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8 Sure Shot Ways to Increase Employee Motivation

10 min read

Employee Motivation Is Critical Because It Directly Or Indirectly Affects Quality Of Work, Performance And Engagement Levels.

Traditional approaches have failed to look at these parameters.

As per a study by Gallup, only 2 in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. This means that because of poor management, most employees remain unclear about what is expected out of them, which results in demotivation.

Here are some tips that can be applied at the workplace to ensure those motivation levels do not continue to plummet.

1. Trust Your Employees

I have heard so many cases where employees cringe over the age-old systems that are in place at the office. Be it getting every little detail approved by someone who is a senior (and who probably does not even know about the project), or taking permission before executing an idea, all these factors lead to eventual demotivation in employees.

An absence of trust creates a culture of doubt and anxiety as opposed to a thriving workplace where employees aren’t scared to try new things. It limits innovation as every other thing has to pass through various levels to get approved. If your employees need to verify each and everything that they do, they are bound to lose their patience sooner or later. These small issues lead to bigger problems that create a sense of alienation for employees.

The key lies in trusting your employees with their work. Offer them the ownership they deserve and give them an honest chance to prove themselves. Micromanaging has never helped anyone. Along with ownership, you also need to make employees accountable, so that they are rightfully aware of their responsibilities.

2. Offer Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is when an employee feels comfortable to express, speak up, debate or communicate about issues related to the workplace or business. It is the feeling that gives employees the confidence to share their ideas openly in front of their peers and leaders without any feelings of fear. Such a feeling is essential to cultivate in employees so that they remain innovative and free from hindrances to growth.

Managers and leaders need to encourage and offer psychological safety to their employees. This comes through setting the path for transparent communication, encouraging genuine interactions, being empathetic and responsive to employee feelings. If there is a dip in motivation levels, employees must be able to express the true reasons for it when asked.

3. Respect Your Employees


Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given. 

~ Hussain Nishah

Have you ever been yelled at? If yes, how gut-wrenching was that experience? Almost unforgettable, right?

We often hear so many complaints or even jokes about bosses yelling at their employees. It is so common that it almost seems normal. But the effects of disrespecting employees can never be good. Nobody wants to be associated in a place where they aren’t respected.

Getting the best out of employees is possible if they are treated with respect, especially during stressful situations or economic downturns. Leaders need to ensure employees are treated well by managers in order to keep motivation and productivity levels high. Raising voices or yelling at employees for any reason is not justified. If there is an issue with an employee’s performance, the same needs to be told privately, with the right tools being offered. Let your employees know you care about them and treat them like how you would want to be treated.

4. Listen

The reason for the dip in motivation levels could be professional or even personal. These reasons need to be heard. Managers need to witness changes in such behavior and be empathetic to their subordinates. If they see there is a general sense of alienation that might have crept up in some employee, who has otherwise been displaying appositive personality, it could be a red flag.

Once again, communication is key here. If that employee is an asset to the organization, counseling should be provided and everything should be done to make him or she feel better. Being empathetic and allowing the employee to express what is wrong will also help foster a sense of genuine care.

5. Tell Them Their Role Matters

Engaged employees want to continuously develop themselves while on the job. Without a lack of purpose or a sense of attachment to company vision and leaders, employees are likely to lose focus and look out for jobs elsewhere. Employees need to believe that they make a difference, can move the needle and are vital to change the game. All this needs to be included in the job description and be told repeatedly.

Employees need to be coached and reminded of who they are in the organization, how their role is crucial to achieving common goals, who the customers are, career growth opportunities and more along with just the performance metrics. Only when these aspects are clearly defined will employees stay motivated.

6. Do A Culture Check

Culture plays a huge intangible role in defining employee motivation levels. According to Tiny Pulse’s 2017 report on employee engagement, culture’s impact on employee engagement was the highest. Aspects such as competitive benefits, flexible schedule and work-life balance were in fact found to have a low correlation to employee happiness.

Thus, a positive work culture breeds engaged employees. According to Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay. It is the culture and the values of the organization, closely followed by the quality of the senior leadership and career opportunities for the employees within the company. Reviews from Glassdoor data also showed that the culture and values of the organization become more important as the income of an employee increase. Thus, analyze if your top talent is satisfied with the culture or not. If not, make changes through discussions and surveys, and keep them satisfied to retain them for long.

7. Recognize And Reward

According to Tiny Pulse Employee Engagement Survey 2017, only 26% of employees feel strongly valued at work, which is lower than last year.

A sure shot way of improving employee motivation and morale is by giving priority to recognition. And this does not necessarily need to be a huge burden or require a lot of investment. Even a small “thank you” or good treatment extended to your employees can help promote a positive, productive and engaged organizational climate. The benefits of employee recognition are many. It needs to be made a year-long activity, such that it gets ingrained in the company culture. All this cannot be achieved in a day and needs time to develop

8. Offer Continuous Feedback

Continuous feedback needs to be a part of your organization’s performance management system. According to Gallup’s report, only 26% of employees strongly agreed that the feedback they receive helps them to do their work better.

Today’s generation continually seeks out for coaching and learning opportunities from their superiors. A lack of manager participation in employee’s growth has proved to be a major source of disappointment.

54% of millennials have reported having frequently felt that their manager is unprepared to give feedback during performance reviews. Such a system will not work anymore as feedback is key to millennials. They want to know how they are performing and what is needed for improvement. Regular review meetings, pulse surveys need to be made a part of the company rewards culture.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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