10 Ways to Motivate Employees

Happy group of workers at a warehouse with thumbs up and looking at the camera

Successful businesses are the product of customer and employee satisfaction. There are many other factors that determine an organisation’s overall success and even specific reasons as to why small businesses are successful, but at the end of the day the relationship between customer and employee satisfaction remains constant.


Related Article: DO YOU HAVE A MOTIVATED WORKFORCE?

Sears’ strategic business skills were examined in a study published by Harvard Business Review. The study found when employee satisfaction increased by 5%, customer satisfaction increased by 1.3%. This led to a .05% revenue improvement. It’s hard to be convinced by .05%, but for an organisation that is worth about £34,617,649,000, the revenue increase is about an extra £173,112,217.

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Now that .05% doesn’t seem so meaningless anymore.

In order to understand how to increase employee satisfaction, we must understand the common ways that we demotivate employees so we aren’t continuing to make those mistakes. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has compiled a list of the top eight ways to demotivate employees. The list includes:

  1. Public criticism
  2. Failing to provide praise
  3. Not following up
  4. Setting unattainable goals or deadlines
  5. Not providing explanations to your actions
  6. Implied threats
  7. Not honoring creativity or problem solving
  8. Micromanagement

The demotivating methods are so important because they dramatically increase an employees’ morale. In fact, according to a survey from Harvard Management Update, in 85% of organisations, employees’ morale drastically drops after their first six months on the job.

So let’s end employee demotivation and increase motivation through ten simple steps.

1. Proper Training

How can you expect your employees to complete a task given to them if they have no prior knowledge or experience with the assignment? Take the time, spend the money and provide your employees with proper training. Training and development in the workforce provides the organisation as a whole benefits that make the cost and time worthwhile. Some organisations will even provide free, live training for software.

2. Great Listening

Employees often just need someone to talk to. It’s difficult to be motivated about work when you feel like your boss doesn’t even hear you, your concerns or your wishes.

3. Open Door Policy

This method seems self explanatory, but the true reasons behind it are often hidden. Forbes has provided four benefits behind the “open door policy” that we believe are surefire ways to keep motivation high. They include: accessibility, an open flow of communication, fast access to information and closer working relationships.

4. Creating a Comfortable Working Environment

In a survey conducted by Robert Half International Inc., in 1993 only 9% of executives surveyed said the work environment was an important factor in keeping employees satisfied. In today’s business world, one-third of the executives surveyed believe the work environment is the most critical factor in keeping employees satisfied. When thinking about your work environment, think about yourself personally. Would you be comfortable reaching your goals, speaking up or being motivated in your current workplace? Putting yourself in your employees’ shoes leads us directly to the next method of motivation.

5. Following the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule says, “Do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” We’ve heard it since we were children, but we often forget the true importance of it, especially in the workforce. Here are a couple examples on how to follow the Golden Rule in your workplace:

  • Be mindful of deadlines you set. Ask yourself, “When would I actually be able to accomplish this?” before delegating to your employees.
  • Take a minute to breathe when you’re heated. If you’re having a bad day for reasons not work related, take a step back and think about how you would feel if you’re doing everything you can to impress your boss and he/she lashes out on you for something you haven’t done.

Group of people working at a warehouse and pointing at some boxes - freight transportation

6. Languages of Appreciation

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Gary Chapman teamed up with Dr. Paul White to coauthor The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. “Work has become a barely bearable chore, with only 45 percent of workers in a recent survey saying they were happy with their careers,” said White. In fact, in the 21st century, a business that thrives is one that is based on solid relationships. So what are the languages of appreciation and how do they help?

  • Words of Affirmation – using words to affirm people
  • Acts of Service – sometimes actions speak louder than words
  • Receiving Gifts – people like things to feel appreciated
  • Quality Time – giving someone undivided attention
  • Physical Touch – appropriate touch (pats on the back)

7. Implementing Barcode Software

Manually tracking assets, using a manual time and attendance system and even manually creating labels for packages can become a time-consuming, cumbersome task for employees. Implementing barcode technology in your organisation has the ability to make those every day tasks easy to accomplish while saving your organization time, money and error. One of the greatest ways to motivate an employee is allowing them to see quick, accurate results right at the click of a button.

8. Mutual Energy

It’s unfair to expect your employees to stay energized and motived when you are moping around all day in the workplace. Lead by the example you set for your employees. If your energy is high, they will follow.

9. Trust In Your Employees Skills

It’s easy to want to do everything yourself because you trust yourself and you often want tasks done a certain way. If you’ve provided proper training for your employees, trust them. Delegate tasks to them and believe in them. Your confidence in their skills is a great source of motivation.

10. Provide Opportunities for Competition

If done correctly, this method could be extremely successful in motivating your employees. Ever taken part in a little bit of friendly workplace competition? Offer your employees the opportunity to compete for a reward. Be very careful in the competition you create to avoid employees becoming overworked or stressed. There are ways to create healthy competition that will ultimately motivate your employees.

Your employee motivation is ultimately up to you and how you run your organisation. Take the time, invest the money and treat your employees in ways that allow them to be efficient workers who feel appreciated and generate motivation. After all, simply having motivated employees can easily produce success and revenue increase for your business.

How could implementing these suggestions help motivate your own employees?

Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter
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