Lack of Motivation Among Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Topic: Administration
Words: 669 Pages: 2

Overview of the Case

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have been on the frontline, risking their health and safety to care for patients. They had been working long hours, often without enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The increasing infection cases added to other healthcare system stressors, such as burnout among nurses and physicians. The federal and state governments provided several incentives to the healthcare workers to ensure they continued serving the growing number of infected patients. These include pay bonuses, free housing and childcare, hazard pay, and extra paid leave.

Despite these incentives, the continued demand for care and the fact that many healthcare workers were still working long hours took a toll on many workers. Cases of illness and exhaustion among nurses and physicians increased as the pandemic progressed. These workers, however, pushed through this adversity, coming up with various strategies to get through the tough time. Some drew inspiration from their patients, who were fighting the disease, while others were motivated by the camaraderie and support of their fellow workers. And still, others were driven by the knowledge that their work is essential in keeping people alive and healthy. As the pandemic came under control, the focus shifted to the long-term effects of the disease on healthcare workers. Since many of them were exposed to the virus or cared for patients with COVID-19, they experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Concept, Theories, and Principles

A few potential solutions could be applied to solve the challenge of lack of motivation among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. One solution is to provide additional incentives for healthcare workers to remain motivated and dedicated. Another solution is to offer additional support and resources to them so they feel better equipped to handle the challenges of the pandemic. Additionally, increasing communication and collaboration among healthcare workers could help to create a sense of camaraderie and support that helps to keep everyone motivated. Some theories and principles that will be used to resolve the lack of motivation among healthcare workers include the extrinsic motivation principle, the principle of social contagion, and the principle of self-determination theory.

Essay on Case questions

From a hospital administrator’s perspective, the case highlights the issue of lack of motivation among healthcare workers caused by poor working environments, where they lacked personal protection equipment and support from the authorities or their family and friends. Applying some theories and principles may be necessary to solve the problem. These include:

  1. The Business Excellence Framework is based on the principles of continuous improvement. It provides a framework for organizations to assess their performance, identify areas for improvement, and develop and implement plans to improve their performance (Kan,2019).
  2. The principle of social contagion posits that humans are more likely to engage in certain behaviors if they see others around them doing so.
  3. The principle of self-determination theory posits that humans have a natural tendency to seek out experiences that are personally meaningful and satisfying (Talaja et al., 2021)

Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation played a role in uplifting the spirits of healthcare workers during the pandemic. This case highlights self-motivation or intrinsic motivation elements where the workers were driven by optimism, a personal interest in helping others, and a sense of duty. Other workers were motivated by external rewards such as recognition, financial compensation, or non-monetary compensations such as time off and gift cards. The major motivation issues in the healthcare industry were safety, love/belonging, and esteem. Once these needs were met, the workers became motivated to work.

Using the job characteristics model, we can explain why healthcare workers were motivated to perform well during the pandemic (Talaja et al., 2021). These workers faced major equity issues such as working long hours with little rest, lack of personal protective equipment, social exclusion, and stress. The model explains that certain characteristics of a job make it more motivating. Healthcare workers may be motivated to perform well because their job requires them to care for others and make a difference in people’s lives.


Kan, F. (2019). A blueprint for achieving superior performance: Semiconductor firm Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company has built a culture of continuous improvement based on the Business Excellence Framework. Web.

Talaja, A., Viskovic, J., & Ribarovic, M. (2021). ACHIEVING SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE: THE IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRY STRUCTURE. Economic and Social Development: Book of Proceedings, 14-22.

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