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Ten tips to motivate employees

Employee motivation ensures an employee’s basic enthusiasm to work and eagerness to accomplish the given job. Motivating employees is a combination of fulfilling the employee's needs and expectations from work and the workplace.

Information about motivating employees is readily available, but it is hard to apply the ideas in many workplaces. Many workplaces still act as if the employee should be grateful to have a job. Communication is never transparent in such workplaces, and there is always a secret message or a hidden agenda in a manager’s words. Motivating employees in this work environment is tough, if not impossible.

Fortunately, most work environments are not that extreme. Each workplace has its own set of problems, but managers in such places do appreciate that motivating employees will bring positive results for the organization.

Now follow ten tips to motivate employees.

Ten tips to motivate employees


  1. Every person is motivated. This motivation can revolve around work, a hobby, family, the spiritual side of life, or food. Each person has some items or issues about which he/she feels motivated to take action in his/her life.


  1. You cannot motivate another person to work. You can only provide an environment at work that is conducive to and supportive of employees choosing to become motivated about issues related to work. Your actions in the workplace either encourage or discourage employee motivation.


  1. Actions and activities in the workplace that provide a motivating environment to employees do not have to be expensive. Activities and recognition that cost money are welcomed by employees as part of the motivation mix, but their impact is short-term and will not over-ride the way people feel about how they are treated everyday in their workplace.


  1. Much of the workplace environment that encourages employee motivation involves the management’s time and commitment: genuine interest and caring, employee-oriented policies and procedures, attention from both senior managers and line managers. All of these aspects are appreciated and valued.


  1. Motivation is prevalent in workplaces where people are treated as valued human beings. Trust, respect, civil conversation, and listening prevail in a workplace that fosters employee motivation.


  1. Clear direction plays a major role in motivating emloyees. Employees want to know exactly what you expect from them. When they have the reassurance of clear direction, motivating employees becomes easier, because you and they have created a framework for their expected performance.


  1. Supervisors frequently ask how they can motivate employees. Wrong question. They cannot. However, supervisors can create an environment where employees are motivated to work better. You know what you should do, you know what motivates you. You just do it consistently. In a disciplined manner, you should adhere to what you already know about motivating employees.


  1. Employee motivation is a constant challenge. What motivates one employee might not motivate another. Research indicates that while treating employees nicely is a factor in motivation, much more is needed to create a successful organization. After all, a workplace of happy employees is great, but it does not guarantee quality products delivered on time, delighted customers, or profitability – all essential to providing those happy employees with jobs. Factors such as demanding goals, success measurements, and critical feedback ensure the organization’s success.


  1. Actively solicit information from the employees who report to you and from your co-workers about what motivates them. Employees know what they find motivating, and they can tell you if you ask. Following through on the information you are given is key, as employees test you constantly to see if your word is good. Responding to employee needs and complaints is key in motivating employees.


  1. Motivation at work is a choice employees make. No matter how hard managers try or how supportive company policies are, there is a bottom line for motivating employees. Employees choose whether to exhibit motivated behavior at work or not. You can know and do everything discussed here, but employees are ultimately in charge of motivating themselves.


CChaitanya Shah is an SME – Financial & Growth Navigator. He can be reached at csshah01@yahoo.co.in  or +91-9322232039.