand and shape motivation include:

  • Performance reviews . They will not only allow you to measure performance but to motivate them by going through the details of what is working for them and what isn’t. They are also a great opportunity to talk about the impact of their work and understand what they value and what makes them feel motivated. 
  • Employee motivation and engagement surveys . When anonymously answered, they tend to be a great reflection of the workplace environment. Combining a quantitative questionnaire and some open questions will allow you to pick up a good sample of what your employees' motivation and engagement stand at.
  • Employee turnover and absenteeism. Are you having a high rate of employee turnover or absenteeism ? These two important metrics raise flags that reflect the motivation and satisfaction of our workforce. 

Sustaining workplace motivation

Measuring your employee motivation and your own level of drive at work is the first step. Once you have a baseline, you can put some of these initiatives into practice to embrace a culture of motivation. Though workplace motivation is not a constant –– everyone has tough days –– being mindful and proactive in your approach will set you and your team up for long-term success.

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Why the secret to great coaching lies in motivation

What causes a lack of motivation plus 9 tips to get it back, goal-setting theory: why it’s important, and how to use it at work, what moves you understanding motivation is your key to success, 10 exciting career change ideas (with salaries), work ethics: 5 tips for managers to develop strong teams, motivation and inspiration: examples in life and work, ready to be inspired here are 11 self-motivation examples, how motivation works in the brain: exploring the science, similar articles, how building trust is the true secret to motivating sales teams, what are work values identify yours and learn what they mean, how to handle a lack of motivation at work, no motivation to work: 7 tips to find motivation again, what is intrinsic motivation definition and examples, a guide for using motivation to achieve goals, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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A Simple Guide to Motivating People at Work [SlideShare]

Lindsay Kolowich Cox

Updated: October 17, 2022

Published: May 02, 2016


Motivated employees aren't just a joy to be around at work. They also perform better, are more productive, and contribute to higher morale. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are costly -- both in terms of pay and team morale.

presentation about motivation at work

But every leader knows that motivating their team is hard. In fact, 30% of executives say that motivating their employees is actually their toughest job.

While money is certainly a plus, there are other motivators out there that matter just as much -- including autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Check out the SlideShare below from WeekDone to learn six effective employee motivators and how exactly to implement them with your own team. (And if you're the one who's unmotivated, read this blog post for seven ways to get motivated at work again .)

What other tips do you have for motivating your team? Share with us in the comments.

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How to deliver a motivational presentation.

presentation about motivation at work

1. Tap into your passion. It is always good to believe what you are saying, but in a motivational talk it is essential. Why is this important? How has it impacted you personally, or your team or your family? What emotions do you have that you could use to fuel your delivery? If you don’t feel much you may not be able to project enough commitment. 2. Focus on what the audience stands to gain from listening and/or taking action. It is easy to get wrapped up in what this means to you, but it is also essential to remember—and stress—what it means to the listener. Put yourself in their shoes while you are creating and while you are delivering your talk. Isn’t it really about them anyway? 3. Have a powerful opening and closing, including a call to action. You must capture their attention at the beginning if you want them to pay attention and be moved. Tell a story, ask a question, or show a very short video clip. Make listeners feel something at the beginning and end. And don’t be afraid to call them to action; what is it you want them to do? Donate money? Work harder? Run a 10K for charity? Don’t hesitate to spell it out. 4. Take advantage of storytelling and human interest aspects. We love stories, especially when the hero faces a big challenge and eventually wins the day. Make sure your story uses names, places and dialog to paint a compelling picture. Build some drama, then bam! A strong close. 5. Use quotes, video clips, music and photos to create atmosphere and emotional pull. Facts and figures are fine, but add in some color and emotion. What have others said? Show, don’t just tell what happened. Capture real faces and people’s actual words. Add some humor if you can. 6. Don’t read your slides; instead, engage the audience in a conversation. Ask them a few well-chosen questions to foster engagement. Break away from slides to add your reactions. Or consider skipping the slides altogether, and tell the story in your own words. 7. Include rational arguments and pertinent facts to balance emotional appeal. Emotions are going to be powerful in a motivational talk, but you still need logic. Don’t go crazy with facts, but choose the ones that make the most impact. Cite reputable sources for your facts. Put just a few facts on your slides. Or consider using an attractive infographic just this once. 8. Script and rehearse thoroughly. Don’t trust this one to luck! Get a small audience to rehearse with you and go over it enough times, start to finish, that you feel it is fluent (but not memorized.) If it is going to be recorded, then rehearse some more so that you feel it is truly polished and you are confident that you can speak from start to finish without a break. 9. Time it carefully so it doesn’t become a ramble. TED Talks are about 18 minutes long, or shorter, so they are generally highly polished gems. Use a timer in each of your rehearsals so you know you are keeping to your time frame. Longer isn’t better in a motivational talk. 10. Get an unbiased second opinion of your logic and persuasion. Remember that small group that was there to help you rehearse? Choose people that will challenge you. Where is your logic weak? Which stories miss the mark? Where are the big moments you want to stress, maybe slow down? Is your opening as tight and impactful as possible? Does your closing hit the mark? And how are you at answering key questions? All these should be part of your rehearsal. Don’t take this feedback personally; just keep polishing that motivational talk until it shines. Motivational talks may be more demanding, and may take more time, but a great leader learns how to deliver them well.

Consider this your stretch assignment; in the next 30 days do a motivational talk and follow these guidelines to make the most of the opportunity.

presentation about motivation at work

Gail Zack Anderson

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Inside Thomson Reuters

20 ways employees at Thomson Reuters are motivated by their work

Discover the aspects of working at Thomson Reuters that motivate employees

presentation about motivation at work

Motivation is a key component to unlocking and achieving true potential, but motivational triggers vary from person to person. So how do you create a work environment where all employees feel motivated and energized? At Thomson Reuters, we encourage our employees to be curious and challenge the status quo. We also focus on ensuring we have an environment of trust and openness, where our employees can feel safe to take interpersonal and ideational risks. 

1.     The chance to make an impact 

“It is important that I am part of something that is bigger than myself.  I seek out ways to contribute to important projects that provide me with a sense of ownership both in my own work and my overall work environment.  Making an impact in this industry and in customer’s lives is motivating.”

- Sejal Amin, VP of Corporate Tax Technology | Hoboken, NJ, USA

2.     Learning something new

“Learning is what I love about my job the most, and I would do it even if I didn't get paid. This isn't just about the technology, although I love that too, for me it's also about finding ways to be more effective. I always want to see what's around the next corner, and having the freedom to apply that learning to the work I do every day has been one of the best parts of working at TR.”  

- Matt Buckley, Director of Barossa Technology | Exmouth, UK

3.     Finding innovative solutions

“Finding innovative ways of approaching a problem or helping the team solve an issue is my creative outlet. I love thinking up fresh solutions or designs. I also like to be challenged to help make them more effective or providing inspiration to pivot to a new idea. It's exciting to see customers using something we only initially imagined in our minds.”

– Ian Stuart, Senior Product Manager | Melbourne, AU

4.     Staying curious

“Every day brings something new and different and that surprise is motivating to me.  I like learning new things that I never could have imagined I would have encountered or comprehended.”

– Claire Crossman, Director of Product Management | Hoboken, NJ, USA  

5.     Working with great people in a great culture  

“Throughout my tenure at TR I have worked with great colleagues. I can't stress enough about the culture we have which acts as a catalyst to innovate, try new things, not to be afraid of failures. I'm challenged and at the same time encouraged to find creative ways to solve problems. I'm grateful to the great leaders we have who inspire me every day to be passionate and to love my job.”

– Sathya Venuraju, Senior Manager of Software Engineering | Carrollton, TX, USA   

6.     Having fun

“The work we do is complex and never-ending, but every call or meeting, even the tough ones, are always dotted with a personal connection, laughter and a bit of fun. We spend the majority of our time in the office, we should enjoy it.”

– Christine Imaizumi, Manager of User Experience | Carrollton, TX, USA

7.     Continuous improvement

“As different parts of our application and infrastructure mature, we’re more able to understand where we can most profitably apply effort.  We can choose long-term solutions over short-term fixes.  As we fix each problem, we’re more stable, more predictable and more able to identify the next target.  We’re demonstrably trending towards a better and more productive state.”

– Stephen Fletcher, Manager | Exmouth, UK

8.     Having flexibility  

“The value that embracing flexible working practices brings to the lives of TR employees should not be underestimated.  Work is such a big part of everyone's life but is always balanced with home life.  I've written previously about the advantages that flexible working brings to both TR and its employees - it's a two-way benefit.  I have no doubt that my motivation to work here and deliver results has been hugely influenced by this.”

– Stuart Morris, Technical Business Analyst | London, UK

9.     Sharing knowledge and helping others succeed

“I really appreciate how open we are about what we learn, and how we try to push our knowledge out beyond the team. Doing demos, writing documents, getting up on-stage at user groups... I love that stuff.”

- Cariad Eccleston, Lead Software Engineer | Exmouth, UK

10.  Techi-ness

“There is no denying I'm a techie at heart. No amount of management can take that out of me. At work every day, the sheer amount of technology that I am exposed to, drives me in ways none of the other factors can.”

– Srikanth Subramanian, Senior Manager of Technology | Carrollton, TX, USA

11.  Great colleagues who consistently challenge the status quo

“My colleagues are a motivation to come into work every day as they consistently try to challenge the way things are done. We always end up storming on how to better do things and it always leads to productive discussions.”

 – Suchit Subramanian, Lead Software Engineer | Hyderabad, IN

12.  Solving puzzles

“Life is one big puzzle. I have always enjoyed knowing how and why things work. Once I learn how something works, I can use it more effectively. There is also always a pleasure in seeing things that are thoughtfully well made. And learning from them and applying it your own creations.”

- Kevin Happe, Software Architect | Carrollton, TX, USA

13.  Empowering others

“Nothing gets me going more than the satisfaction I get from being able to empower someone. Be it encouraging a coworker to adapt to change, removing impediments for the team, building a better software to empower our customer achieve their goals… everything excites me.”

– Sayra Shahlin, Scrum Master | Carrollton, TX, USA

14.  The feeling of progress

“I would like to have a vision of the career progress path, so I can work towards it. The organization gives us resources to determine what we all can achieve and what we need to accomplish our goals is the most important thing for me.”

– Prabha Karavadi, Lead Software Engineer | Carrollton, TX, USA

15.  Giving back to the community

“When not at work or with my family, the thing that I enjoy doing the most is volunteering my time to help others. It is a dream come true when passion meets work. I derive a lot of pride and satisfaction working for a company that aims to make a difference in the world and in the lives of the not so privileged, like the work of the  Thomson Reuters Foundation . Thomson Reuters provides me with so many avenues to give back to the community.”

– Sangeetha Anand, Agile Transformation Coach and Project Manager | Carrollton, TX, USA

16.  Self-actualization

“I enjoy applying my talents to a greater good. Always learning new things and sharing my experiences with others is very satisfying. I love delivering valuable solutions to customers, and feeling a part of the development process.”

– Mike Oransky, Senior Manager of Technology | Carrollton, TX, USA

17.  Sense of belonging

“Sense of belonging is a human need just like food and shelter. The fact that I am a part of an organization which promotes a strong work ethic always makes me want to contribute more towards the common goal of the company and the team. If the company cares about the well-being of employees, I as an employee feel like giving my 100% to achieve the common goal we share in the organization.”

– Paridhi Dixit, Senior Software Engineer | Carrollton, TX, USA

18.  A great work environment

“The workplace environment often has the biggest impact on how motivated you are at work. You thrive when you are part of an upbeat, supportive environment that gets you "in the zone" that you need to be in so that you succeed. That’s exactly what TR offers me here! I fortunately have a support team that helps motivate me and encourages me to be better at what I do.”

– Sneha Panesar, Senior Business Analyst | Hoboken, NJ, USA

19.  The challenge

“A good challenge that I can sink my teeth into will not only get me up in the morning, but will keep me engaged well into the night as well.  One downside to this, is that the challenge will also keep me up through the night as well, but that's a different challenge of its own.  I've found that its less important about my interest in the challenge as the challenge itself! This transcends work and motivates my life in innumerable ways.”

- Bill Ibbetson, Senior Director of Technology | Lake Oswego, OR, USA  

20.  Family

“I think this is a consistent theme. I have an awesome wife who supports me with all the crazy work/travel/sports/non-profit work that I get myself into! My kids, both girls, 9 and 8 are smart, curious and inquisitive all the time to the point where I had to get an Echo to divert some of the questions to :-) When I have an important presentation to deliver, my family is usually my first audience! Being excited about the work that me and my wife do is a very important attribute for them to see and model their future lives around.”

– Ravikumar Nemalikanti , Senior Director of Technology | Carrollton, TX, USA 

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Stages // require(['jquery'], function ($) { $(document).ready(function () { //removes paginator if items are less than selected items per page var paginator = $("#limiter :selected").text(); var itemsPerPage = parseInt(paginator); var itemsCount = $(".products.list.items.product-items.sli_container").children().length; if (itemsCount ? ’Stages’ here means the number of divisions or graphic elements in the slide. For example, if you want a 4 piece puzzle slide, you can search for the word ‘puzzles’ and then select 4 ‘Stages’ here. We have categorized all our content according to the number of ‘Stages’ to make it easier for you to refine the results.

Category // require(['jquery'], function ($) { $(document).ready(function () { //removes paginator if items are less than selected items per page var paginator = $("#limiter :selected").text(); var itemsperpage = parseint(paginator); var itemscount = $(".products.list.items.product-items.sli_container").children().length; if (itemscount.

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Presenting Motivation in a Presentation

How to Show Motivation in a Presentation [concept visualization]

Last Updated on April 7, 2024 by Rosemary

Do you need to explain the motivation concept? Do you know some interesting ways to capture certain facets of motivation through concept pictures? If you are uncertain, we can help! We gathered visualization ideas on how you can illustrate motivation in your presentation. 

Explore our Business Performance PPT Reports category on the website for more resources to boost your presentation impact.

If you want your audience to remember your message, add some motivational eye-catching graphics to make your slides look more persuasive. Let’s begin our digital journey and think about what is usually associated with the motivation concept.

Expressing the motivation concept ideas with outline style symbols

Motivation concept icons symbols outline for PowerPoint

Above we suggest several icon examples from our elegant outline icons collection. In particular, our Outline PowerPoint Icons collection contains reward symbols and personal recognition graphics. Use them to make your presentation more engaged:

  • trophy, win cup , and medal as a motivating item by rewarding 
  • carrot and stick as a metaphor for the use of a combination of reward and punishment
  • ladder icon showing personal development e.g. getting to a higher position 
  • hand with reward star highlighting personal recognition
  • hands icon holding the diamond and win the cup as helpful motivation tools by rewarding 

Design-neutral motivation concept graphics

Motivation concept icons symbols flat for PowerPoint

Below there are icon examples from our style-neutral flat icons collection. It features a variety of different approaches to representing motivation. Win cups, award stars, and diamond symbols are often associated with motivation concepts.

  • recognition symbols as stars and win cup
  • male/female figure presenting a motivational speech
  • a person with arrow icon illustrated a motivated person with rising morale

Unique hand-drawn motivation icons collection

Motivation concept icons symbols scribble for PowerPoint

If you want to be more creative and personal, use hand-drawn symbols for showing the executive summary ideas. The scribbled diamond or star icon, as well as the finish line, is perfect for showing the concept of motivation in your PPT. See the specific visuals below:

  • star and diamond images as increasing motivation for the rewards and successes 
  • money and dollar icons encouraging material motivation to win
  • finish line as completion of the task or project 
  • male/female figure holding an award star and present as a good motivation to succeed 

We hope you find some inspiration from those icon ideas to express the concept of motivation!

If you like the suggested icons, you can get them from infoDiagram library. The best way to get them is by  joining subscription access to PPT graphics here . It will allow you to download these symbols, and graphics from any presentation deck you find on the website.

For more inspiration, subscribe to our YouTube channel:

More concept icons ideas

Need to show another concept in a presentation? Change, Engagement, Equality, Status you name it. Check our blog  Ultimate List of Business Concepts Visualization  to get inspired.

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Advice for the Unmotivated

  • Robin Abrahams
  • Boris Groysberg

presentation about motivation at work

How to reignite your enthusiasm for work

Employee disengagement is rampant in the workplace. We’ve all experienced it as customers encountering unhelpful retail clerks and as colleagues dealing with apathetic teammates. But what happens when you yourself feel dead at work?

This article describes what you as an individual can do to sustain your motivation or recover it, even in the most stultifying of jobs. After synthesizing research on this challenge and experimenting with various strategies, the authors have developed a process for recharging yourself called DEAR.

The first step is to detach and objectively analyze your situation so that you can make wise choices about it, instead of reacting in a fight-or-flight way. At day’s end, review what went well at your job and then mentally disconnect from it to give yourself a break. Meditation and exercise can help you do that and will improve your mood and cognitive function. Next, show empathy. Practice self-care, make friends, recognize the accomplishments of others, seek their views, and help them. Research shows that this combats burnout. Third, take action: achieve small wins, invest in rewarding outside activities, redefine your responsibilities, and turn uninteresting tasks into games. Ask yourself how someone you admire would behave in your situation, and dress in a way that projects confidence. Last, reframe your thinking: Focus on the informal roles you enjoy at work, your job’s higher-order purpose, and how others benefit from your work. All these techniques will improve your mental health and increase the energy you bring to your job—even if it is not what you’d like it to be.

In virtually everyone’s career, there comes a time when motivation and interest vanish. The usual tasks feel tedious. It’s hard to muster the energy for new projects. Though we go through the motions of being good employees or managers, we’re not really “there.” We become ghosts or zombies: the working dead.

  • Robin Abrahams is a research associate at Harvard Business School.
  • BG Boris Groysberg is a professor of business administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School and a faculty affiliate at the school’s Race, Gender & Equity Initiative. He is the coauthor, with Colleen Ammerman, of Glass Half-Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021). bgroysberg

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Employee Motivational Meeting

Employee motivational meeting presentation, free google slides theme and powerpoint template.

Bring a touch of motivation to your next team meeting with this cool template. This template pairs a professional minimalistic design with fun, simple illustrations that spark energy and enthusiasm. With easy-to-follow sections for goal setting, team recognition, and problem-solving, it ensures every aspect of your meeting is covered efficiently. It's ideal for motivating your team, fostering better collaboration, and promoting work satisfaction. Let this useful tool light up your business gatherings!

Features of this template

  • 100% editable and easy to modify
  • 20 different slides to impress your audience
  • Contains easy-to-edit graphics such as graphs, maps, tables, timelines and mockups
  • Includes 500+ icons and Flaticon’s extension for customizing your slides
  • Designed to be used in Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint
  • 16:9 widescreen format suitable for all types of screens
  • Includes information about fonts, colors, and credits of the resources used

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A Harvard Medical School professor with ADHD shares how he retrained his brain for deep work and reached peak productivity

  • Dr. Jeffery Karp grew up with undiagnosed ADHD, struggling to focus and answer questions in class.
  • Using two tactics to retrain his brain, Karp gained confidence and pursued a career in academia. 
  • The MIT and Harvard professor shares the benefits of working in a flow state in his new book .

Insider Today

As a professor at Harvard Medical School and MIT, I am very lucky; I get to learn from and collaborate with some of the most innovative minds in the world of medicine, science, and technology. But I was not "supposed" to be here. No one would have predicted this for me.

Growing up with undiagnosed ADHD

When I was a kid in elementary school in rural Canada, I had the attention span of a fruit fly, and I struggled to keep up. Reading, writing, classroom discussion, and teachers' instruction — I couldn't make sense of any of it.

It wasn't just that I was distractible and my brain didn't process things in a conventional way; my mind felt completely open to just existing in the world, in a constant mind meld with the universe. It took a ton of effort for me to narrow my focus so stuff could enter, stick, and stay.

And I was an anxious kid. I couldn't relax and just be myself, feel okay as "the quirky kid" because I felt like something worse than that: an alien, a human anomaly. I realized early on that there were many things I was "supposed" to do, but none of them came naturally or seemed logical.

More troubling still was that much of it didn't feel like the right thing to do; it felt actively wrong. When a teacher asked me a question, whether on a test or in class, I typically found the question confusing and often unanswerable. The "right" answer seemed like just one of many possibilities. So, most of my school years were an exercise in trying to figure out, interpret, and fit others' expectations.

I was a puzzle for my teachers, a misfit in the conventional academic sense, and a total outcast socially. Today, with society's much greater understanding of ADHD, part of my eventual diagnosis, there are evidence-based approaches for building self-regulation skills designed for kids (and adults). But at that time and in that place, the only option was to wing it.

Sea slugs were essential in helping me retrain my brain

Over the years, I slowly gained motivation and became more persistent. I didn't know it at the time but my evolution as a learner mirrored the two fundamental concepts of how neurons change and grow — how they learn — that the neuroscientist Eric Kandel would someday identify as the basis that sea slugs and humans have in common for learning and memory: habituation and sensitization in response to repeated exposure to stimuli.

Habituation means that we become less reactive to stimuli, as you might to traffic noise outside your window. Sensitization means that our reaction is stronger, as happens when, for instance, a sound or a smell or even the thought of something becomes a trigger.

Living my own experiment, I learned to make use of both.

I discovered some basic ways to work with my brain to habituate to some stimuli (ordinary things that distracted me) and sensitize (sharpen my attention) to others to be able to reel in my wandering mind and redirect the synaptic messaging with intention. At one point, in the room where I studied there was a pinball machine next to me and a TV behind me. I learned to ignore both and used playing the pinball machine as a reward for finishing my homework.

Over time I became hyperaware of how to intentionally hijack processes in my brain this way to be less reactive or more sharply focused as needed.

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The result: I was able to focus on what seemed most purposeful, then follow through and maximize impact as opportunities opened up. I tinkered and fine-tuned until I learned how to use these powerful tools to tap into the heightened state of awareness and deep engagement that I call "lit."

What is 'lit' focus

I call it "lit" for two reasons. First, "lit" aptly describes how the flash of inspiration feels—as if a bright light flipped on in the dark. Or a spark has set your thinking ablaze. When you've had an epiphany, been awestruck, or simply been super excited, you've felt that spark. Second, "lit" is how these moments appear to the scientists who study them. Inside the brain (and in the gut as well), engaged states activate neurons. In the brain, this triggers an increase in cerebral blood flow that neuroscientists can see when they use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

On a monitor, this oxygenated blood lights up an otherwise gray image of the brain with yellow-orange hot spots of activity. Emerging science shows that this neural activation is associated not only with particular cognitive activity or emotions such as fear and anger but also with love, awe, happiness, fun, and "peak states," or flow.

In "lit" mode, we engage at the highest level of our abilities. We not only develop the mental muscles to stay focused, but we also build the confidence and the dexterity to riff off of new information on the fly.

We're more likely to use our critical thinking skills, which can keep us from blindly accepting what we're told, or told to believe, especially when our intuition says otherwise. We find it easier to connect with people, are more alive to the possibilities all around us, and are better able to capitalize upon them. In a stream of ever-replenishing energy, we're constantly learning, growing, creating, and iterating. We're building our capacity while doing our best work.

As I honed strategies that enabled me to activate my brain this way at will, I identified a dozen that were simple to use and never failed to open my thinking in just the way that was needed, whatever that was.

Whether it was to direct my attention or disrupt it, sharpen my focus or broaden it, do something stimulating or quiet my mind, these Life Ignition Tools (LIT) worked for me, and then for others as I shared them.

Practicing habits that let me access deep work has been integral to my success

Once I learned how to work with my neuroatypical, voraciously curious, but chaotic brain, I discovered infinite opportunity to question, create, and innovate as a bioengineer and entrepreneur on a global scale and help others do the same. These LIT tools took me from being a confused and frustrated kid, sidelined in a special ed classroom in rural Canada, to becoming a bioengineer and medical innovator elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's College of Fellows, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

As a professor, I've trained more than 200 people, many of whom are now professors at institutions around the world and innovators in industry; published 130 peer-reviewed papers with more than 30,000 citations; and obtained more than a hundred issued or pending national and international patents. The tools also helped me cofound 12 companies with products on the market or in development.

And finally, they've been instrumental in creating a productive, supportive, and dynamic high-energy environment in my lab, which recently morphed from Karp Lab to the Center for Accelerated Medical Innovation.

Having specific tools helped a struggling kid like me

LIT worked for this kid who appeared to show no promise and the young man who remained frustrated and discouraged for many years. Though I still struggle every day in various ways, I'm grateful to be able to say that these LIT tools enabled me to meet and far exceed those dismal early expectations.

If we want breakthroughs in science and medicine, if we want successful, disruptive innovations on all fronts to support healthier communities, and if we want to cut through the noise and focus on what is most important, we must learn how to use all of the tools in nature's playbook, our evolutionary arsenal. We must shake up our thinking — not just now and then but on a daily basis.

In practice, LIT tools make it possible for us to take anything we're hardwired for — including undesirable or unhelpful behaviors and habits — and with intention, channel the energy in them to create a positive outcome. It's easier than you might think because the more you do it, the greater the rewards, the momentum, and your impact for good.

You're never too old to charge your brain this way, and most definitely no one is ever too young. In fact, LIT tools can be lifesavers for kids, as they were for me.

Adapted from LIT: Use Nature's Playbook to Energize Your Brain, Spark Ideas, and Ignite Action by Jeff Karp, PhD, published by William Morrow. Copyright © 2024 by Jeffrey Michael Karp. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Watch: Accenture CMO Jill Kramer talks about how generative AI will enhance, not diminish, the power of marketing: video

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motivation at work

Motivation at Work

Aug 09, 2014

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Motivation at Work. Motivation Theories. Scientific Management Bureaucratic Management Human Relations Era Need Theories Goal Orientation Motivator-Hygiene Theory Job Enrichment. Scientific Management. Scientific Management (Frederick Taylor)

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  • organizational growth
  • foster employee motivation
  • container store
  • employee productivity


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Motivation Theories • Scientific Management • Bureaucratic Management • Human Relations Era • Need Theories • Goal Orientation • Motivator-Hygiene Theory • Job Enrichment

Scientific Management • Scientific Management (Frederick Taylor) • Objective is to improve the productivity of the individual worker • Develop a science for each aspect of individual’s job • Find the one best way to perform a task • Time & motion studies • “Science of shoveling” • Motivate employees through $$ • Standard amount of production is set • Going above the standard earns you more money

Bureaucratic Management • Bureaucratic Management (Max Weber) • In an industrialized economy, how can we manage organizational growth & size? • How can we make sure the overall system is supporting the organization's goals? • Reduce opportunities for individuals to take advantage of organization

Human Relations & Behavioral Era • Human Relations & Behavioral Era • Hawthorne Studies • Human behavior is not necessarily “rational” • Employee needs & attitudes influence behavior • Soliciting employee opinions contributes to feeling of importance and can lead one to work harder • Maslow, Herzberg, Hackman & Oldham

The Container Store • What is the secret of The Container Store’s success? • What does The Container Store do that sets it apart from other companies? • What evidence is provided by The Container Store’s success that organizational behavior is an important element in employee productivity and organizational profitability?

Employee Motivation • What is it? • Why is it important? • Can you influence the level of work motivation in your employees? • How? • What approaches can be considered?

What is Motivation? Motivation –the process of arousing and sustaining goal-directed behavior

Where Does It Come From? • The Person • Human Needs • Theory X and Y • Liking of the task • The Environment • Enriched Job Tasks • Goal setting interventions • Leader behavior • Group Norms and Organizational Culture

SA Esteem Lowest to highest order Love (Social) Maslow’s Needs Safety and Security Physiological

McClelland’s Needs Need for Achievement –need for excellence, competition, challenging goals, persistence, and overcoming difficulties Need for Power –need to influence others, change people or events, and make a difference in life Need for Affiliation - need for warm, close, intimate relationships with others

SAS Institue • What employee needs is SAS Institute meeting with their policies and practices? • Why does meeting these needs foster employee motivation?

What is Your Motivation Style? • Complete the motivation style self assessment – 10 minutes • Provide responses that are as honest as possible about how you approach job tasks

Goal Orientation • Refers to the goals held by a trainee in a learning situation individuals in their work situation • learning orientation – relates to trying to increase ability or competence in a task • performance orientation – refers to a focus of learners on task performance and how they compare to others • Avoid goals • Prove goals • Learning Goal orientation is associated with the highest performance

Motivation factors increase job satisfaction • Company policy and administration • Supervision • Interpersonal relations • Working conditions • Salary • Status • Security • Achievement • Achievement recognition • Work itself • Responsibility • Advancement • Growth • Salary? Hygiene factors avoid job dissatisfaction Motivation–Hygiene Theory of Motivation

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory • KITA versus “true” motivation • Short-term movement versus long-term motivation • Job enrichment is an attempt to instill an internal generator in the employee • Studies of Herzberg’s theory have included employees working in a variety of industries and jobs • Accountants, engineers, nurses, military officers, and others

Motivator Factors • Motivators • Tap needs for psychological growth • Job content: The work itself • Lead to high levels of employee motivation and satisfaction • Examples • Recognition • Responsibility • Achievement • Growth and learning

Job Enrichment Job Enrichment –designing or redesigning jobs by incorporating motivational factors into them • Emphasis on • Recognition • Responsibility • Advancement opportunity Job Enrichment

Principles of Job Enrichment • Removing some controls & retain accountability • Reduce the percentage of proofreading • Taps responsibility & achievement • Increasing employee accountability • Subordinates sign their own work • Taps responsibility & recognition • Psychological ownership

Principles of Job Enrichment (cont.) • Enabling one to become a topic expert • Taps achievement, responsibility, growth • Competence • Make organizational reports available to all • Revenue, expenses, projections, trends, customer satisfaction reports • Taps responsibility, recognition, growth

Job Enrichment Outcomes & Issues • Employees are internally motivated (internal generator) versus externally moved • Enriching jobs (Motivators) can be significantly less expensive in comparison to hygiene • Supervisors can focus more on the future (planning) as opposed to the past (checking work) • Expect initial drop in quantity of work, followed by increase in quantity and quality.

Starbucks • Why is Starbuck’s such a successful company? • What does Starbuck’s do that is motivating to employees?

Themes • What do Starbucks, SAS Institute and the Container Store have in common? • Using the following motivation theories, analyze what makes these three companies successful: • Need Theory • Herzberg’s Motivator-Hygiene Theory

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"Success That Rocks" - An Inspirational & Motivational Presentation

Posted: April 16, 2024

To launch into your summer (and life) with joy, Dr. Larry Schardt will share his acclaimed presentation, “Success That Rocks!” on Thursday, April 25, at 3:30 PM, in 108 Chambers Building.

This free presentation will give you ideas on how to add happiness and success to your life and make your world a better place. Dr. Schardt is a best-selling, award-winning author, speaker, and professor who has entertained, inspired, and motivated audiences across the United States.

All are welcome - open to staff, students, faculty, and the public. Please join Dr. Schardt as he sends you off with life-enhancing tools to propel you beyond what you learned in the classroom.

  • Snacks at 3:00 pm - provided by Sustainability Institute
  • Presentation at 3:30 pm - Thursday, April 25, 2024
  • Free admission
  • 108 Chambers Building (paid parking in the Nittany Parking Deck)

Book signing to follow - his latest best-seller - "My Runaway Summer: Peace, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll!!!

Hosted by Sustainability Institute .

Have news to include in AgSci Student News?

Subscribe or unsubscribe to student news.

How can you manage stress when talking to higher-ups at work? Ask HR

The anxiety that comes when speaking with high-ups at work is a common issue.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. tackles your human resources questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest HR professional society and author of "Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.”

Have a question? Submit it here .

Question: I occasionally brief our senior management. I get nervous when speaking to higher-level managers and executives at my job. I worry I'll get fired if I make a mistake or say something wrong. How can I address my anxiety when talking to higher-ups? – Jameer

Answer: The anxiety that comes when briefing senior management is a common concern. I commend you for actively seeking ways to address it. Here are some strategies to help:

Know your audience. Understand the priorities, expectations and interests of the senior managers you’re briefing. If you need additional clarification, consult with your manager for insights. Knowing your audience helps tailor your communication to resonate with their concerns. Taking time to know your audience personally before and after the presentation also helps humanize them and reduces anxiety.

Organize your thoughts. Define the primary goal of your brief and outline key points to keep you focused. Visual aids can convey information effectively and maintain the audience's attention. A well-organized presentation can boost your confidence.

Practice, practice, practice. Practice your presentation multiple times to familiarize yourself with the content. Research topics thoroughly and anticipate potential questions from your audience. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become in delivering your message.

Take deep breaths. Incorporate deep breathing exercises and positive affirmations to calm your nerves before the briefing. Remind yourself of the preparation you’ve done and replace negative thoughts with self-assurance.

Ask for feedback. Share your presentation with colleagues or mentors in advance. Honest opinions can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement. Record yourself to evaluate your body language and tone, making adjustments as needed. If possible, seek feedback from senior managers directly. Knowing you’re delivering the information they need will reinforce your confidence. 

Talk to your manager. If you’re worried about making a mistake and fear potential consequences, have an open and honest conversation with your manager. They can provide guidance, reassurance and support, helping to alleviate your concerns.

Tap human resources support. If anxiety persists despite your efforts, reach out to your HR department. They may offer additional tools, resources, or professional development opportunities to help you manage anxiety and enhance your presentation skills.

Remember, being anxious means you care and want to get it right. Channel your nervous energy into your preparation. When you are primed to deliver an engaging and informative presentation that the audience values, it will boost your confidence and greatly reduce your anxiety so you can successfully navigate senior management briefings. Taking proactive steps and seeking support will contribute to your professional growth.

Artificial intelligence How to use AI in the workplace? Ask HR

My career in industrial product design veered into sales and account management positions, where I have been for the last four and a half years. I am contemplating a return to product design. What should I consider in returning to my former career? – Derek

Considering a return to your former career in industrial product design is a significant decision, and careful preparation is key to ensuring a successful transition. Here are some essential considerations:

Reflect on motivation: Reflect on your motivation for returning to industrial product design. Consider the aspects you enjoyed and disliked in your previous roles. Assess how returning to product design aligns with your long-term goals, aspirations, work-life balance, and financial considerations.

Stay informed: Since your last product design position, the industry may have evolved, incorporating new technologies like artificial intelligence. Stay informed about the latest trends, tools, and practices in industrial product design. Professional associations, such as the Industrial Designers Society of America, and online networks like LinkedIn can provide valuable insights.

Fill knowledge gaps: Identify gaps in your knowledge and skills and proactively address them through training, research, and networking. Online courses, webcasts, podcasts, articles, and networking events can help you stay updated, speak the industry's latest language, and understand how technological advancements and new practices have shaped the field.

Research job landscape: Explore job boards to understand the landscape of industrial product design positions. Familiarize yourself with the latest job duties and pay ranges. Use this information to tailor your resume and cover letters, emphasizing how your experience in sales and account management has prepared you for this career change.

Highlight transferable skills: Showcase the skills and experiences gained in your sales and account management roles that are transferable to industrial product design. Emphasize accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to adapt, communicate effectively, and understand client needs – all valuable in the design process.

Seek a mentor or coach: Consider seeking guidance from a mentor or career coach who can provide support and insights as you realign your skills and abilities. Their expertise can be invaluable in navigating the challenges of transitioning back into product design.

Be prepared for adjustments: Recognize that there may be challenges or adjustments in transitioning back to product design. Be open to learning, seek feedback from your professional network, recruiters, and interviewers, and adjust your approach as needed.

Continuous learning: Approach each step of the process as a learning experience. Request feedback, consider suggestions, and adapt accordingly. Continuous learning and improvement will contribute to your success in pursuing a passion that aligns with your career goals.

Best of luck as you embark on this journey to return to industrial product design. May it bring you fulfillment and success in your chosen career path.

Workplace bully What is the best way to handle bullying at work? Ask HR

presentation about motivation at work

Inspirational Quotes to Energize and Motivate You at Work

Work can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, can’t it? From deadlines to the daily grind, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters which is doing our best and enjoying the journey.

You’ve probably found yourself reaching for that morning coffee, trying to find the motivation to make it through another workday.

We all need that extra umph sometimes to help us power through a challenging day at work.

I’ve compiled some of the best powerful inspirational quotes for work that can help you find motivation and boost your spirits on those tough days at work.

These motivational quotes act as a quick dose of inspiration when you need it the most.

They keep you focused, centred, and driven throughout your workdays.

Why Inspirational Quotes Matter

We all face those moments at work when our energy dips, and we need a little push to get back on track.

That’s where inspirational quotes come in!

They can serve as gentle reminders to help us overcome challenges, focus on our goals, and maintain a positive attitude.

If you are worried that just reading a quote won’t be enough to make a lasting impact? Don’t be! Studies have shown that reading and reciting positive affirmations can help counteract negativity and improve one’s mindset.

Think of these quotes as double espressos for your soul, giving you the boost you need to tackle deadlines, solve problems, and lead your teams.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

10 Inspiring Quotes for Work

These inspiring quotes can change your perspective and fuel your motivation:

  • “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
  • “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
  • “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player
  • “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson
  • “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
  • “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
  • “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali
  • “Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities.” – Robert

Quotes to Boost Motivation

  • “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, from Star Wars

Yes, that’s Yoda! Let his sage advice remind you to give your all in everything you do!

  • “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to succs. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

This quote shifts the perspective from success to happiness, emphasizing the importance of loving your work.

  • “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

Nightingale’s quote on determination and accountability is just what we need when the going gets tough.

Quotes for Workplace Inspiration

Now for those moments when your workplace feels like it’s swallowing you whole, take a breath and reflect on these powerful quotes that preach inspiration and teamwork.

  • “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Ford’s quote on unity speaks volumes about the power of togetherness. Great teamwork is key!

  • “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

This quote offers a good reminder that a positive attitude can impact our professional growth.

  • “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” – William Edward Hickson

Here’s a classic to remember whenever you feel like giving up. Perseverance is key!

Quotes on Productivity

When it’s crunch time, nothing beats a good productivity quote to help us stay focused and push through our tasks efficiently. Let’s take a look at some amazing quotes that promote an efficient work ethic.

  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

Twain’s wisdom is a gentle nudge to take that first step and just do it!

  • “You only have to do a few things right so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” – Warren Buffet

Buffet’s quote is a reminder to focus on what truly matters and ignore distractions at work.

1. Embrace the Power of Positivity

Let’s face it, we all have our fair share of rough days at work. But this insightful quote from Einstein reminds us to see the silver lining. Embracing a positive mindset will not only help us overcome obstacles but also fuel our creativity and productivity.

Work Hard and Make it Happen

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

Churchill’s wise words remind us that hard work and determination are crucial to achieving success. So, the next time you face a setback, dust yourself off and keep pushing forward – your perseverance will pay off!

Build a Collaborative Environment

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

This heartwarming statement by Helen Keller emphasizes the importance of teamwork. To truly achieve greatness, we need to work together with our colleagues and harness the power of collaboration.

Invest in Yourself

Steve Jobs’ quote highlights that genuine passion for what we do is the key to success. So, nurture your interests and invest in constant self-improvement to conquer new challenges and discover your true potential.

And remember, my fellow work warriors, that self-care counts as an investment too!

Keep Calm and Carry On

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin

Here, Ben Franklin teaches us a valuable lesson – don’t waste time worrying about potential problems. Instead, focus on what’s in front of you and bring a positive attitude to each task.

Dream Big and Set Goals

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

Don’t let age or circumstances hold you back from setting ambitious goals or dreaming big. As C.S. Lewis reminds us, we are in control of our lives and can achieve anything with dedication and persistence.

Be Resilient in the Face of Failure

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

Failure and change are inevitable, but as Jimmy Dean’s quote suggests, we should adapt and learn from them, rather than succumbing to defeat.

How to Use These Quotes for Daily Inspiration

Here are a few ways to turn these words into motivation that sticks.

  • Set a quote as your desktop wallpaper or phone background.
  • Write your favorite quote on a sticky note and place it somewhere visible on your desk.
  • Share a quote with a coworker, friend, or even on social media.
  • Use a quote as your email signature.
  • Create a vision board with your favorite quotes and hang it near your workspace.

Wrapping Up

Sometimes, we just need a little reminder or a gentle push from brilliant minds to help us stay focused on our goals.

Plus, motivational quotes can make complex ideas easier to digest and understand.

They have the power to inspire and motivate us, reigniting our passion for the tasks at hand.

I’ve found that these powerful snippets of wisdom always give me the strength and determination I need when I’m struggling to find motivation at work.

And I’m pretty sure they’ll do the same for you.

Inspirational Quotes to Energize and Motivate You at Work

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Scottie Scheffler Made an Awesome Gesture to His Caddie After Winning Second Career Masters

© Screengrab on Twitter/ @GolfonCBS

Scottie Scheffler Made an Awesome Gesture to His Caddie After Winning Second Career Masters

  • Author: Kristen Wong

Every captain needs a trusty right-hand man—or when it comes to the Masters, every golfer needs a trusty caddie.

When Scottie Scheffler was crowned the victor of the 88th Masters tournament at Augusta National on Sunday, he rightfully celebrated with his caddie of two years, Ted Scott. 

The 27-year-old Scheffler clinched this year’s Masters four strokes ahead of runner-up Ludvig Aberg and became the fourth-youngest golfer to win the Masters twice. Entering the final round in a three-horse race for the lead, Scheffler pulled away from the other contenders on the second nine to win his second green jacket in the past three years.

As Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, continues to forge an inimitable legacy on the greens, he can look forward to making more history with the veteran Scott by his side. After Sunday’s win, Scheffler made sure Scott wasn’t just next to him but ahead of him as the two made their way to Butler Cabin.

In an ultimate class act, Scheffler pushed Scott to the front during their victory walk and had him lead them through the crowds.

Scottie Scheffler and his caddie, Ted Scott, take their victory walk. — Golf on CBS ⛳ (@GolfonCBS) April 14, 2024
Very cool moment after Scottie Scheffler's Masters win. Scheffler had his caddie, Ted Scott, lead the way to the scoring area. You can see him holding the yellow flag. It's Ted Scott's fourth Masters title as a caddie. — Josh Berhow (@Josh_Berhow) April 14, 2024

This year marks Scott’s fourth Masters title in his caddying career, having previously won with Scheffler in 2022 and with Bubba Watson in 2012 and ‘14. 

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    Practice flourishing or connect to your sense of purpose in life and appreciate your accomplishments even during life's challenging moments. Amplify the parts of your job that you do enjoy. Try ...

  4. Employee Motivation Powerpoint Presentation Slides

    Work motivation presentation design assists users to segment and clarify the topic. This topic-oriented employee satisfaction PowerPoint template is a helpful tool to encourage long term employee retention and engagement. Besides that, presentation layout is completely customizable. You can add or delete the content as needed.

  5. Work motivation: what it is and why it is important

    How motivation benefits the individual. Self-efficacy and confidence in one's ability to succeed at challenging work tasks. Increased proactivity and creativity. Optimism and positive attributions about the future of one's career or company. Hope and redirecting paths to work goals in the face of obstacles.

  6. A Simple Guide to Motivating People at Work [SlideShare]

    A Simple Guide to Motivating People at Work [SlideShare] Motivated employees aren't just a joy to be around at work. They also perform better, are more productive, and contribute to higher morale. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are costly -- both in terms of pay and team morale. But every leader knows that motivating their team is ...

  7. Ideas about Motivation

    Make your next walk better (or even just go for a mental walk in the woods) with these rousing talks. 12 talks. Motivation for the New Year (and every day, really) The same resolutions every year -- get more sleep, eat healthier -- we know the drill. Let these talks inspire you to keep with those goals and perhaps add a few more to your list too.

  8. Purposeful Presentations: Motivating, Inspiring, and Entertaining

    The difference can be subtle and is often determined by your tone. Inspiring: Like motivating, an inspiring presentation can have elements of persuasion. The differences between motivating an ...

  9. Employee Motivation Powerpoint Presentation Slides

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  10. How to Deliver a Motivational Presentation

    7. Include rational arguments and pertinent facts to balance emotional appeal. Emotions are going to be powerful in a motivational talk, but you still need logic. Don't go crazy with facts, but choose the ones that make the most impact. Cite reputable sources for your facts. Put just a few facts on your slides.

  11. How To Stay Motivated And Be Happier At Work

    When work feels like a slog, it's hard to stay motivated. Over 15 years of coaching, I have learned that thriving at work means being able to identify, experience and amplify the rewards of a job ...

  12. 20 ways employees are motivated by their work

    4. Staying curious. "Every day brings something new and different and that surprise is motivating to me. I like learning new things that I never could have imagined I would have encountered or comprehended.". - Claire Crossman, Director of Product Management | Hoboken, NJ, USA. 5.

  13. PPT

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  14. Motivation at Work PowerPoint Presentation Slides

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  15. Motivation Powerpoint Templates and Google Slides Themes

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  16. Employee Motivation Powerpoint Presentation Slides

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  17. Motivation Presentation Template

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  18. How to Show Motivation in a Presentation [concept visualization]

    We gathered visualization ideas on how you can illustrate motivation in your presentation. Explore our Business Performance PPT Reports category on the website for more resources to boost your presentation impact. If you want your audience to remember your message, add some motivational eye-catching graphics to make your slides look more ...

  19. Motivation at Work PowerPoint Template

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  20. The top 10 most influential presentations even given

    Steve Jobs - Introducing the iPhone. Jump forward 23 years, and Steve Jobs continues to influence modern technology with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. This presentation revealed one of the most influential products of all time. It redefined the way we communicate in daily life.

  21. Advice for the Unmotivated

    Ask questions. Empathy requires curiosity about other people. Observe their behavior, listen to what they say, ask questions, and pay attention to their responses. Try to understand the differing ...

  22. Employee Motivational Meeting

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  23. A Harvard Professor With ADHD Retrained His Brain for Deep Work

    Apr 17, 2024, 2:10 AM PDT. Jeff Karp suffered from undiagnosed ADHD as a child and taught himself tricks for focused work. lijing/Getty Images. Dr. Jeffery Karp grew up with undiagnosed ADHD ...

  24. PPT

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  25. "Success That Rocks"

    This free presentation will give you ideas on how to add happiness and success to your life and make your world a better place. Dr. Schardt is a best-selling, award-winning author, speaker, and professor who has entertained, inspired, and motivated audiences across the United States.

  26. How to manage your anxiety when speaking to higher-ups at work

    Take deep breaths. Incorporate deep breathing exercises and positive affirmations to calm your nerves before the briefing. Remind yourself of the preparation you've done and replace negative ...

  27. Inspirational Quotes to Energize and Motivate You at Work

    10 Inspiring Quotes for Work. "Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life.". - Steve Jobs. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.". - Wayne Gretzky ...

  28. PDF PowerPoint Presentation

    Stronger and more consistent district-level core processes that can: Address persistent quality concerns. Reduce equity gaps. Mitigate the impact of staff turnover. Increased ability to deliver relevant technical support. Absent clear standards, difficult to provide systemic and clear supports.

  29. Scottie Scheffler Made an Awesome Gesture to His Caddie After Winning

    The 27-year-old Scheffler clinched this year's Masters four strokes ahead of runner-up Ludvig Aberg and became the fourth-youngest golfer to win the Masters twice.