How To Motivate Employees In The Workplace In 5 Foolproof Ways

How To Motivate Employees In The Workplace In 5 Foolproof Ways
Summary: Even the most skilled employee can underperform if they’re not sufficiently driven. Motivation—the employee’s intrinsic drive to work—is the real catalyst for increased productivity. Discover several tried and true tips for putting this catalyst into action.

Power Up: Motivating Employees In The Workplace

There's a secret ingredient that has the power to boost your business' productivity, increase employee satisfaction, and reduce churn.

No, it's not coffee (though that helps too). It's motivation.

Let’s examine 5 surefire ways for motivating employees in the workplace. Feeling pumped up already? Let's go!

1. Keep Your Employees In The Loop

Keeping employees in the dark about the company's mid-term goals and directions can be extremely demotivational. It makes employees feel like simple cogs in the corporate machine—cogs that need not concern themselves with anything beyond their explicitly assigned tasks.

Instead, be open with your employees. Explain to them the company's goals and strategies, and how you plan to achieve them, and warn them about any problems that the company might be facing in advance. You don’t need to give them full access or provide total transparency into your secret business plans. Just keep them in the loop for stuff that they’ll soon need to deal with anyway. For example, you should discuss the company's upcoming projects and deadlines with them in advance, instead of letting them know about them at the last minute.

If it's possible, try to include them in the decision making—at least for things that will directly affect them. Treating your workers like an organic part of the company, and showing them that their opinion matters, works wonders for motivating employees in the workplace. It will help turn your employees from bored office drones into active contributors.

2. Ask Them About Their Pain Points

You know what will really motivate your employees? No? Why not just ask them, then?

Each one might have a different thing to say, but if you put all of their answers together, you will have a clearer picture of what the biggest motivational killers are in your company. (And conversely, you’ll discover several new ways to motivate your employees).

The mechanics of gathering their feedback are easy.

You can:

  • use some office collaboration tool (like Trello or Slack) to set a poll
  • have them write their pain points (preferably anonymously)
  • run an online survey using your LMS platform
  • just go into their desks and ask them

Don't forget the trickiest part though: fixing those things. A lot of companies gather employee feedback, and then they just let it sit, doing nothing with it. Don't be like them. You don't have to fix everything an employee complains about, of course. You should promptly address, however, anything that's brought up by many employees or anything that immediately strikes you as important. Sometimes, the secret to motivating employees in the workplace is to simply remove the things that demotivate them.

3. Leverage Gamification

Adults are children too. Or, rather, we all have an inner child, that still likes playing the occasional game. Gamification takes advantage of these gaming urges to make us do things and create new habits. And adding gamified elements in the workplace has proved to work wonders. According to the gamification survey by TalentLMS on 400 U.S. employees, gamification in the workspace makes employees feel more productive (87%), more engaged (84%), and happier (82%) at work.

There are lots of ways in which you can leverage gamification in the workplace. For example,

  • You could use gamification in your Project Management platform to, e.g., award points to employees for closing tasks quickly, or for meeting deadlines.
  • You could track customer care agents or sales agents, through a gamified system (with badges, leaderboards, and so on).
  • You could award developers points for squashing bugs and keep a tally of their performance in your bug tracking system.
  • You could also leverage your LMS' gamification features to make employee training more engaging and perhaps even fun.

You'd be surprised how effective such schemes can be for motivating employees in the workplace.

4. Train Your Employees

Not knowing how to perform their job well can have a significant impact on employee motivation. Ditto for not being offered a clear career development path. Employee training, can, fortunately, help with both of these. If you don't already have an employee training program in place, then you should invest immediately in creating one. With a modern online employee training platform, like TalentLMS, you can build an effective staff training course, and deploy it across your company's employees and departments within a day. Use your LMS to offer new hires an onboarding course, teach your employees new skills, and give senior workers the leadership skills that they need to advance their career.

5. Take Steps Towards A Better Working Environment

A great work environment will work wonders in raising your employees' motivation levels and making them look forward to coming to work every day. The biggest companies on the planet, including behemoths like Apple, Google, and Facebook, understand this perfectly and have invested hundreds of millions, and in some cases billions of dollars, into fancy offices.

Fortunately, you don't have to have millions lying around to make improvements to your offices. If you understand what makes employees tick and how to motivate your staff, you can achieve big results in workplace satisfaction with very modest amounts of money. Installing a nice espresso machine in your office kitchen, for example, is not going to break the bank—but your employees will nonetheless appreciate the gesture.

Similar small-budgets ideas for motivating employees in the workplace would be to:

  • upgrade employee computers and monitors,
  • offer perks like free sodas and sweets,
  • install a table tennis table,
  • invest in automating grunt work,
  • let employees dress more casually.

If you have a larger budget, you could:

  • invest in a more luxurious office,
  • renovate your existing office,
  • create a lounge area for your employees,
  • have a real chef run the office cafeteria (like Google did),
  • build an office gym.

You get the idea: provide simple perks, add some playful elements, give employees new equipment, and generally cater to their everyday wellbeing while at the office. Such changes will have your employees connect better with their work and take pride in it, and will motivate them to work harder and enjoy their time at the office more.

Mix And Match

Our 5 tips are based on tried and true strategies that successful companies use for motivating employees in the workplace. They can serve as excellent starting points in your company’s journey to increased motivation.

But, we left our tips open-ended intentionally. Feel free to mix and match our suggestions to find the balance of employee motivation techniques that best work for your business and your budget.

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