An employment screening can provide you with all sorts of information.  Through a reference verification, you can obviously find out some information about an applicant’s work habits, their strengths and weaknesses, but the one thing that might not be able to be learned through this is whether or not a person is self-motivated to achieve their goals.  One person’s opinion on this issue might vary from another’s expectations.

Self-motivation is difficult for anyone if they are not surrounded by people who are self-motivated as well.  From a leadership standpoint, it’s important for the leader to find motivation for the job they are doing, because the employees that they lead will respond in kind fashion if they are just as excited and motivated to see results.  In many companies, self-motivation comes down to the company culture.  If your company does not instill a self-motivating spirit into its leadership, it will not be reflected in the employees.  But if it does instill this ideal, and encourages self-motivation as a regular daily practice and expectation, then the results will be a company driven my self-motivated individuals excited about producing a solid product at the end of the day.

There are, unfortunately, uninspired workers that will continue to be unmotivated unless pushed to look at things differently.  This is where leaders come into play, with the goal of taking these uninspired workers and create an environment built on motivation.  This can happen through things like autonomy, accountability and encouragement.  Even though in an employment screening these things may not have come through, perhaps they were not in the right environment to see their self-motivation rise to the top. 

One of the keys is to provide some decision making power, no matter how small or big the decision might be.  Providing autonomy to your employees can be a motivating factor, and can offer them some “buy-in” to the day to day workings of the company so that they feel like they are more of a part of the company.  Some people like to be micromanaged while others flourish in an environment of autonomy.  If you are looking for self-motivated employees, provide them opportunities for decision making.

Another key is accountability.  When an employee knows they will be held accountable for an particular product, result or deadline, then they are more apt to find the motivation to complete the task given to them.  This differs from micromanaging in that their leader is not standing over them ensuring they get it done and monitoring every step of the way.  Accountability implies meeting expectations, but giving the room for an employee to complete the task and meet the deadline by providing them the space to work and show the end result.

Last but not least is the idea of encouraging employees.  If an employee never hears an encouraging word out of their supervisor or other “higher-ups,” what motivation do they have to do the best that they can do?  Communication is key in any successful company, and communication from leaders to employees that results in positive feelings for a job well done can be a large motivating factor for an employee to keep pushing forward. 

When a company culture exudes autonomy and self-motivation, they can expect solid results.  It’s difficult to simply motivate and expect people to move.  When autonomy is given, and employees are held accountable for their results and praised for their good works, a better end result will be achieve.  Self-motivation may not be fully evident in a face to face meeting or in the elements of an employment screening, but establishing this as a company culture and ensuring that the person being hired knows the opportunities that exist for an autonomous work environment can only make things that much better for a new hire to achieve success as an employee.

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