Workplace Motivation Techniques

Recognition awards are one way to motivate employees.
Recognition awards are one way to motivate employees. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

An unmotivated workplace can be detrimental to a business, causing high employee turnover, poor-quality work and, ultimately, lower profits. Fortunately, motivating employees does not need to be difficult. Managers should familiarize themselves with a few basic motivation techniques they can use with their employees. As a result, they will help keep office morale up, which will lead to a better overall work environment.

Financial Incentives

One of the simplest techniques for increasing employee motivation is to offer financial incentives. These incentives can take a variety of forms. Performance bonuses are an effective method for encouraging employees to achieve specific goals because they establish clear objectives and offer rewards for achieving them. Another popular financial incentive is company stock. By giving employees shares in the business, it motivates them to act in the company's interest.

Group Techniques

Rather than focusing on individuals, sometimes it is easier to motivate employees collectively. This may be done through group rewards, such as throwing an office party to celebrate an excellent group performance. It can also involve team-building exercises that are designed to encourage team members to work together toward common goals. This can be done through professionally led team-building retreats or through simple group activities like playing a round of golf or going out for dinner.

Investing in Education

Employees want to feel they add value to the company. A good way of showing employees that the management appreciates their contributions is by investing in their skills. This can be done through short-term workshops and conferences, but some firms may want to encourage employees to complete a college program, such as getting a master's of business administration or a postgraduate certificate. Investing in the education of employees shows them that the company is interested in them for the long term. It also can motivate them to stay with the organization.


Another simple technique for motivating employees is recognition. Recognition can be as simple as encouraging managers to thank employees for good work. It also can be part of a more formalized recognition program. Recognition programs identify individuals or groups within the firm that are performing above par. A common method of recognition is having an employee of the month or year. This kind of formal recognition motivates the employees being recognized, and it also motivates others to emulate them.

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