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How to Motivate Employees: Useful Tips for Managers

Gina Schumacher

A couple of years ago, the Work Trend Index surveyed over 30,000 employees in 31 countries and found that 40% were considering leaving their job. It’s a worrying statistic when you consider the astronomical sums of money that businesses spend on staff turnover.

 

Motivating employees, therefore, is not just your moral obligation as a manager, it could also be the thing that turns your company’s fortunes around.

What is Employee Motivation?


Employee motivation is simply the motivation that your employees have to work. It’s the force that drives them to perform day after day; the thing that pushes them to go above and beyond. High levels of employee motivation will also reduce staff turnover, as it means they are less likely to burn out or feel the need to look elsewhere.

Benefits of Motivated Employees

One of the biggest benefits of motivated employees is that they are less likely to leave. Considering the cost of hiring and training new staff, that’s a huge cost saver for businesses of all sizes. But there are other benefits to motivating employees:

  • Increased Productivity: The more motivated an employee is, the harder they will work, thus keeping productivity levels high.
  • Greater Profit: Harder workers lead to greater output, which is great news for your bottom line.
  • Good Culture: Motivating employees promotes a positive work culture, attracting more new recruits and maintaining positivity among existing workers.
  • Better Development: Motivated employees are usually more willing to train and develop, and the better they become, the more your business benefits.
  • Less Absenteeism: Unhappy and unmotivated workers usually take more days off, and that can get costly for a business.
  • Improved Customer Interactions: The benefits of employee motivation don’t just extend to your productivity and bottom line. They can also impact customer interactions, leading to happier, friendlier, and more professional encounters.

How to Motivate Employees

Now we know the benefits, let’s look at how to motivate employees as a manager:


Set Clear Goals and Establish a Company Vision

Open-ended targets won’t motivate your employees. They need something to work toward, something that has a clear start point and end point. Before you ask how to get employees motivated, ask yourself where you want that motivation to lead. Your goals should be achievable while allowing room for additional growth.

 

You also need a company vision. Where are you going, where do you want to be, how will you get there? Before your employees share your vision and work toward it, they need to know what that vision actually is.

Show Your Appreciation

We all need a little validation from time to time. Imagine going to the office early every day, working flat-out, meeting all of your goals, hitting all of your targets, and then getting nothing but a new to-do list from your employer. It’s enough to demotivate even the most positive and strongest willed worker.

 

Don’t be that kind of manager. Always show your appreciation when they do good work and meet their targets. It can be as simple as thanking them earnestly, giving the hardest workers a gift, throwing a company event, or even just sending a few grateful emails.

Give Employees Time to Relax and Reset

Employee burnout has become a big topic over the last few years. We live in very stressful times. Employees are expected to work harder and longer than ever, but at the same time, they have less patience for it. And who can blame them? There’s only so much a person can take.

 

So, don’t treat your employees like machines. Give them time to relax and reset, even if they insist they don’t need to take a break. Run company retreats. Give them a few days off. Encourage them to take a holiday. You might miss out on a few days’ work, but they will come back stronger, better, and more motivated than ever before.

 

Remote working and hybrid working models help your employees to reset without taking a complete break.

Foster a Happy Workplace

Employees need more motivation than a salary and a grateful manager. They need a happy workplace, one that they look forward to visiting every day. If it’s boring and stressful, they’ll dread going to work. That doesn’t mean you need to adopt the stereotypical tech startup approach of filling your office space with beanbags, ping pong tables, pinball machines, and personal coffee bars. It just needs to be welcoming.

 

Try to look at it from their perspective. Would you be happy to visit the office every day if you didn’t have the management or directorial position that you have?

 

It doesn’t just apply to physical office spaces either. Digital workplaces should also be welcoming. It should be easy for co-workers to communicate and share projects. They should have the tools they need to work efficiently and effectively, and if they encounter an issue, they should have the means to get it resolved quickly.

Engage with Your Employees

Always make time for your employees. Speak to them, ask them what they want, and make sure their needs are met. They won’t always be forthcoming with this information, and that’s why it’s important to build a strong rapport and let them know that they can come to you whenever they have an issue.

 

Keep asking them the same questions, as the situation may change. Just because they insist that everything is fine today, doesn’t mean that will remain the case several weeks and even months down the line.

 

If they have an issue with the way they are managed or the way that the company operates, address it. Do what you can to remedy the issue. Otherwise, they will assume that their words are going unheeded.

Encourage Teamwork

Most employees work better as part of a team. It’s also better for the company. They share ideas, communicate issues, and combine their skills and creativity to build toward a shared goal. Just as importantly, working as a team adds an element of accountability. No one wants to be the one who works the least and achieves the least. They don’t want to let the team down, so when they see their teammates achieving great things, they push themselves harder to match them.

 

Teams work just as well in the digital space as the physical space, which is where intranets and collaboration software come into play.

Train Your Employees in the Things they Want to Learn

When an employee learns and improves, it benefits your company and your bottom line. But it also improves their self-worth and motivation. If you can train them in the things they want to learn, even better.

 

Just make sure you’re using their time wisely. Don’t force them to attend countless training sessions and conferences based on pointless information that they either don’t need or already know. Don’t send an IT whizz kid on a course that covers Excel basics, and don’t patronise an experienced employee by training them in the fundamentals alongside new recruits.

Offer Your Employees Incentives

Incentivise your employees with perks, rewards, and recognition including:

  • Employee of the month programs
  • Workplace award schemes
  • Financial incentives
  • Employee retreats
  • Additional vacation days

 

It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you give your employees a clear goal. Start small and make sure the incentives are in line with your short-term and long-term goals, while also providing room for growth. For instance, if you start big with a substantial financial incentive, you may feel pressured to maintain it or improve it when you scale the company, and that won’t be financially viable.

 

Any incentive will suffice to begin with. If you feel like it needs to be bigger and you can justify it, you can also increase it at a later date.

Improving Employee Motivation with Flexopus

Hybrid working models are a great way to motivate employees. Letting them spend a few days at home gives them the time they need to take care of their business, relax and enjoy their time at home while getting their work done. However, as there are fewer workstations than employees in hybrid working models, it can quickly become hectic to find a free desk on office days.‍

This is where the desk-sharing software Flexopus comes into play. With the help of Flexopus, employees can conveniently book a workstation, meeting room or parking space from their mobile phone, laptop or Microsoft Teams. The German Design Award-winning user-friendliness of the app motivates employees to go to the office more often and easily reserve a workspace. ‍

Contact us today to arrange a demo and see what Flexopus can do for you!

Summary: How to Improve Employee Motivation


We’ve looked at numerous ways to motivate employees, from engaging with them more often to building teams and offering incentives. But you can also simply ask your employees what motivates them and then give them what they need. Everyone is different, and the driving force behind one employee won’t be the same as another. But it’s a good place to start.

 

So, get motivating—it could be the best thing you ever do for your employees and your business.

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Markus Merkle
Sales manager