5 Ways to Stay Motivated

It’s hard to stay motivated as a government employee these days – we have budget cuts, furloughs, the media attacking government employees, all the while any perk at work (training, travel, etc) seems to be getting cut.

So how do you stay motivated at work?

Here’s 5 Ways to Stay Motivated:

1) Celebrate Positive Feedback – When I have a bad day, there’s nothing better than reading feedback I’ve received from GovLoop members on how GovLoop has helped them. It turns me around in 5 seconds. Do the same – find and share feedback from citizens (or stakeholders) on how you’ve helped them & why your program matters. Keep a document yourself (or as a team) and share feedback internally. Use that document to focus on why you do what you do.

2) Visualize the Impact – Reading quotes is great but a visual is worth a thousand words. Whether for yourself or for the whole team, visualize the importance of the program. Maybe it’s a picture of one person or family your program helped. Maybe it’s a graph on the amount of savings you’ve helped create. Have that visualize reminder in your office.

3) Reflect on Your Purpose – Most government employees come to public service for the mission. However, sometimes we forget the mission in the day-to-day bureaucracy, office grind, and monotony of daily life. Take some time and reflect on what your core values are and what is your purpose. You’ll probably come back around to the same values that brought you to public service.

4) Focus on the Opportunity – It’s easy to get down on all the problems in government service. However, flip them around and it becomes an opportunity. Budgets being cut? Use the opportunity to find a couple other creative co-workers and come up with new ideas to solve problems? Training being cut? Use the opportunity to launch an internal book club or internal lunch and learn.

5) Make it Fun – Try to find little spots to have a little fun every day. Maybe it’s a fun icebreaker to kick off a meeting or maybe it’s playing a small practical joke on a colleague. Maybe it’s enjoying a regular morning coffee with a co-worker or set up an office softball team. Find those little places to add a little joy.

How do you stay motivated?

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Henry Brown

Would add Communicate; whether it be with your peers or others within your organization;

DON’T be all negative, IMO it will amaze one and all the positive impact on yourself by communicating positively.

Terrence (Terry) Hill

Sage Advice Steve! Looking for opportunities to excel resonates with me. Make lemonade out of “sour lemons” like hiring freezes and budget cuts. Find innovative ways to transform your work and volunteer for special projects that not only keep you engaged, but provide opportunities to learn.

I would agree with Henry about communicating, but government employees are constantly told to limit their communications and keep their opinions to themselves. Too many times, people who pride themselves as communicators get in trouble with management.

Priscilla Anderson

I really liked your post, it is very helpful. And it was totally true and honest. I work here because I am contributing, and I love the people, but the job sometimes is monotonous. I liked your suggestion of creating of visual of what our mission or reason “why” is. I’m going to do that! Thank you

Nate Dunbar

Motivation will be the biggest issue facing the Federal workforce for years to come. Great advice in this article!