Written by Kathy Fauble, Professional Education Services Director

The Art of Motivation

Bare walls aren’t only boring, they can kill morale. Research agrees. Several years ago, there was a popular series of motivational posters that were all the rage. You probably had one in your office or saw one in the breakroom. The most popular ones were the posters featuring beautiful artwork, maybe a sunset or a mountain vista, with a motivational message with themes like teamwork, attitude, discipline, belief, or determination. The idea, of course, was that these posters would not only beautify the workplace, they would nudge employees to embrace the beliefs.

When the posters were at the height of popularity, I was working at a facility that just hired a new CEO. The previous CEO had died unexpectedly, and the interim leader made a mess of things after nine months at the helm. From the first day on the job, our new CEO let us know things were going to be different. His goal: to let all employees know we were in this together. One day he stopped me and asked what I thought of redoing the staff breakroom. It was sorely needed, so we pulled together other supervisors to paint the room, bring in new furniture, and to hang new artwork. The artwork we choose were those motivational posters. It was a first step in letting employees know the TEAM was back.

Now I don’t believe it was solely the breakroom re-do that turned around staff morale, but the actions of the CEO and supervisors, along with a daily messaging of what we could all do together made a big difference.

You Can Make a Difference

Wall posters are decidedly out of style now, but the importance of encouraging and motivating people to be there best is always in season. How can you share that message? Here are some simple things you can do:

  • Have a motivational section in your employee newsletter.
  • Write positive messages on sticky notes and put on lockers.
  • Include a motivational saying in your email tag line.
  • Put motivational quotes on bulletin boards and in common areas.
  • Start you staff meetings with a motivational story or quote.
  • Most importantly, lean into those messages you share and integrate them into your team culture.

This week, look for simple ways you can motivate yourself and your team. I leave you with some wall poster wisdom:

TEAMWORK is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

DETERMINATION. Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success to succeed.