When you start a new job, feeling motivated and excited about what lies ahead is easy. But as time goes on, that initial burst of inspiration can fade. Even when you love your job, working day in and day out can begin to feel like a grind instead of something you look forward to. Keeping your motivation high at work is essential for staying productive and progressing in your career. The reason you bring to the office each day will have a direct impact on your performance and output as an employee. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep yourself motivated at work on any given day or throughout your career. Whether you’re just starting or need a refresher on keeping things fresh at the office, here are three things that will keep you motivated at work:

  1. Autonomy
    One of the quickest ways to kill motivation is by micromanaging employees and not giving them room to breathe. When you’re constantly looking over someone’s shoulder or second-guessing their every move, it takes away any sense of ownership or responsibility they may have for their work. And when people don’t feel proper or responsible for their work, they’re much less likely to be motivated to do a good job. Employees’ autonomy allows them to feel empowered and control their work. It also allows them to take pride in their accomplishments, which is a huge motivator. Seek autonomy from your managers and assure them that you can get the work done and are confident in asking questions as needed.
  2. Recognition
    Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and employees are no different. When people think their hard work is being recognized and valued, it’s a huge motivator to continue putting in the extra effort. Unfortunately, many workplaces don’t do an excellent job of this. In a study of over twenty-five thousand workers, only 29% said they felt their work was appreciated. If you’re not regularly expressing appreciation for your employee’s and co-workers’ hard work, now is the time to start. Something as simple as a verbal “thank you” or a handwritten note can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated.
  3. Professional/Personal Development
    People are naturally curious and always want to be learning and growing. When employees feel stuck in a rut or not challenged enough, it leads to boredom and a lack of motivation. On the other hand, when employees feel like they’re constantly learning and developing, it’s a huge motivator. Providing opportunities for employees to learn new things, take on new challenges, and build their skills will help keep them motivated and engaged in their work.