Motivating the right way

How to Motivate Your Employees the Right Way

How to Motivate Your Employees the Right Way - Image.jpg

Motivation is one of the most precious business resources and one of the greatest challenges a leader will face. Motivating employees is equal parts art and science, and you would do well to learn and master it. 

A motivated and dedicated staff can make the difference between growing your business or grinding to a halt. If you as a business owner can motivate employees the right way, you boast a high retention rate, a happy and inclusive business culture, and an enterprise productivity at its peak.

Luckily, there is no shortage of tried and tested ways to motivate employees effectively.

The science of employee motivation

If you have attracted top talent to your enterprise, you already have half the job done and must be asking yourself, how do I retain these great people and help them live up to their potential?

Predictably, studies show that money, benefits, and perks play a role, but there are other factors in employee motivation and satisfaction that have exponentially higher effects.

Peer motivation, doing good, receiving encouragement and praise, growing professionally and personally, having satisfied customers, and making a difference all rank higher than earning a handsome salary.

When these conditions are not met, your staff is much more likely to lack rapport, underperform, deliver low-quality work or outputs, engage in unplanned absenteeism and ultimately leave your enterprise on less than amicable terms. 

All these hurt both your bottom line and your own morale and ability to weather the storms of the business world. Here are some specific strategies you can start implementing in order to boost employee motivation. 

Make the workplace welcoming and pleasant

This is where it all begins. Your staff will spend hours upon hours daily in a fixed location, and it is your task to make it convenient, pleasant, and enjoyable in order to boost productivity and employee satisfaction.

Make sure the workplace is arranged functionally and gets plenty of light, ideally natural or otherwise tasteful and easily adjustable. The furniture and the equipment do not have to be the latest or the most expensive, but they have to 'flow' with your business's day to day operation and never impede it in any way. Cleanliness is another crucial factor, on which you cannot afford to skimp. 

You can offer free coffee, healthy snacks, or even full catering: Sustenance goes a really long way. Livening up the office atmosphere with regular game nights or small concerts by local artists are also proven strategies for crafting a desirable working space.

Single out good achievements for praise

There are few motivational techniques more powerful than rewarding good behaviour. When it is deserved, praise is your primary motivation tool because it has multifactorial benefits. It shows your employees you see and appreciate their efforts. It shows you to be a benevolent leader and an open communicator; and it pushes other employees to excel in their respective tasks in order to gain your praise as well.

Unlike punishing wrongful behaviour, positive reinforcement in the form of praise for a job well done always works and does not lose effectiveness over time. So, keep a close eye on your staff's achievements and be sure to celebrate them appropriately.

Build a strong and cohesive team

Peer motivation is among the leading factors behind business success; employees take many cues from one another and interact continuously. Strong team rapport, cooperation, and harmony are key to keeping motivation and morale high.

Just imagine running a successful restaurant: Every staff member, from the chef to the cleaner, plays an indispensable role in the success of each service. Particularly in times of extra pressure and stress, team members who support one another increase each other's motivation levels exponentially.

Provide growth opportunities

The narrative of the manual labourer who slowly works his or her way through the company ranks is a powerful story we all like to hear. In the end, your motivation goal should be for your best employees to rise through the ranks and ultimately replace you at the very top. 

If you follow the strategies above, you will see this is easier than you think.

By Bruce Hakutizwi, USA and International Accounts Director for, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. 

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