15 Great Ways to Motivate Employees and Encourage Your Team at Work

If you run your business anything other than single-handedly, your employees are vital to the success of your business.

If they are smart, creative and highly motivated, your business is likely to do well. If they are not and you haven’t found the right ways to motivate employees, then your business may struggle to reach its full potential.

In this post, we are going to look at what you can do to ensure that your employees are just as motivated to see your business succeed as you are…

Ways to Motivate Employees

1. Gamify the Workplace

It might be a bit of a buzzword right now, but there is no denying that turning daily working life into something of a game is a great way to increase work motivation.

You can do this by developing a really good feedback system that offers excellent rewards to employees who meet their targets, go above and beyond and meet important goals.

Rewards can be anything from badges and trophies to free lunches and even cash bonuses. Just think about what your employees would like most and implement a system that will have them raring to go.

2. Put Your Trust in Them

If your employees know absolutely that you trust them and that you don’t know where you would be without them, they will step up and do what needs to be done with rarely a complaint at all.

Everyone likes to feel like they are trusted and needed and they will rarely turn their backs on the people who give them that trust.

Try it by not only telling them how you feel but showing them by giving them more freedom and more important responsibilities in the workplace and they won’t disappoint you.

3. Break Those Goals Down

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If you’re in the midst of a huge on-going project, it’s easy to get demotivated as the days and weeks roll on and you’re still far from your target. That’s why it can be useful, from a motivational point of view, to break down those long-term goals into shorter ones.

For example, if you want to make $100,000 in a year, break that down into smaller goals, such as making $2,000 each month. And your team will get more results faster, keeping their head in the fame.

Just make sure you reward each little goal met with something fun like having pizza ordered in or going out for drinks on you on Friday to increase motivation in the workplace.

4. Ensure Every Employee Has a Purpose

There are few people who work as hard as they can when they are bored and disillusioned with their job. So if you want them to give 100 percent to your business, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your employees have a vision, strong goals and a job that gives them a bit of a challenge.

If they know they’re working to their strengths and what they’re doing day to day is important for the bigger picture to come to fruition, they will bring it each and every day.

5. Be a Positive Boss

The next one of the best ways to motivate employees is to stop demotivating them.

There a few things more demotivating than a mean boss who’s constantly on your back finding fault in everything you do and often being downright mean for no reason.

I’m sure that you’re not that kind of boss, but we all have bad days.

It’s important that when that happens, we do not take it out on team. If you were to do that, they would end up resenting you and no one is going to work as hard as they can for someone they have no respect for or even downright hate!

6. Always Be Honest

Being honest is so important in the world of work, especially if you are the boss.

Why? Because if employee feel like they are being lied to or that vital information is being withheld from them, they are going to be unhappy and on edge, a lot of the time and no one is motivated by those kinds of negative emotions.

It may not always be comfortable, but honesty really is the best policy, especially when it comes to team culture and encouraging your team at work.

7. Treat Each Employee as an Individual

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Treating everyone on your tea, as the individual they are is a sure-fire way to motivate employees.

That’s because you can not only play to their strengths and weaknesses by giving them the work they are most suited for, but you can also tailor your incentives to match their needs and wants, which will always be far more effective than a generic solution.

8. Use Feedback to Reward

A great way to motivate your staff to always work hard and be better is to reward them based on feedback.

If you can set up a system that will record every time they are praised by a manager, every time they meet or exceed a goal and every time a customer reports how well they have handled a situation, and you reward the employee who has the most positive feedback, well you will see everyone upping their game trying their hardest to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

You can set something like this up by creating fairly simple tracking apps, and it will be totally worth it.

9. Give Them a Better Work-Life Balance

A lot of business owners think that making their staff work more, cutting down breaks to the bare minimum and never letting anyone take sick days if they can help it, is the way to motivate employees and increase productivity. But it really isn’t.

You see, this kind of atmosphere makes everyone feel resentful and that zaps any motivation that was there away.

It’s far better to give longer breaks, let employees work remotely sometimes and give them more flexibility in terms of vacation and sick days if you want them to be motivated because they will be far happier and more relaxed.

They will also appreciate you and their job more which will spur them on to perform at optimum levels.

If you’re wondering whether work life balance is more important than salary, here’s an infographic by Liquid Space explaining this:

10. Ensure Your Door is Always Open

If your door is always open and employees know that they can come to you with ideas, complaints, criticisms and even personal problems, they will feel more confident in their positions and more valued by you.

They will know how lucky they are to work in a business with such a caring boss and they will have plenty at stake, which will push them to do more and be more. That’s another one of the best ways to motivate employees.

11. Let Them Take the Lead

Allowing your workers to take the lead in the office is a very effective way of boosting employee motivation because it gives them more agency. As well as showing them just how valued they are.

It also allows them to see exactly what they are capable of by testing out new ways of doing things that you yourself may not have considered before. It can be a hugely beneficial process.

12. Give Them an Investment

Giving your employees a bigger stake in your business is almost certainly going to boost their motivation levels and keep productivity high.

I mean if you have stocks and shares in a company, you’re going to want it to perform well, right?

Imagine you had a direct on how well they performed. You would do everything you could to boot the value of those shares, wouldn’t you? It’s pretty obvious really.

13. Ensure Your Workplace is Pleasant

If your workplace is light, bright and airy and if it is filled with lots of plants and pretty artworks, it will undoubtedly lift that spirits of everyone who works there in comparison to a dark, dingy and somewhat bare office space.

So, spend money on revamping your office until it is a much pleasanter atmosphere for you all.

As well as keeping employee motivation levels up, it will go a long way to impressing visiting clients too.

14. Conduct Performance Reviews

This one is tricky because it can sometimes be a de-motivator if it’s done badly.

But if you look at these performance review examples and you get it right, showing your employees what they are doing well and what could be improved, perhaps giving them some ideas as to how they can improve, it can be a really motivating exercise.

Give it a try and be careful to monitor how well it goes down to see if it should be a regular thing.

Read also: How to Write a Performance Review for Your Employees

15. Be Fair

As a business owner, one of the worst things you can do from a motivational perspective is to have favorites and to make it obvious you have favorites.

You should never treat anyone better or give them special privileges unless they have earned them fair and square and you’re rewarding them for their work.

Think about it. If you’re working hard all day, achieving just as much as the person in the next cubicle, only they get taken out to dinner by the boss and you don’t, what is your incentive to work hard, going above and beyond in the future?

You don’t have much of one.

So, although that person you favor might be highly motivated, the rest of your employees won’t and that will mean a drop in productivity, not an increase.

You may not be able to or even want to implement all of these ideas. But if you go through this list of ways to motivate employees and pick out the things that you think will most appeal to your team and allow you to boost morale, they will almost certainly make a huge difference to the success of your business.

Want to improve motivation in the workplace? Here are 15 ways to motivate employees and encourage your team at work: