Fun Ways to Motivate Employees

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Motivating employees is one of the biggest challenges a supervisor faces on a regular basis. Individuals are motivated by different things, which only adds to the challenge. A good supervisor will offer motivation to his employees in a variety of ways, in order to meet the needs of all. Each motivating effort will only work on a select number of employees, which is why different approaches need to be taken throughout the year.

Motivate Employees with Fun

  • Providing food can be a motivator for staff. Make it exciting by bringing in a chef to make breakfast omelets, or order a dessert tray for an afternoon break. Plan a themed lunch to be brought in and enjoyed by your staff on a regular basis. You could cater a Mexican lunch one month, and an Indian lunch the next. Add to the theme by having a presentation about the culture featured.

  • Sponsor silly contests and have your staff participate. Around the holidays, pass out paper cutouts of gingerbread men and ask everyone to decorate their cutout. Hang the cutouts in a break room, and have everyone vote on their favorites. Award a box of cookies to the winner. During the summer, have employees post a favorite vacation photograph and award prizes for the pictures of the farthest vacation, the hottest vacation, or the worst vacation. These types of contests help employees learn more about each other on a personal level, and allows them to share talents other than those that are related to work. You can build teamwork by encouraging fun.

  • Offer training to your staff on something that has nothing to do with their employment. For example, sponsor a class about cake decorating or fly fishing to those interested. This type of class could be a reward for a job well done, or for meeting specific goals.

  • Take your entire team out for an outing. Visit the zoo as a group, or go bowling. This allows employees to have fun as a group outside of the workplace, and can encourage them to work better as a team when they return to the workplace.

  • Contract with a dry cleaning company to pick up and drop off clothes at your place of employment. Offer chair massages on a semi-regular basis to help battle physical stress. Ask your employees what services they'd like offered and try to accommodate their needs. This can help your employees focus on their tasks at work.

Tips & Warnings

  • Budget for motivational activities when creating an annual budget, so you have funds available throughout the year.
  • Plan activities on a regular basis and announce them well in advance.
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