7 Ways to Motivate Your Employees

10 min. read

Useful tips to motivate your employees and encourage them to work toward your organization’s shared strategic goals.

How can you boost your employees’ morale? What are the factors that may be affecting your employees’ motivation? In the current climate, it takes more than just money to motivate. People want to feel valued, connected, and incentivized.

In this article, you will find tips to motivate your employees and encourage them to work toward your organization’s shared strategic goals.


Why it is important to motivate your employees

Employee motivation is essential to the success of an organization. Statistics on workplace motivation show that highly engaged teams experience 41 percent less absenteeism and a 17 percent rise in productivity.


Motivated employees are also found to work 20 percent better, as they are continuously se

arching for ways to improve and to help their co-workers to ensure efficiency. When employees are properly motivated they carry out purposeful, meaningful work at a more productive rate.

This data shows that when you know how to motivate your employees you will get the best out of them. Motivated individuals will dedicate themselves to the company’s mission, especially if their values align with the organization’s. Happy employees work harder and are more likely to stay with the company rather than look elsewhere for another job.


What are the motivating factors for employees?

Below are some of the top factors that increase employee motivation:


Job security

In the current cultural climate, job security is highly desirable. Over the past two years, we have all been affected by the pandemic, a high percentage of businesses were forced to shut their doors, lay off employees, and downsize general operations. Despite a significant shift to remote work, a large number of people lost their jobs. This weighs on people’s minds, so now, more than ever, when an employee finds an excellent place to work that promotes job security, they are motivated to do their best to keep their job.


Recognition

Being recognized at work is a critical factor that will increase employee motivation. Studies show that when employees feel recognized in the workplace they are four times as likely to be actively engaged at work and five times as likely to feel connected to their company culture. If your employees are recognized privately and publicly for their work, it increases job satisfaction and motivates them to take it to the next level.


A healthy, happy workplace

It should come as no surprise that toxic work environments demotivate employees and healthy work environments boost morale. Workplaces need to promote enthusiasm, community, and fun because it reduces work-related stress and encourages a healthy work-life balance. Happy, healthy employees show up to work excited, highly motivated, and ready to work.


Career Advancement

In today’s market, employees need to know that there are options for them to advance their careers within an organization. If there are seemingly no means to advance, a person can stagnate in their ‘dead-end’ job, demotivated by the lack of opportunity. If you want to motivate your employees you need to encourage them to express their purpose and give them a clear path for growth.


Salary, perks, and bonuses

We all work to make money and employees need to take care of their self-interests. Whether they are single or supporting a family, employees will be highly motivated when they know they are earning enough to live a comfortable life. The greater salary they can achieve, the more they will be motivated, and the harder they will work. If you can also offer your employees perks and bonuses they will be more likely to become engaged, productive team members.


What can negatively impact employee motivation?

Before you can fully understand how to motivate your employees, you need to consider what hinders motivation. Recognizing the roadblocks helps you to avoid them:


Micromanagement

How would you feel if someone was looking over your shoulder watching your every move? What would you do if your team leader refused to delegate, became overly involved with your work, and wouldn’t allow you to make decisions? Micromanagement is a form of mistrust. It is difficult to feel motivated if your boss decides to check every detail, demands constant updates, and wants to be cc’d on every email.


The process of micromanagement is about control. The more control you enforce the more your employees feel mistrusted, mistreated, and undervalued. If your employees feel like this, their motivation will decrease.


Lack of structure

Structure lays the foundations for motivation. Structure, systems, and processes tell employees who is responsible for what, who answers to who, and how things work to produce optimum results. Effective, efficient, driven employees emanate from solid structures and systems. The purpose of strategized systems and processes is to create a working environment that boosts motivation and promotes productivity.


A lack of structure is one of the quickest ways to demotivate your employees. When an employee is confused or alienated because there isn’t a straightforward system, it increases stress, and their motivation drops.


Unclear Expectations

How well you motivate your employees depends on how effectively you communicate your expectations. A high percentage of leaders call their team members to a high level of expectation without ever sharing what that level is.


A huge number of employees work every day trying to achieve goals they are unclear about how to attain. You cannot achieve what you do not know. If expectations are not clearly defined and communicated, an employee has no chance of meeting those expectations, they are positioned for failure. The most motivated employees are those who know what the target is and what steps they need to get there.


The two types of employee motivation


There are two common types of employee motivation:

· Intrinsic – personal challenges and responsibilities, job satisfaction, self-fulfillment

· Extrinsic – physical rewards and perks, salary, bonuses, gifts

As an employer, you can utilize both types of employee motivation to ensure your team members are engaged and energized.


7 Ways to motivate your employees

Each year, over $450 billion in losses is recorded for American businesses due to unmotivated employees. When an employee isn’t in agreement with a company’s mission and vision, they are neither driven to make innovative moves nor are they likely to perform well.


Here are effective ways to motivate your employees:


1. Make your office the best place to work

Your employees should feel positive when they arrive at work in the morning. If you operate a physical office you should aim to create a safe, aesthetically pleasing, well-lit, functional, and fun workspace. This can mean simple steps such as updating to ergonomic equipment and decorating the break room, or you could redesign your entire office to implement more modern, flexible workspaces that promote connectivity.


When your employees can see that you are willing to invest and adapt to suit their needs whilst promoting healthy work practices, they will feel valued and motivated.


2. Ask your employees for feedback

When you ask someone for their opinion on a topic they tend to feel better about themselves and you. When people are prompted to provide their perspective without fear of judgment it facilitates greater trust and increases employee satisfaction.


Employees who feel heard are more likely to feel motivated to complete their tasks to the best of their ability because they genuinely feel like part of a team.

Asking questions and creating a company culture of open communication promotes innovation, challenges company norms, and provides a greater sense of confidence in collective problem-solving.


3. Share your core values

If your employees share the common goals and values of your company they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.


Once your organization has defined its core values, the next step is to publish and promote them on your company website and in your employee handbook. To keep these values at the forefront of your existing employees’ minds you need to make your core values a prominent feature in your workplace. As an example, you could print them out and present them in a high-traffic area such as your reception, break room, or meeting room. This will help to keep your company values and expectations top of mind.


If an employee can refer back to these values daily they will become an integral part of their experience in the workplace.


4. Implement an incentive program

If you want to motivate your employees, it could be worth investing in a strategized incentive program. An incentive program is a scheme that a business can implement to motivate its employees to perform better, experience greater job satisfaction, or meet specific goals.


Your incentive program should be modeled on the types of behaviors you want to reward and encourage in your organization. The program should provide a clear way for employees to acknowledge each other's efforts and successes.


Here are some incentives you could look to incorporate:


· Compensation incentives - performance-related bonuses, profit-sharing schemes, and stock options

· Recognition incentives – simple, yet impactful gestures of gratitude that can be shared in-house, at team events, or privately

· Reward incentives – can include traditional financial bonuses or more modern systems such as peer-to-peer referrals where team members provide points that can be banked up and spent on eVouchers, reloadable gift cards, or physical gifts

· Appreciation incentives - company parties, birthday celebrations, opportunities to go home early on a Friday, extra vacation, prizes, and regular team lunches

5. Provide Resources for Professional Growth

Investing in your employees is one of the most effective investments a business can make because it shows that you have your employees’ best interests at heart. However, it can be worrying as an employer, will the time, energy, and money you invest be lost if they choose to up and leave?


Regardless of the investment, the majority of your employees will choose to leave at some point. But, if your employees leave on good terms, they instantly become walking billboards for your company which can create future job referrals.


When employees know that the company they work for is willing to invest in them for their personal and professional growth, they will be more inclined to invest their time, energy, and resources back into the company. This process creates a positive feedback cycle of productivity. Investing in employee training and development will not only motivate your employees, but it can reduce employee turnover and absenteeism.


6. Praise In Public, Critique in Private

Influential and effective leaders have to give feedback, but the way they choose to provide this information can affect not only individuals but the entire company.

We must have all experienced the awkward, second-hand embarrassment of being in the same room as someone who was being told off by a superior. It’s cringeworthy and entirely unnecessary. These types of interactions can extinguish an individual’s spirit and stifle team morale and do not provide motivation for progress.


If you need to provide negative feedback, provide a private setting without external or outside judgment. This can help turn a difficult conversation into one that can create growth, learning, and development. Not only does this facilitate trust and relationship building, but it also promotes safety and allows employees time to discuss personal and professional factors that may be affecting their performance.


Praising your employees in public provides a collective boost by creating an overall sense of security and caring that appeals to everyone’s foundational needs.


7. Transparency

The more an employee can believe in you, the greater motivation it will build. If you cultivate a company culture of openness you create an environment based on clarity, certainty, and trust.

When employees sense they are out of the loop, they become confused and uncertain. The more unsure an employee is, the less motivated they will become. When you lack transparency as an employer and an organization you will lose employee motivation and trust.


The best way to be transparent is through clear and regular communication. If your company can communicate well, you will have a platform to be transparent. Invest in communication training for yourself and your teams. Use that knowledge to build relationships and encourage transparency throughout your organization.


Ways to motivate your employees – a conclusion

Motivating your employees means taking a huge step towards creating a workplace that encourages productivity, engagement, and continuous improvement. If you can follow through with some of the tips above you should be able to motivate your employees to enjoy working toward your organization’s shared strategic goals.

Links

Statistics on workplace motivation