10 Proven Ways to Motivate Employees

by | Jul 24, 2020 | Blog

Motivating your employees is one of the best ways to ensure that your business grows and your team want to work towards the goals of the company.

Having a team of motivated and committed employees is one of the most valuable assets any business can have. While money and benefits are important, a study found that they don’t top the list of motivating factors.

For most employees, the most important motivators in the workplace are peer motivation (20%), and feeling encouraged and recognized (13%), according to recent studies. As an employer, it is important to learn what motivates your team and how you can make changes in your workplace that support teams, boost morale and reduce staff turnover.

Make your workplace environment inviting

Your office should be an inviting space that people feel comfortable and excited to enter. Buy or hire modern equipment that is well-maintained, functional and suited to the task. Ensure that your team has the tools they need to work without unnecessary frustration.

Provide a comfortable office space that caters to the needs of different personalities in your team. Some people want a desk in a private space in which they will not be interrupted, while other people work better in vibrant spaces with conversation and noise. If you can create different spaces for your team, allowing them to choose where they feel most comfortable, employees will feel respected and motivated to work.

Be a respectful and supportive manager

Bad management is one of the top reasons employees leave a company. A manager who is respectful, honest, supportive, and who communicates clearly are the foundations of leadership in a company.

However, leadership is a skill and continuing to learn ways in which you can support different personalities and work styles, and cope in different situations, is one of the best ways you can retain staff. Employees who feel that their leaders and managers are committed to connecting with their employees are more likely to work hard and make a long term commitment to the company.

Offer employee rewards

An incentive program is a great way to show your employees that you appreciate the commitment they make to reach goals, exceeding targets and helping your business grow. Introducing incentives such as a quarterly bonus, a commission structure, or even profit-sharing in your company can motivate employees. The type of program you choose to introduce should support teams, rather than place them in competition, so be sure to consider carefully how you will reward employees who exceed expectations without embarrassing those who do not, but who still perform to high standards.

Create room to grow

If your business is young and rapidly expanding, creating positions for your employees to be able to move into is a motivating factor for them to want to work hard and commit to your company. One of the most powerful factors you can offer is the psychological reward of trust and respect that comes with promotion. Showing your employees that you recognise the work they do, that you value their contribution and that you respect their expertise or professionalism is a way to encourage commitment to your company from valuable employees and show them you are serious about creating career opportunities for them.

Share positive feedback

Feeling fulfilled by your work is one of the key job satisfaction indicators. Satisfaction in your work can come from a variety of tasks: from knowing the bathroom is pristine to delivering a package on time to implementing a policy strategy that benefits a community. If your customers share feedback about the work that your team is doing, it is important to let them know how their work is received, especially if that feedback is positive. Appreciation for a job well-done should be shared with individuals or teams so that they know the work they are doing is meeting or exceeding expectations and they can find ways to continue to improve.

Be transparent

Sending out daily, weekly, or monthly reports about how your business is performing helps employees to feel connected with your success and your values. Allowing employees access to your data not only makes your employees feel like they’re an important part of the business, it also helps point out areas where things could be improved. If your business is not doing well, telling your team about any struggles can help them to feel connected with results and could inspire employees to be creative about solutions or work harder to achieve goals and meet targets.

Support flexible scheduling

In a Forbes study, 46 percent of respondents said that flexibility is the most important factor when it comes to job searching. Earlier this year, we witnessed the benefits first hand for businesses that were already offering flexible work scheduling as compared with those who did not as lockdowns due to the pandemic forced businesses to consider how to continue working. Giving employees the option to work from home, or choose flexible hours means that employees feel a sense of loyalty to your company because they know that such conditions might not be offered elsewhere.

Snack time

Offering drinks and snacks is an easy way to keep employees happy and motivated. A survey by Seamless found that 57 percent of employees say food-based perks make them feel more valued and appreciated. When an employer pays attention to your physical needs, you also feel that they care about you as a person. Having snacks on offer encourages people to take breaks, eat when they need to and even bond as a team. In the same survey, 38 percent said food perks would make them more likely to endorse their employer in a “best places to work for” survey, so it can also help you attract new talent.

Recognize employees’ achievements

Sometimes all people want is some recognition for a job well done. If an employee has been putting in a lot of time working on a project, or they went out of their way to help out a coworker, as their leader you should praise them. When people feel that their efforts are appreciated, they feel compelled to continue working hard. Employees whose achievements were recognised report higher levels of job satisfaction. However, those who feel that their long hours and personal sacrifices are ignored are less likely to continue to make such sacrifices and even seek employment elsewhere. So, whether it’s noting their contributions in a meeting, recognising them in a staff email, or just thanking them privately, it’s imperative that you show hardworking employees your gratitude.

Ask employees what they want

Rather than guessing what you think will motivate your teams and encourage employees to stay with your company, why not ask teams what they want. Some teams might want more privacy, while others might request pizza lunch Friday’s. What might surprise you most is teams who are simply looking for more approval from their leaders; don’t underestimate how much your employees value your input.


Motivating employees is really about listening, respecting and understanding. While it can be difficult for large teams to offer individual attention, you can find ways that support your teams, help them feel valued and improve their desire to be productive in their work. Giving employees a sense of self-worth is the best way to encourage them to want to do their best in their work. Let employees know how valuable their contribution is to the overall company and they will develop a sense of ownership of their work and want to give their best, every day.