Uncertainty is demotivating

There are always some amount of unknown factors in everyday work (and life) and most people deal with them quite naturally. However, as the level of uncertainty rises, people get anxious.

When there is too much uncertainty, it gets harder to predict the outcomes of your efforts. If there's no real visibility of success, there will be less motivation to make an effort. It can be worse, based on an individual's capacity to handle uncertainty. Some people are too scared to make a mistake, and they will make every effort to validate before they move forward, losing precious time or not acting at all.

When uncertainty prevails for a long time, even the best employees find it hard to keep up the motivation.

You may not have control over factors leading to uncertainty. For example, a company is in the process of getting acquired but is stuck in a legal issue. Everybody knows that an acquisition may happen, and they don't know whether to move forward with the projects they have in hand. Some may fear losing the job they love and may start looking elsewhere and hence lose motivation.

As a manager, you can be an island of relative certainty, amid all the uncertainty. You don't need to fake stability, or give false promises. Instead, you can show the confidence that whatever the outcome, you are prepared to deal with it. Even when people fear losing their jobs, they should not lose the confidence in their ability to find another one. When the leader stands tall, people get a lot of assurance. Managers can help people focus on the task at hand; if things change, so be it. You can always deal with the change. Focus on work adds to confidence and reduces the threat that uncertainty brings about.

Add comment

Security code