How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace


One challenge of being a manager, supervisor, or business owner is that of ensuring your employees remain motivated. Good pay and benefits go a long way, but sometimes more is required. A shared sense of purpose and recognition of a job well-done are among the experiences that can transform a mere series of tasks into meaningful employment or even a career.

  • Identify the rewards valued by individuals as well as collectively by staff. One person may value recognition while another responds only to monetary incentives.

  • Use only positive approaches. Applaud effort, dependability and longevity. Avoid criticism that tears down rather than building up. The role of supervisor does not convey the right to belittle or speak sarcastically to a subordinate.

  • Lead rather than push. Be part of the solution rather than simply pointing out a problem.

  • Speak in first-person plural. "We" and "us" suggests that you and other members of your staff form a team. "I" and "you" creates a wall between you and others.

  • Listen. Remain open to staff members' ideas and suggestions.

  • Avoid micromanaging, which is irritating and creates resentment.

  • Show interest without being intrusive. Recognize birthdays and acknowledge longevity, marking anniversary employment dates.

  • Define your expectations reward employees for fulfilling or exceeding them.

  • Create a schedule of evaluations and stick to it. Conduct job reviews in a timely way and execute wage increases accordingly.

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