Being an effective self-paced learner is an important skill to possess- I learned this during my four years at the University of Western Ontario. The top 1% were those that were self-motivated and determined. They are the students that will change the world someday because they don’t need another voice telling them to go for it.
When it comes to learning and development, hiring someone that is self-motivated is critical. This cannot be readily assessed, as new hires are, oftentimes, incredibly motivated because they want to impress their manager. The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is then blurred in the first few months of probation.
Can self-motivation be trained?
Yes! Of course, it won’t be easy to motivate an employee to take initiatives for the company’s interest, but it can be trained. Here, I’ll list four simple steps to motivate employees that seem to have lost their spark.
Step 1: Understand what interests the employee (finding that middle ground is very important). Relate that interest to the work they’re doing and how they are making an impact.
Step 2: Communicate with the employee his or her worth in the organization (this entails his or her skills, ideas, and position is to the company). Communicating someone’s value is a reminder of why they’re getting up for work every day.
Step 3: Now you need to provide enriching avenues for them to learn- preferably in an immersive and engaging environment. You can provide them leadership training, one that’s accessible to them whenever and wherever they are. Having the ability to control their schedule can go both ways, so it’s important to provide mentorship and guidance along the way.
Step 4: Follow-up with them. This is important, as the follow-up solidifies the experience and allows the employer to understand how to further train the employee. The follow-up is also a reflection period for the employee so that the employers can gain a better understanding of him or her. This then enables effective talent management.
Having self-motivated employees is important. They are the game-changers in an organization. It’s important to foster or initiate that with the proper training. When the learner is put into an environment where they control the outcome of their professional development, their self-motivation will be revealed. How a manager chooses to respond to unmotivated or motivated employees is a different story.
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