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5 Effective Ways to Motivate Employees

Employee motivation is essential to the success of an organization. Motivated employees work harder and dedicate themselves to the company’s mission. They have a positive attitude, exceed their objectives, generate strong ideas, and go above and beyond. In fact, motivated employees perform 20% better at work and 87% more likely to stay with the company than look elsewhere for another job. 

Yet, achieving a motivated workforce typically involves more than offering a high salary. Instead, it’s factors that stir intrinsic ambitions that truly motivate employees at the workplace. Here are the top five motivational techniques you can use for a happier and more productive working environment.

Communicate The Big Picture

Whether it’s your mission, a larger project goal, or a combination of both, the big picture can be the main reason your employees are motivated to work for your company. According to the study, 87% of the great leaders, in comparison to 76% of the poor leaders, recognize that giving out bonuses is not the only way to motivate employees. 

Regularly updating your team on the company’s goals, performance, and overall vision helps keep them invested. When you share the big picture with your staff precisely, they will understand their role and the contributions they make to the organization’s success. Your employees will be inspired, productive, and loyal. 

Here are the five ways to get employees thinking the big picture:

  • Share your company goals
  • Share your vision
  • Communicate value
  • Provide context to encourage ownership of projects
  • Reward goal progress

Set Smaller Weekly Goals

In a study of employee motivation, researchers found that goal setting was the most efficient method of motivating employees. When goals are small, measurable, and specific, your staff is more likely to be motivated to achieve them. Moreover, when faced with meeting a goal, your team becomes resourceful, using existing knowledge and skills or acquiring new knowledge needed to succeed.

In addition, it is important to ensure that the goals set are practical and realistic. Goals that are too ambiguous can lead to lower employee engagement and burnout - and if they are not challenging enough, that can also hurt motivation. You can avoid setting ineffective goals by following the SMART method; SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Express Gratitude

Your employees want to know that they are performing well and their efforts are appreciated. Words of praise can have a profound impact on motivation. Some ways to do this include offering verbal praise for a recent achievement, sharing positive feedback from customers, or providing formal recognition through an award program. 

"At Convene, every management and executive meeting starts off with each department lead recognizing someone from their team who has gone above and beyond for the company or a client. This positive feedback loop motivates team members, and it holds management accountable for staff recognition."

Christopher Kelly, Co-founder of Convene

Give Individual and Team Rewards

When you reward team and individual achievement, you can motivate your employees to work hard toward achieving the company’s goals. This is an effective way to increase employee motivation by giving employees something to work towards. And, when people are motivated to work harder for the good of the company, it often results in higher performance. 

Here are the 5 ways to motivate employees using rewards:

  • Ensure that employers understand how to earn the rewards
  • Make your rewards a mix of monetary and non-monetary
  • Provide rewards immediately after employees’ achievements
  • Make sure that employees understand and appreciate the rewards as worth the effort

Prioritize Work-life Balance

Work-life balance is a critical facet of an encouraging work environment where you can help your staff achieve a healthy synergy in their lives. Promoting mental and physical health helps everyone in the workforce, creates an empowered workplace, and has lasting effects on motivation and productivity. It will also allow your company to attract and retain the best talent, emphasizing the importance of work-life balance.

When your team feels motivated, they are more likely to be loyal and fully dedicated to their job responsibilities. Motivated workers significantly outperform their less-engaged colleagues in almost all regards.

"We have a few fun incentives, like an in-office "phone booth" style machine that lets you grab dollar bills. It's a fun little motivator that the sales team uses on a smaller scale. Otherwise, it's also important to encourage employees to take vacation time. A culture that prioritizes work-life balance, yields increased productivity and overall happiness in the workplace."

Jesse Lipson, Founder of Levitate and Co-founder of Raleigh Founded 

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