Larry Cipolla
August 31, 2012

It is not an entirely foreign concept that clearly established goals help individuals move steadily toward milestone achievements. However, research shows that sometimes, motivation tends to dwindle midway through the journey, a setback that could hinder employees' personal and professional growth in the workplace. 

According to Miguel Brendl and Andrea Bonezzi, researchers at the Kellogg School, the central stretch of working toward the end goal is often the most difficult place to find the inner motivation to keep moving forward.

"What we're saying is that the perception of the next steps toward a goal is different depending on how close we are to the goal," Brendl wrote. "There's a perceptual element in how we get motivated."

The research went on to show that motivation is essentially U-shaped. An individual's perception of progress will affect the motivation that he or she feels. For example, the closer to the beginning, the easier it is to look back and see what has been accomplished. When employees approach the finish line of a task, it's not difficult to push through to the end.

The difficulty lies in the middle, when it's most challenging to see where one started and how far one still has to go.

Through a 360 degree feedback assessment managers can show their employees the best way to create individual goals for themselves – ones that are achievable by highlighting strengths. Furthermore, 360 coaching will allow workers to improve in areas where they might not be as strong, giving them the chance to develop professionally and thus benefitting the company as a whole.