How To Improve Self-Motivation In The Workplace

18 January 2017

Why is self-motivation important in the workplace? It’s simple – motivated employees are better employees. They work harder and deliver higher quality outputs. They are more likely to be on time consistently, to be loyal to a company, and to inspire their colleagues. Employees who have a high level of self-motivation also don’t need as many incentives; they are good at motivating themselves.

Self-motivation can be both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation stems from your internal satisfaction – a desire to challenge yourself, to exceed your own expectations, to learn new things, to have fun. Extrinsic motivation comes from external things – a regular salary, a big bonus, a major award, a prestigious reputation.

Volunteering with the Army Cadet Force can improve both these types of self-motivation. As one of our 9,000 adult volunteers, you’ll be directly helping young cadets develop, while learning new skills and having new adventures yourself. It’s incredibly motivating to be surrounded by passionate people in an environment that inspires you. We’ve got a few ideas on how the motivation you gain by volunteering with the ACF can increase your self-motivation in the workplace.

  • More confidence: There is probably no career skill more important than confidence. Confidence helps to sustain motivation by instilling the belief that you can achieve your goals. Volunteering at the ACF requires decision making, public speaking, people managing, cadet mentoring and more – all things that build confidence. In a recent survey, almost 92% of our adult volunteers said that volunteering with the ACF has enabled them to develop their leadership skills and over 95% said it has developed their interpersonal skills.
  • Personal challenges: A desire to challenge yourself is key to self-motivation at work. It’s also key to volunteering with the ACF, where challenges abound. You might be white water rafting, mountain biking, or rock climbing. You might be learning about fieldcraft or signals. You might be leading a group of teenagers for the first time. All of these new activities will stretch your understanding of your own capabilities and motivate you even more.
  • Progression: If you’re really ambitious and want to make the ACF a bigger part of your life, there are lots of opportunities for progression. Even though the ACF is not part of the British Army, we follow the same ranking system. Adult volunteers can work their way up from Civilian Assistant to Regimental Sergeant Major Instructor or even Colonel. Success and progression at an activity outside of work can boost your motivation to succeed and progress at work.
  • Motivating others: One of the best ways to motivate yourself is by actively motivating other people. This happens all the time with our adult volunteers – they see how much their cadets improve with proper guidance and mentorship, which in turn increases their own self-motivation. As one sergeant instructor puts it – “the best moments for me as an instructor are when cadets push their boundaries, and achieve something they didn't think possible. And when they THANK YOU for that – it's heart melting.”
  • Energy boost: It’s almost impossible to stay motivated if you’re exhausted or stressed. Physical activity is a great way to boost your energy levels and relieve stress. Volunteering with the ACF means lots of outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, camping, football and more.
  • New skills & qualifications: Adult volunteers gain many transferrable skills at the ACF – organisational skills, public speaking, teamwork. There are also free or subsidised vocational qualifications that you can obtain through volunteering, such as outdoor expedition leadership, first aid, and sports leadership. There’s even the ACF PR Training Team which offers specialised courses in public relations, social media, interviewing and writing. These qualifications can increase your self-motivation at work, by opening up opportunities for added responsibility, a promotion, or a pay rise. They could also even motivate you to look for a new career, if that’s what you want.

To learn more about self-motivation, read our tips on staying motivated or inspire yourself with our favourite self-motivation quotes. And if you’re motivated to join the ACF team, read more about signing up to volunteer with us.