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  • Writer's picturelindsayannkohler

Our Motivation Has Plummeted. How We Want Employers To Help

This article originally appeared on Forbes on August 7, 2020.

2020 has tested everyone's resilience. The traumatic events of the first three months of the year — threats of war, fires, Covid-19 — were then compounded by a social inequality uprising with a call for change that challenged us all to face uncomfortable truths. Now, as a coming recession looms and we continue to deal with the emotional toll of living with new forms of background stress, we are also somehow expected to do our jobs well in a new environment that's not optimized for productivity.

Is it any wonder that employee motivation and morale have taken a hit?

Motivation and morale are different, and improving either means understanding that nuance. For example, you can be highly motivated — yet have low morale. Briefly, motivation is about our belief in our ability to do something; that “something” will then have value or impact; and that completing it provides a reward. Morale is more about our confidence, enthusiasm and how positive we are feeling.

A company's success is largely determined by the efforts and actions of its people. It's no secret that there is a positive correlation between motivated employees and their subsequent improved performance at work. Much as we may want to bury our heads in the sand and wait for 2020 to pass, a more productive way forward is to take action. Some factors are more responsible than others for negatively impacting morale and motivation. Let's look at those in turn — and see what employers can do to help. Read the rest on Forbes.

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