What is motivation?

The benefits of motivated employees are clear and obvious. How you deal with motivation is often less clear.  

In everyday language, motivation is a term that refers to many different things. What do employees mean when they say they are motivated or demotivated? Do they mean: 

  • That they want to do something specific? 
  • That they are willing to do something specific? 
  • That they've decided to do something specific? 
  • Or that they have an intention, are particularly focused, feel a drive or need to do something specific? 

And what do managers refer to when they talk about their employees being motivated? Are employees happy and satisfied? Doing something they wouldn't otherwise do? Or are employees going the extra mile? 

With our help, we can make it clear how motivation is understood and expressed in your organization. And what it takes to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of motivation. We're also happy to help you implement the changes.  

What strengthens and harms motivation?

When dealing with better leadership and motivation, we can focus on, among other things: 

Autonomy: When employees feel they have the freedom and influence to make independent decisions and plan their work. 

Recognition: Employees feel seen and valued. 

  • Challenges: Employees take on tasks that challenge and develop their skills. This creates professional pride. 
  • Social support: Employees feel safe when they are heard and supported. 
  • Meaning: If work is meaningful and serves a greater purpose than just making more money, it results in greater job satisfaction.  

Conversely, it hurts motivation too: 

  • A work culture that includes bullying, conflict and poor communication. 
  • Lack of recognition and feedback. 
  • Lack of resources and too much workload. 
  • Persistent stress and performance demands without sufficient opportunity for self-determination. 
  • Unsatisfactory pay and working conditions. 

It's important for both management and employees to identify the factors that strengthen and damage motivation in your organization. Typically, it's easier to become aware of what's going on in your organization with external assistance, because over time you naturally lose sight of it.  


LEAD's approach to increasing motivation

LEAD takes an expert approach to enhancing motivation in organizations by combining leadership and organizational development. The company recognizes the complexity of motivation and addresses this by offering a wide range of services, including:

  • Analyze and address potential obstacles: This includes stress, conflicts and other challenges that can hinder motivation.
  • Management consultancy: LEAD provides advice on both present and distanced management that can effectively promote employee motivation.
  • Deeper understanding of motivation: LEAD addresses the questions of what employees and managers mean when they talk about motivation. They clarify and make the concept of "motivation" more tangible for organizations.
  • Implementing change: In addition to advice and understanding, LEAD offers to support the implementation of the proposed changes.
  • Focus on key factors: LEAD has identified key factors that boost motivation, including autonomy, recognition, challenges, social support and meaningful work. At the same time, they point to obstacles that can harm motivation, such as a poor work culture, lack of recognition, insufficient resources, persistent stress and unsatisfactory working conditions.
  • External assessment: LEAD recognizes the value of an external assessment, which can provide a fresh and objective assessment of an organization to better identify strengths and weaknesses.

In summary, LEAD views motivation as a combination of multiple interacting factors. Their approach is holistic, structured and based on both deep understanding and practical intervention to create motivated, happy and productive employees.

How we can help you

We offer you management and organizational sparring, research-based teaching and presentations on visioning processes, as well as training courses with a specific focus on giving you and your organization general management skills. Read examples of our services here.


Inspiring research-based presentations on motivation for all levels of your organization


Sparring in the development of your strategy, decisions and initiatives.


Facilitation of active workshops focusing on competence development at management and executive level.

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization

Are you facing an organizational change? Do you need strategic advice or a cultural development program?

Contact us and together we will tailor a process that develops the exact competencies and structures that strengthen and future-proof your organization.

Claus Elmholdt

Professional Director, Founder
Cand.Psych.Aut. & Ph.d.
Associate Professor in Management and Organizational Psychology, Aalborg University

Mobile: +45 26 14 51 57

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