How to Motivate Employees

A motivated employee will perform better. However, not every organization knows how to motivate employees and ensure they achieve the best results possible. When you have motivated employees, they will want to do what’s best for the company and their coworkers.

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Without it, you are looking into employees that leave, low performance and job satisfaction, and many other negative outcomes companies face.

In this article, we’ll share ideas on how to motivate your employees and help them bring their best behavior to work. From tips and strategies to challenges in the workspace that affect employee motivation, we’ll help you build a more healthy work environment.

Short Summary

What Is Employee Motivation?

Employee motivation can be defined as dedication, ambition, and creativity that your team members show while working on their tasks. However, work motivation creates a pleasant work environment and impacts every aspect of the business.

When an organization has motivated employees, they will do their best to complete their tasks on time and set an example for everyone else. When there is no motivation in the workplace, employees will invest only the minimum to get paid and not get fired.

Also, if an employee is unmotivated at work, it is not unusual for them to start looking for other job opportunities. If a company is not receiving positive feedback, it probably means it’s not motivating employees correctly.

Luckily, employee motivation can be improved with certain strategies. Organizations use various motivation tools and incentives to motivate their employees, and it’s up to you to choose which of these ways to motivate employees best suit the company and employees’ needs.

What Is Employee Engagement?

Many organizations confuse employee engagement with employee motivation. Employee engagement refers to the emotional connection and sense of belonging an employee feels to the company they work in. So, while employee motivation refers to the energy invested in the work, employee engagement is how the person feels about their workplace.

To improve employee engagement levels, you will notice that the same strategies apply to employee motivation. If employees feel respected, valued, and heard at all times, there are higher chances of higher levels of employee motivation and engagement.

Motivation and engagement often go hand in hand when it comes to workplaces. We all need to feel respected, valued, and important to feel motivated or engaged. Not everyone works the same way, but these are all conditions to meet for a team to be successful.

What Impacts Employee Engagement And Motivation?

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Many factors impact employee motivation and employee engagement. As an organization improves in these areas, leaders often notice their team is more motivated and engaged.

Factors that drive engagement and motivation are similar for all organizations, whereas how they apply them might differ. For instance, all teams will benefit from incentives. However, not every person will want the same reward for their hard work.

On the other hand, the lack of these factors will negatively impact your overall business success. If you’re not interested in ensuring your team feels motivated and engaged, they will not feel the need to stay loyal to the company.

It all comes down to a simple equation: Happy team, successful business. Unhappy team, unsuccessful business. Investing in your people always pays off, as they’ll give back even more once they feel they are in the right place.


Leaders are responsible for maintaining their team’s motivation and drive to produce excellent work. Leaders’ actions and behavior can potentially improve or worsen the work environment. For instance, if a leader shows a good example of how to get things done, their team will likely do the same. On the other hand, if a leader lacks respect for their employees, they will probably have low respect for their organization.

Company Culture

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Company culture impacts how people behave and perform. The best way to motivate employees is to create a culture and ensure they all feel part of that culture. Work culture affects the employment experience and employee motivation. A positive culture that helps employees grow and prosper, encourages them, and creates a safe space is more likely to motivate them.

Chance for Growth

Did you know that one of the main reasons employees leave their jobs is a lack of chances for advancement? Employees will think they have no opportunities if they cannot grow. Feeling stuck is the opposite of being motivated. Employees become less motivated due to feeling cut off from long-term objectives.


Recognizing employees and their results has a positive impact on employee motivation. Knowing their efforts are acknowledged makes them feel appreciated. A team feels appreciated when its hard work and accomplishments are celebrated.

Recognition should always be a major component of the feedback leaders give staff members. Also, because recognition reinforces goal-oriented behaviors, it will greatly impact the entire workplace and your business results.

How to Have Motivated Employees

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Understanding how to motivate employees is difficult, as not every organization must implement strategies that work well for them. In other words, you must test a few strategies to see which ones work best for your employees. One thing is certain: every organization must motivate employees because its success depends on it!

1. Treat Employees With Respect

Most employees leave because of poor management. If your team feels stressed, afraid, or unmotivated because of how their manager treats them, their results and behavior will worsen over time. All employees, including leaders, should treat each other respectfully because only managers motivate employees to perform better.

2. Offer Rewards to Boost Employee Morale

If you treat your employees well, they will stay. However, if you start rewarding them to boost employee morale, they will feel more motivated to work. Many companies reward certain organizational behavior in the following ways:

3. Offer Flexible Scheduling

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Technology has changed not only how we work, but also how businesses are being run. So, if you want to draw in top talent, you should offer a variety of schedule alternatives, whether a work-from-home option or flexible time. Also, make sure to ask your employees what matters to them. Not all employees are the same, and learning what they want will help you ensure better employee performance.

4. Have Meals And Snacks

Who doesn’t like to have free snacks or meals when working in an office? Many studies have shown that free food or coffee at work motivates and satisfies employees. Depending on your budget, you can organize pizza days or always have coffee and tea in the kitchen for your employees. Don’t think of it as an expense but as an investment. This has helped many employees feel valued and comfortable in the office and continue working hard.

5. Create Career Paths for Employees

This is a challenge for many companies, but it’s very important to show future options for your employees. That could mean chances for growing in a more responsible and higher-paying role, taking on the entire department, working on a new project, gaining other skill sets and knowledge, etc. One of the ways to keep employees motivated is to let them know about potential professional development opportunities if they perform well.

6. Allow Employees to Contribute Ideas

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The best way to increase motivation is to listen to your employees. That doesn’t only imply listening to them in general, but also hearing new ideas. Your employees will often have great ideas, and creating a space for them to share them is a great way to encourage creativity in the workplace. Your employees can have innovative ideas for achieving your company goals more efficiently or quickly. Their creative solutions could also apply to motivating employees, boosting employee retention, and recovering from lost productivity.

7. Organize Team Building Events

Feeling like a part of the team is a very common way of keeping employees motivated. Organizations know that motivated employees often need to feel they belong to a community with only a few workers. If your budget is limited, you can organize a team lunch and ensure your employees have a good time without worrying about their tasks. If you start organizing team-building events more frequently, you will notice that job satisfaction among your employees is slowly growing.

8. Encourage Work-life Balance

Many employers forget that their employees have personal lives, and to have engaged employees requires you to encourage a healthy work-life balance. The best way to implement this is by leading by example. After all, you can’t expect a team member to do something if you’re teaching them the opposite. A great way to hear how your employees feel about what’s lacking for a good work-life balance is through employee feedback. Make sure that this area is covered when you’re talking about achievements and other measurable goals.

9. Share Company Goals With the Team

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Yes, employees in each company probably know they need to hit their targets, but what happens with bigger goals? If you want motivated workers, they need to understand how their effort is making a part of the bigger picture. Regardless of the desired business outcomes, when employees know how their work helps the overall goal, they will be intrinsically motivated to achieve it.

10. Cultivate Positive Relationships

In an office, you don’t only communicate with your employees. Other people will enter the workplace, such as job candidates, delivery people, clients, etc. How you communicate and behave in front of these people will either motivate employees or make them feel unsatisfied with their jobs and the company’s management style. Cultivating positive relationships helps ensure all workers remain engaged and have clear communication guidelines of what’s appropriate and what’s not.


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A strong leader knows their strength lies in their team members feeling valued. Employee motivation can lead to improved company goals, outstanding work, higher productivity, and team members’ satisfaction, and it can turn your workplace into something meaningful for everyone there. How your team feels and behaves in the company shows you whether or not the company is on the right track.

After all, without employee motivation, you will face workers who are actively disengaged from their responsibilities, which ultimately will ruin your business. Instead, seek and give constructive feedback, focus on building a community that inspires others to do better, and ensure your performance reviews are not stressful to your workers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Five Ways to Motivate Staff?

To motivate workers, you must show them they are respected and valued in the workplace. The most efficient five ways to motivate your staff are to express gratitude for their hard work, set clear expectations, provide constructive feedback through performance reviews, offer flexible scheduling, and focus on positive outcomes.

How Do You Inspire And Motivate Employees?

There are many ways to motivate employees, but you must inspire them to do better first. Leading by example is what all great leaders do to ensure their employees are fully engaged. If you’re doing your best, good chances are your team members will follow.

How Do You Motivate Unmotivated Employees?

If you have unmotivated workers, understanding what they are missing is the first step. Do they feel valued? What is each person’s motivation to work in the company? Once you know the issues that lead to a lack of motivation, you can improve engagement among your team members.