Upon returning from maternity leave, Katherine knew that she would struggle with balancing work and being a new parent. In addition to being able to cut back to a part-time work schedule, her job as a consultant fortunately allowed her with the flexibility to work from home. Her supervisor, Richard, worked with her to create an accommodating schedule and a way of coordinating and managing projects and tasks that was mutually beneficial.

As amazing and understanding as her supervisor was, and as lucky as she was to have been given the opportunity to figure out how to juggle the two jobs, Katherine found herself struggling from time to time. No matter how hard she tried to stay engaged and dedicated to her work, projects that were already on the back burner stayed there, procrastination reared its ugly head, and Katherine started to worry that soon her boss would have a serious chat with her about her lack of motivation and inability to complete tasks she never struggled with in the past.

Having always had open lines of communication with Richard, Katherine brought up these issues during their weekly meeting. Being genuinely invested in the performance and well-being of his employee, Richard took the time to implement effective motivational techniques and reach solutions that would help get Katherine out of her funk and back in the game.

Even the most committed and loyal employees run into these obstacles. Life happens, other priorities take precedence, and we slowly begin to slack. This month we have been discussing the various types of and needs for motivation in the workplace, including self-motivation, motivating employees, motivating those who you don’t supervise or “shouldn’t” have to manage, and motivating an efficient team.

Whether it be yourself, a coworker, or an employee, learning how to recognize when motivation is lacking and when to take the appropriate steps to rectify any issues is a skill necessary to any professional individual. Reaching out to help a colleague who is struggling, and knowing when to ask for help when you are in a funk yourself helps to ensure job satisfaction, maximum productivity, and the overall positive morale of yourself, your employees, and your team as a whole.