Does Challenging Work Really Motivate Staff?

Does Challenging Work Really Motivate Staff?

Giving staff challenging work helps motivate staff - to a point

By Marcia Smith

Challenge work can be motivating for staff

Challenging work can be a great motivator, as it can keep employees engaged and interested in their role. For many people, having to overcome some level of difficulty in their work is much preferable to the boredom of an easy, unchallenging job.

However, this positive effect can only go so far. If work becomes so challenging that it’s practically impossible – or if employees feel that they don’t have the skills, resources or management support necessary to overcome challenges – it can reduce their motivation and have a very negative impact on staff morale.

The challenges of a particular job are likely to be intrinsic to the role, but an employer should ensure that all staff know how to access training and support when faced with the more difficult tasks.

Ideas for positive challenges

What sort of challenges typically serve as a motivation-trigger, rather than a motivation-killer? Here are a few ideas:

By setting employees attainable challenges, hopefully you'll have a workforce that's enthusaustic and who feel rewarded for their hard work.