3 Simple Ways to Motivate Employees

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May 2018
3 Simple Ways to Motivate Employees

Employee motivation is an essential aspect of a team manager’s responsibilities. Different ways to motivate employees might work for different people, work environments, organizations, your leadership style, the structure of the work, etc. All these are factors affecting the level of motivation of anyone involved in a project. Luckily, there are some ways to encourage workers to do their best, be productive and energetic, happy and focused, without forcing them to do so.

Let’s explore how great managers create a powerful company culture where everyone’s determined to work hard and even thrive on their own together with being part of the team.

1. Combine Words with Actions

What some team managers and business owners do when trying to motivate their employees is that they are strong with words, but their actions don’t prove that. Obviously, it leads to not gaining the trust and respect of the employees, not letting them open up and connect with the manager or each other, not communicating expectations and objectives clearly, and – eventually – not working efficiently.

To combine words with actions, though, begin practicing what you preach. Or maybe you’re already doing that just behind the scenes. Here are some examples:

  • Example 1

    You want everyone to be engaged during a meeting, to speak up, share ideas, be proactive, give feedback. So do it yourself first. Show people that as challenging as it is, it’s an important part of work. So everyone is welcome to speak up.

  • Example 2

    Be familiar with the technology you’re introducing to your team. Use yourself all the software tools others should work with on a daily basis.

You need to be the person in the organization who has all the answers to your employee’s questions regarding work-related procedures and tools used for them. Also, by going through what they are (such as learning how to use a new tool), you show that you care and are seen as down-to-earth.

2. Upgrade Your Incentive Program

You probably do have one, but is it what motivates your employees? Does it go beyond compensation? Is it tailored to your team or are you using general incentives? If you feel like it can be done better, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Focus more on recognition, especially for the little things. Appreciating people encourages them to use more of their potential, to work harder and receive more recognition, to have more energy and go to work with a positive mindset.

Anything that compliments a person or their work style touches their sense of accomplishment, their level of confidence, their desire to be a good worker. So make sure to praise your employees for good performance. They will always keep this in mind when they feel that they aren’t doing their best – feeling appreciated is crucial for staying productive in the long run. It’s proven that with enough positive incentives, an organization won’t see its employees leaving any time soon, or ever.

You can also write personal thank-you notes. Make it special with one-on-one conversations. But also public by praising individuals during the meeting or on the company website. There are plenty of ways to show that you recognize their efforts and achievements and that itself will encourage people to do more of what they do best.

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3. Focus on Individuals

In most organizations, it’s either about the project, the client, the business, the next objective, the profits, the manager, the boss, etc. But it’s rarely about the average team member. With this approach, it’s easy for people on a team to feel isolated, underappreciated, and sometimes even angry or upset. Don’t let that happen on your team. In fact, turn it around by focusing more on them as individuals.

For example, show them you care about their work-life balance and discuss strategies on how every employee can improve their everyday life out of work. It could be by compensating gym memberships to encourage them to take care of their health, showing them how to use a time management tool for improving their productivity and saving time, investing more in a relaxation area in the office so that the employees can make more use of breaks.

All these steps will lead to healthier, happier and more concentrated workforce on your team. Most importantly, they will do a better job for the company.


These 3 things are what great managers do to become more than just bosses. To become leaders. You can do the same and realize that employee motivation is a never-ending process. You just get better at it, see progress and need to constantly adjust your approach as times and people change.

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