Motivating Workers in an Automated Environment

The automated work environment has been around since the 1800s. We have the industrial revolution to thank for market growth and new markets emerging. Of course, a lot has changed since then. One thing that remains is that routine, control and specialisation are still key within the manual process in achieving efficiency. Autonomous jobs nowadays include factory machine workers and assembly operators, working  repetitive days in a call centre and fast food restaurant staff. Day after day of these kind of situations can result in struggle and sabotage impairing the workers themselves and the rest of the organisation as a knock-on effect.

In these automated environments, efficiency means choosing the best way to reach the means of a given end. A well defined and standardised process that must be followed. Of course this means that customers are able to obtain what they need easily and speedily but for those involved in the workplace, it can be hard to perform this intense and homogenised labour without feeling dehumanised. Often the tasks the workers are performing are simple and do not require a lot of thought. Predictable work to make more or less identical products is likely to be demotivating and cause workers to become, at the very least, very bored.

Motivation Matters

Motivation grows from a combination of needs that influence behaviour. Performance motivation is needed in order to activate skills, experiences, talents and creative energies in order to reach company goals. There is no definitive  technique for developing motivation, as just like everything else in life there is no method that works for everyone in every situation. Instead, attempts at building motivation should be adapted to fit the circumstances.

Motivation can be influenced by personal or situational factors and not only do these vary from person to person but also are likely to alter with changes in personal, social or other factors. As well as this, how much a person feels connected to business objectives.

Why is Low Motivation Common in an Automated Work Environment?

  • Too much routine
  • Lack of development opportunities
  • No challenges

Because of these factors it may team that short term, extrinsic stimulants for motivation may seem like the only option. By extrinsic, we mean money. If you decide that this is the way that you want to go forward, these rewards need to be encouraged in a specific way. Either outline exactly what needs to be done for a bonus to be achieved or introduce rewards independent of specific tasks. Unexpected monetary rewards may also be appreciated.

Motivate through Company Culture

The goals, values, beliefs and assumptions of the organisation lead to structures becoming codified and systems/processes established to guide organisational behaviour. Success and efficiency is then measured as a perception of the organisational climate. To define, climate is the sense of what is important in a company.

Climate is difficult in organisations such as service firms where an automated environment is the basis of the day of many workers. Obviously, particular service providing values must be within the culture of the company. For the company to be successful, the widespread view is that the customers are the most important within the organisation.

Alongside this view, there is some scope to allow workers more accountability and responsibility. With this, may come motivation and also the ability to be accountable and take credit or criticism for workers own actions.

Implementing Positive Company Culture

In a large organisation, there is likely to already be a positive company culture enforced. However, this may not reach those doing necessary automated jobs as they are often separated from the rest of the organisation. All workers do differ and need different types of attention to be motivated to keep up with the speed and efficiency that is needed in an automated environment. Task significance is important to establish. Show employees the link between the work and the customers and this can lead to feelings of meaningfulness.

Responsibility can Increase Motivation

Responsibility is a factor in increasing motivation intrinsically. Four factors can help employees feel more responsible for their own actions:

  • Clarity – By clearly defining job roles and introducing clear objectives with regular, adequate feedback.
  • Task Completion – Often automated work environments don’t allow employees to see the results of a completed product or result. Job responsibilities are fragmented parts of the bigger picture.
  • Task Significance – If the work feels even slightly meaningful and worthwhile it can lead to increased responsibility.
  • Autonomy – By giving workers freedom and independence in scheduling this will help them to feel it is up to them and not somebody else.

Overall, letting workers feel they have responsibility is crucial despite the fact they can little deviate from the standardised methods. If possible, also broaden the specialised work by adding different related tasks to activities that already exist. Most personality styles will appreciate the ability to choose and participate which will increase commitment and motivation. This minimises the feelings of being used by the system. Appreciation breeds positive concepts of the self and meets needs for self actualisation, growth and achievement.

Managing Autonomy

As with any other employees, people in autonomous industries will want to be managed in different ways, according to their working personality style. Some will look to a charismatic, outwardly happy and caring person. Others want and need someone that is a distinct leader, rather than a friend type. Regardless of this, good managers know that relevant  information about the company as a whole needs to be shared with all workers. Likewise, feedback needs to be given not only on performance but on the bigger picture of the organisation so that workers can see their impact and feel appreciated thus more likely to be motivated.

 

Author Bio:

Laura Morrissey is a writer for Everything Disc. She shares tips for both employers and employees in working to the best of their ability together. Her specialist areas are motivation and team building.

How Home Automation is Turning Us Into the Jetsons By Guest Author Tim Smith

Even for a fictional cartoon family, the Jetsons seemed to have it all: a robotic maid, impossibly thin televisions, video calls, favourite foods at the push of a button. Watching with wide eyes and a heavy heart, never in our wildest dreams could we imagine living in a Jetsons world. However, it would appear that there’s not much left the Jetson family had that we don’t have today in one form or another. Home automation technology is quickly bringing us into the future and the smart home revolution shows no sign of slowing down. Here’s some home automation tech that’s turning us into the Jetsons.

A Modern Robotic Maid

Via Pretty Organized
Via Pretty Organized

It may not be the conversationalist or the sarcastic nurturer that Rosie was for the Jetson family, but we do have a robotic maid in the iRobot Roomba, the automated robotic vacuum cleaner. Like Rosie, Roomba isn’t a tool you use to clean like a broom or a mop. Set Roomba on a schedule or push the “Clean” button and let Roomba do what Roombas — and Rosies — do best. There’s no need to worry about keep Rooma charged because it docks itself to charge when the job is done. Plus Roomba alerts you whenever the bin needs cleaned out. We can only hope that future versions will be able to change diapers and do laundry too. Click here for more info on the best robot vacuums available!

Jetson-Like Electronic Doors

We might not be at the point of having doors in our homes that automatically open and close as we approach, but we’re ebbing ever closer. Our current technology affords us remote control of our doors’ deadbolts. Electronic deadbolts like the Kwikset Kevo and the August Smart Lock allow you to lock or unlock your door from anywhere via the app. Instead of a standard key, your smartphone becomes an electronic key, or eKey. While it’s not quite the same level of automation as the tubes and automatic doors that we saw George Jetson use as he came home from work, the automated door locks available now are certainly a step in that direction.

Futuristic Smart Fridge

The Jetson family had a fridge of sorts, but instead of storing ingredients they’d hit a few buttons and out would pop their desired confections. We’re not quite to that level of technological sophistication — though at the rate that our technology is advancing, it probably won’t be long — but we do have something that admittedly far less satisfying.

The most recent models of smart refrigerators not only store food, but are aware of what foods they store. Whether you’re interacting with the accompanying app or the 8-inch touchscreen embedded in the door, smart fridges like the Samsung 4-door smart fridge can tell you how fresh your produce is, whether you’re due to buy another gallon of milk, and what ingredients you need to pick up for tonight’s dinner. Although access to social media and apps like Pandora come as a standard, the advanced smart fridges of our time have some incredibly advanced, convenient features despite falling short of Jetsons-level functionality… for now.

Home automation is without a doubt the future! Click here to get more ideas and inspiration from the Modernize.com home automation idea section!

Accept Crypto Currencies on your Site!

A lot can be said about the worlds fiat money systems, and a lot more has been spoken about Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as the future of currency. Much more will be discussed here at AlternativeMindsets or over on our Facebook page about the benefits of crypto currencies, but now is not the time.

A friend said to me the other day, “what’s the point in all these currencies if you can’t buy anything with them” and apart from reeling off a number of internet shops and a couple high street ones too, it still had little impact. So until more and more internet sites start to integrate a crypto currency payment gateway, then it is going to be a case where people hoard their bitcoin and wait for the next price rush to sell it off. That helps no one, and instead we should start to use it as a currency.

You can start by implementing a crypto currency payment system on your own e-commerce site. It’s really simple to do so, just go over to GoCoin and you can implement with a number of different e-commerce platforms.

gocoin

The sheer number of different platforms now able to accept Bitcoin is staggering and it is only going to grow larger and larger as more and more people start to favour a decentralised system and one that puts the power back into the individual rather than the corporation.

Don’t be threatened by these new technologies, they are the future, and the future is going to be a great place.

You’re Never Too Old To Try Something New

How many times have you caught yourself saying, “Oh no, I’m too old for that now” or “That’s a young person’s game!” Some of the most interesting people around are the ones that do not let their age hold them back in any way. The Grannies that book a travelling holiday around Asia or the older gents who will try a new sport even though their knees maybe against them – variety is what keeps us young!

If you keep in the same stagnant routine for year in year out without trying or doing anything new, this is bound to affect your mental outlook. Even if you are happy with your life, it’s always good to jazz things up again to keep it exciting and give you a fresh perspective.

Below we have listed a few hints and tips to help you on your path to new self-discoveries that will lift your mood and lead to a happier you!

Take Up a New Hobby

Ever fancied Salsa classes? Taking up Karate? Even synchronised swimming? Well why not stop what you’re doing and sign up today!

Life is too short to think you will do all these things tomorrow, so why delay any further. Grab your partner or a few close friends and learn a new skill together. Not only will you have lots of fun trying but you also be sneaking in some enjoyable exercise (if that is what your new hobby includes), which will do nothing but benefit you and your mood overall.

New Career

Have you been stuck in the same job for years? Was it meant to be a bridge gap but you somehow stayed for longer? Take that leap and look for a job that actually makes you happy or a job in something you’ve always wanted to try. It’s never too late to train if you have a passion for your work, so do not stay in that dead end job if you do not want to – explore every talent you have to its potential!

Move Away

Been in the same area of the world all your life? Thought about moving but thought it would be too much hassle? Don’t delay further and get those bags packed! Although it’s nice to keep the family home, if you’ve always wanted an adventure elsewhere – what better time to do it when the children have flown the nest?

A change is as good as a break and when you have minimal responsibilities why not take full advantage and take yourself off to that Spanish villa you and your partner have always dreamed of?

If you are feeling low or just fed up of the same-old routine, changing a few things in your life or trying something new will guarantee to brighten your outlook on everything as a whole. Nothing but positive repercussions will filter through, so don’t be scared to take that initial leap – change something in your routine today for the better!

Ray Kurzweil Tells Us To Get Ready for Hybrid Thinking

Robots are getting closer to replicating and understanding language and the way our brain works. World leading futurist Ray Kurzweil explains how hybrid thinking (and nano technology) will be able to be called upon in the not too distant future.

What becomes of conversation when we can refer to all data ever stored for every rebuttal?

Super Healthy Equals a Positive You

Yes, we’ve all read the countless celebrity tips and tried their diet fads on how to look younger and sexier – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to feel good on the inside too.

Often with such diets you can feel worse mentally if anything, due to the radical change in food intake or over supplementing in one particular food group. Although you may lose weight, you may notice you don’t FEEL any better – and after all isn’t that the point? What’s the point of looking like Britney Spears if you don’t feel as positive and happy as her?

It all starts from the inside out. If you want to start looking better, you’re going to have to start feeling better as well.

Below we have highlighted a few tips to help you on your way to a more “positive thinking” you. We’re starting from the ground up, so make sure you have the patience and time to let your body repair and rejuvenate itself – you’ll be happier and it will be worth it!

Eat Better

It’s no good starving yourself all day or living off the bear minimal. As mentioned previously this may help you lose weight but it will start to affect your health as time goes on. Headaches, muscle pains, mood swings and dehydration are all effects from fad diets that are just not healthy for anyone.

The aim should be to be healthier not to be slimmer – as if you really concentrate on being healthy the weight loss will go hand in hand. Make sure you are eating three square meals a day that consist of all the major food groups and get down as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you possibly can. Not only will you look better but you will begin to feel better on the inside too, which will only add to your happiness levels!

Here are some great resources to help eating;

Childrens Food Trust – Help in ensuring kids get nutritional foods

Eat This Much – Help in automating your diet with free meal plans and guides

Exercise smart

Be honest with yourself – if you’re not used to exercising start off slow as if you push yourself to hard at first you won’t enjoy the exercise and will be more inclined to give up.

Try things like a gentle jog around the park for 10 minutes with the dog, as time goes by build that up to include some running with an increase in time. You’ll soon bring your body up to speed and be able to take on another activity. After a few weeks you will begin to notice the difference in your health and also your mood overall.

There are some great resources out there to look at improving your exercise regime, everyone is different so keep look at official guides for your specific needs or speak to a personal trainer.

Meditate

Positive thinking as we mentioned in the beginning really starts from the ground up and meditation is a wonderful way to really relax ones soul and whole being. Whatever little stresses or daily niggles you may have, you can always take 15-30 minutes a day out for yourself and let all that worry just dissolve away.

You may find it silly at first, but just lying in a quiet room before work and concentrating on your breath will have you feeling centered and on track for the day ahead.  Try it for 2 weeks and you’ll see the difference.

Beginners Guide to Meditation

Meditation is a great way to calm and clear even the most stressed or troubled of minds. Just taking that time out each day for yourself can really benefit you in so many aspects for your life – you’ll wonder how you came to get along in your life without it.

People can be put off meditation as they think they’ll feel silly doing it or that they won’t be able to concentrate etc. However, meditation can be as easy as taking 10 minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing – by doing this you’re homing in on the present moment and giving your mind the chance to clear itself, which can do nothing but benefit you overall. You don’t just have to be a devout monk meditating constantly to reap its benefit.

The beauty of meditation is that it is completely personal to you and your individual path. Everyone’s is different and you can take your meditating as far or as slow as you want – it entirely up to you.

Below, we have laid out a few key steps when it comes to doing your first few meditation sessions. These points are only a beginner’s introduction, so if you find you want to take meditating more seriously, simply build/research upon what you have read here:

Environment

When it comes to meditating you need a quiet, relaxing and comfortable places to do it in. Make sure it is free from distractions and a place that you associate with being happy and content.

Such places as a quiet spot in your garden, the beach, the forest or local park would be good area to start out your meditating. Places of nature are the best for meditating, as the natural sounds can help you fall deeper into your meditation.

Clothes

If you’re planning to have a session of meditation at the office or during work hours, you may want to remember a change of clothes. The most important thing for you to get the most out of your meditation is to be comfortable.

Loose, light clothes such as jogging bottoms, hooded tops and baggy t-shirts are great for meditating in and removing shoes and socks will help you get into position better.

Positioning

Ok, so you have your quiet little haven away from the world and you have your favourite comfy joggers on – it’s time to get into position.
For those of you familiar with yoga, most people find it easiest to meditate whilst in the “lotus” or “half lotus” position. This involves being sat up right in the crossed legged position with either the heels of your feet tucked into your thighs or simply resting on the floor. The palms of hands are resting in your lap or on the edges of your knees – now you’re ready to go!

Meditate

Your all set, now finally to meditate! As this is only an introduction, for your first few attempts at meditating simply focus on your breathing and clearing your mind of distracting thought.

Whilst in lotus position, close your eyes and really focus on your inhaling and exhaling. Breathe at your normal rate but be really conscious and aware of every breath you are taking into your lungs and then expelling out again. After doing this for 5-10 minutes you will slowly hear all the normal chatter the mind puts out fade away and your mind will begin to relax – as will you.

Welcome to Alternative Mindsets

Welcome,

There’s not much here at the moment; we will soon introduce our pages that can unlock the door to leading a happy life.

Our guide to having a Positive Mental Attitude will inspire you with a new way of looking at your everyday activities.

Our Resources for Spirituality will help you find new ways to reflect and react.

We also must look to the future to try and make sense of what is going to become of this world we inhabit, and see where technology, science, politics, and religion are likely to take us, and our guide to futurology will provide a resource so you can stay up to date in looking forward.

We look forward to regularly posting the best information we can provide and helping you anyway we can.

– All here at AM