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Goals and Expectations in Motivation

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

People make goals and determine what is worth doing and what is not worth doing based on their own needs. Their personalities and world views may influence their behavior, but people also come with expectations for what they think should happen.

However, there is also the idea that the workplace will provide feedback for the person. This means that after s/he performs an action, people or systems in the workplace will provide a response to that action. This can determine how the person sees the situation and then responds back.

This is where expectations come in. A person may be expecting one thing, but may get a different outcome. For example, someone may expect for their hard work to be rewarded with praise or recognition, but might instead experience things like harsh criticisms or any lack of reward which could hurt their perception of how much they belong in their environment.

That's not to say that anyone should be free of constructive feedback. What it means is that people are going to be motivated when they do something that they think is worthy of doing, and if the feedback is along the lines of what they expect. This can be accomplished by allowing people to help shape work goals. Work goals should be small and obtainable goals. You can also do this by letting others know what kind of feedback they can receive. Feedback may come from sources other than people; you can also discuss what kinds of responses may come from machines, agencies, or other systems that may react to the person's planned actions.

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