10 Strategies for Motivating Employees Who Actually Work

According to a surprising study conducted in 2016, about 70 percent of American workers admit that they’re not fully engaged in their jobs on a regular basis. As a result, the majority of these people sleepwalk through their days and simply go through the motions when they’re at work.

Do you suspect that some of your company’s employees might fall squarely into this category of people? If so, you should make motivating employees more of a priority as you inch closer to the new year.

It’s not always easy for companies to provide their employees with motivation in the workplace. But that shouldn’t stop you from working as hard as you can to increase employee motivation and improve your company’s culture in the process.

Here are 10 strategies for motivating employees that will actually work.

1. Inform Upper Management of the Importance of Employee Motivation

The first thing you should do before you start trying to go about motivating employees is to hold a meeting with upper management about the issue at hand. Your company’s CEO and all your other top-ranking employees need to fully understand how important employee motivation is.

If upper management is unaware of the issue, they might not see much sense in utilizing any of your strategies for motivating employees. So you should bring them on board with the idea to ensure you have their full support. It’ll increase the chances of them creating a budget so that you can put some of your strategies into place.

2. Recognize Key Employees in Regular Company-Wide Emails

One of the reasons that some people don’t work as hard as they could (and should!) at their place of work is because they don’t think it actually matters if they put forth any effort.

Whether they set a new record for monthly sales or fail to sell a single thing in a month, they receive the same amount of recognition. So why even bother going all out at work if no one is going to notice?

You can let your employees know that you do notice by creating a regular company-wide email that offers recognition to key employees. People will feel like their hard work is appreciated when you take the time to give them a much-needed nod in an email.

3. Plan Celebrations for Hard-Working Employees

Recognizing your employees in company-wide emails is a start. But you shouldn’t stop there when you make motivating employees your mission.

You should host weekly or monthly celebrations for those employees who earn a shout-out in one of your emails. You can also hold a “healthy” lunch, company picnic or another kind of party to let your employees know you care.

4. Let Talented Employees Meet With the CEO

If you work at a large company, there’s a good chance that most of your employees don’t get the opportunity to rub elbows with your CEO. It can make it seem like the CEO doesn’t care about the work employees are doing.

Change that by granting access to the CEO to the employees who really go above and beyond within your organization. Set up a monthly lunch with the CEO and ask your different department heads to nominate their best employees to attend it.

This will be beneficial for your CEO, as they’ll get to connect with employees they don’t work with every day. It’ll also be beneficial for your employees, as they’ll see that their daily efforts really do matter.

5. Encourage Employees to Contribute Their Ideas

The key to motivating employees is making them feel like what they do is important. To that end, you should make it a point to ask employees to contribute any ideas they might have for your company’s future.

It shouldn’t just be the people at the top of your company getting the chance to contribute ideas. It should be everyone. When everyone feels like their voice matters, they’re going to be more motivated to generate winning ideas that will lead to great things for your company.

6. Hold Town Hall Meetings to Keep Employees Informed

How much do your employees know about what goes on behind the scenes at your company? If they’re mostly kept in the dark, they’re going to feel disconnected from upper management and less motivated than they would be otherwise.

Town hall meetings are an excellent way to bridge that gap. Upper management can inform employees about what’s happening behind the scenes and answer any questions they might have about the company as a whole.

7. Set Up Incentive Programs Tied to Specific Goals

If there are specific goals that your company is trying to reach in the near future, incentive programs are a great way to make sure you hit them. These programs can be designed to provide your best employees with things like:

  • Extra days off
  • Travel opportunities
  • Monetary bonuses
  • And more!

U.S. employers spend more than $100 billion on incentive programs annually, and it’s easy to see why. They tend to light a fire under employees and make them work harder day in and day out.

8. Create an Annual Review System for Employees

If your company doesn’t do it already, creating an annual review system for your employees is yet another way to motivate them.

During annual reviews, you can inform your employees about their job performance over the last year. You can also talk to them about what you expect out of them in the coming year. It’ll lay out some clear expectations for them.

An annual review will also let employees talk about their short and long-term career goals. You can get a better understanding as far as what will motivate your employees when they take part in regular reviews.

9. Provide Employees With the Proper Training

Some employees aren’t motivated to do their jobs simply because they don’t feel as though they’ve been trained to do them properly. By setting your employees up with continuing education opportunities, you can motivate them to work harder to reach their personal goals.

10. Ask for Constant Feedback on Improving Company Morale

If you sense that your company’s morale might be sinking, you should do something about it. Ask your employees for feedback on what’s wrong.

Some might report back that there is too much negativity in your office. Others might tell you that they don’t feel as though upper management cares about anything but the bottom line.

Whatever the case, you should never stop soliciting feedback from your employees. It’ll provide you with the information you need to turn your company’s culture around and make motivating employees easier on you.

Motivating Employees Will Make Your Company More Successful

Your company might produce the best product in the world or provide a service that people can’t find anywhere else. But if your employees aren’t motivated when they’re at work, your company won’t be as successful as it could be.

By motivating employees each and every day, you’ll put your company in a much better position. You’ll also develop your employees’ talents and encourage more of them to aim for roles in upper management.

Do you need help managing employees and providing them with a more positive culture? Contact us to see how we can help.

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