10 Employee Motivation Strategies That Actually Work

Jun 27, 2024 | 0 comments

Organizations that understand employee motivation strategies are ahead of the game when it comes to performance and productivity. Motivation is the key to unlocking enhanced performance in your most valuable resources – your people. However, according to Gallup, only 33 percent of employees feel motivated and engaged at work. Clearly, organizations still have plenty to do.

Today’s post will kickstart your journey as we take a deep dive into how to motivate employees to give their best in the workplace. We explore the key drivers and why motivated employees are critical to business success. And while every worker is different, the good news is there are proven ways to boost morale and power up motivation. We share 10 tried-and-true strategies. Spoiler alert: it’s not just about the paycheck!

What Drives Employee Motivation?

Motivation is what gets us out of bed in the morning. It drives our behavior, whether in our personal or professional lives. There are two main types of motivation. Let’s take a look.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is driven by internal emotions such as happiness, pride, or satisfaction. When employees are intrinsically motivated, they perform tasks because they enjoy the positive feelings they get as a result. For example, completing a project or sharing knowledge and expertise to benefit colleagues are intrinsically motivated behaviors.

Extrinsic Motivation

External factors influence our extrinsic motivation. These include earning rewards – think paychecks, benefits, and promotions. And it also involves avoiding consequences, such as poor performance reviews or missing out on a promotion.

Companies have more control over extrinsic factors when it comes to keeping employees motivated in the workplace.

What’s The Connection Between Employee Motivation And Organizational Success?

We all know there’s a strong link between motivation and engagement. In fact, they’re two sides of the same coin. Highly engaged, motivated employees go the extra mile, leading to increased productivity and higher-quality work.

There’s a simple equation at play: the more motivated and engaged each team member is, the more productive the whole team becomes. You’ll have an unstoppable force driving organizational success.

Let’s delve deeper into the impact of a motivated workforce.

Improved Job Performance

When employees are motivated, they are more focused and invested in their work. This generates more output, stronger customer and coworker relationships, enhanced collaboration, and reduced turnover. Instead of just doing the bare minimum, the motivated employee gives their best every day.

And if you need further confirmation, consider this: McKinsey estimates the cost of unmotivated and disengaged employees to median S&P 500 companies is a staggering $282 million annually.

More Innovative Ideas

Motivated employees don’t need any encouragement to think outside the box. Innovation comes naturally to team members who are passionate about their work.

Organizations that prioritize and increase motivation create an environment where innovation thrives. Motivated and engaged employees are more likely to think creatively and contribute to innovative solutions, giving you a competitive edge.


Better Quality Work

Increase motivation and you’ll also boost the quality of employee performance. Team members take greater pride in their work and more care in completing tasks. This means there are fewer errors, reducing the need for reworks.

More Engaged Team Members

A motivated workforce fuels employee engagement. It stands to reason that motivated team members are more engaged in the organization. They have a strong sense of purpose, can see how their efforts contribute to business results, and are, therefore, more committed.

Focusing on motivating employees is a great place to start if you want to increase employee engagement.

Increased Retention

Increased job satisfaction inspires greater loyalty among team members. Employee engagement is a key driver in deciding whether to stay with an employer.

When the Great Resignation was in full swing, Gallup found that the highest quit rates were among unmotivated and actively disengaged employees.

Tackling motivation and engagement has a massive impact on retention. And it safeguards the company’s investment in recruitment and onboarding.

Positive Company Culture

Employees who are motivated and passionate about their work create a positive company culture. All that passion, high energy levels, and all-round good vibes create a shared culture. Your people feel valued and ready to support each other, share positive feedback, and celebrate team performance.

How Do You Improve Employee Motivation?

Competitive pay, cash bonuses, and company perks are obvious ways to motivate employees. After all, a paycheck helps satisfy a worker’s basic needs for putting food on the table and paying the bills. However, monetary rewards are only part of the story. HR leaders and executives can introduce a host of other incentives focusing on extrinsic motivation to ensure employees give their best every day.

10 Tried-And-Tested Employee Motivation Strategies

Here are 10 proven strategies for improving motivation in your company.

1. Promote Training And Development Opportunities

Professional development has a significant impact on motivation. Most people want to feel like they are moving forward personally or professionally. And learning new skills and knowledge is a surefire way to satisfy that human need.

Offer a broad range of professional development options. Internal webinars, mentorship programs, lunch-and-learns, external training, and certification courses are just some of the possibilities. Make sure managers know what’s available and can guide employees to the right resources.

2. Introduce Flexible Scheduling

Employees have demands on their personal lives outside work. Being locked into a rigid 9-5 arrangement can place unnecessary stress on workers trying to juggle caring commitments. Others may face a long commute during peak hours, and some employees do their best work at certain times of the day.

Flexible work hours help employees achieve a better work-life balance, preventing the buildup of frustration or resentment that can easily lead to disengagement. It also encourages greater loyalty and help workers stay motivated.

Social Intranet

3. Focus On Workplace Recognition

Recognition for hard work and a job well done are fantastic motivators. Public recognition can take the form of employee of the month programs, shout-outs on team chat, or a thank-you in the team meeting.

Whatever option you choose, make sure recognition and appreciation are an everyday part of your company culture. Employees will feel valued for all their hard work and will be highly motivated to do more.

4. Ensure Employee Goals Align With The Company Mission

Set clear goals and measurable outcomes so employees can track their progress. Ticking off personal goals and wins along the way gives workers a massive sense of achievement. Even better, invite employee input into setting their own goals. Not only will you be providing a learning opportunity, but you’ll also be motivating them to accomplish those goals.

And for maximum impact, ensure individual goals align with company objectives. That way, staff will feel part of something bigger than themselves, providing even more meaning to their daily work.

5. Schedule Regular Check-Ins With Team Members

Regular one-to-ones are crucial for monitoring employee performance and providing constructive feedback. Managers and employees can give and receive timely feedback, opening up two-way lines of communication. Check-ins are the perfect opportunity to assign new tasks and discuss new ideas to keep employees engaged and motivated.

6. Promote Teamwork

Not wanting to let the side down is incredibly motivating for most people. That’s why promoting teamwork and collaboration within a company is so important. When employees are accountable to their teammates, it incentivizes them to perform at their best.

Furthermore, teamwork enables people to achieve more than they could as individuals. Most people feel an enhanced sense of camaraderie and greater fulfillment when working in a team.

7. Survey Employees

Keep on top of motivation by regularly surveying employees. Ask them how they’re doing and whether they have the tools and resources needed to do the job.

Pulse checks and engagement surveys give workers a voice within the organization. They are also excellent vehicles for employees to raise problems and share their concerns with management.

Just be sure to act on the feedback you receive. If employees perceive the company is just paying them lip service, it’s likely to backfire on motivation.

Furthermore, survey data helps organizations manage motivation. You can assess whether your motivation strategies are paying off, and the insights gathered can help you fine-tune your approach.

8. Use Technology To Boost Employee Engagement

Plenty of tech tools and platforms can assist in the quest to keep employees motivated and engaged.

Communication tools like business instant messaging support teamwork and collaboration. Social intranets also foster engagement by providing a space for community and relationship building. These tools are especially important for remote workers. The loneliness and isolation that remote workers often face make it hard to stay motivated. Social intranets bridge the physical divide, helping to connect workers wherever they are.

team communication

9. Ensure Managers Understand How To Motivate Employees

Managers have a vital role to play in managing expectations and understanding the motivational drivers of individual employees. While we all share similar self-actualization and physiological needs, everyone is wired differently when it comes to motivation. For example, extroverts thrive on social interactions, whereas introverts find motivation in completing solitary tasks.

Equip managers with tools to help them uncover their team members’ unique motivational drivers. Then, managers can assign tasks and projects that address those drivers.

10. Encourage Team-Building Activities

There’s a reason why companies have promoted team-building activities for decades: it works. It may be an oldie, but it’s still a goldie, and that’s because getting together in a social environment strengthens the team’s bonds.

A laugh with colleagues during a night out at the movies or a shared sense of doing good while volunteering in the community significantly impacts employees at several levels. They help develop the strong social relationships that underpin every successful workplace. Team-building activities promote a sense of belonging and being part of a team. Most importantly, they can be the deciding motivating factor for getting employees to give their best each and every day.

Employee Motivation: Main Takeaways

Understanding and harnessing employee motivation is a game-changer for organizations. When companies recognize the power of motivation strategies, they create an environment where employees thrive. And remember, it’s not just about financial incentives. It’s about fostering a sense of purpose, providing growth opportunities, and celebrating achievements.

Kickstart your journey with our 10 ten proven strategies to ensure you have a workforce of engaged, motivated employees.

About MyHub

We are a leading provider of cloud intranet solutions. Consistently rated highly on independent review sites, our software connects employees to information, resources, and each other.

Explore how MyHub’s software can help drive motivation and engagement with a free demo or no-obligation 14-day trial.

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