Achieving long-term organizational goals cannot happen without some motivation in the workplace. However, knowing how to motivate employees to not just perform their tasks, but excel at them, is often much easier said than done.
If your organization is struggling with this, here are 8 simple and effective ways that may help to drive employee motivation within workplaces of all sizes.
8 Ways to Increase Motivation in the Workplace
1. Discourage micromanaging
One of the best ways to increase motivation in the workplace is to promote a company culture that discourages micromanaging. Micromanaging is when a manager tries to take control of nearly every aspect of the way an employee performs their job.
While guidance from a manager is certainly important for every employee’s growth, employees quickly become demotivated and apathetic about their job when they feel controlled and constantly criticized. Micromanaging can also make employees feel as if nothing they do is ever good enough, which can further prevent them from thriving within their roles.
To discourage micromanaging in your place of work, you can try implementing the following practices:
- Delegate project tasks early on.
- Set clear role expectations – and hold managers accountable.
- Hire/promote managers who work effectively with teams.
- Discipline managers who are known to micromanage others.
2. Ensure staff are recognized for their achievements
Recognizing staff for their hard work and achievements is another great way to increase motivation in the workplace. Employees spend 8+ hours of their day with your company, and they want to feel appreciated for their hard work. When they that their effort is acknowledged, employees are much more likely to be motivated, engaged, and willing to go above and beyond for your organization.
Fun ways that you can recognize certain staff-members or teams include:
- Rewarding high-performing teams with a one-hour ‘early finish’ or ‘late start’ on a Friday.
- Giving individuals a nice gift or plaque to celebrate major milestones, such as staying with the company for 10, 20, or 30+ years.
- Spotlighting certain individuals or teams on your company website or blog.
3. Make rest and taking breaks a high priority
All employees are human – and that means they need plenty of time for rest and relaxation. When people are stressed out and overworked, they can easily become burned out, demotivated, and unable to perform their duties effectively.
If you don’t already, encourage employees to take plenty of breaks throughout their working day. This includes a lunch/dinner break, and typically two additional 15-minute breaks. Employees should also be discouraged from working in the evenings and weekends, and they should never be punished for taking their well-earned vacation-days.
4. Facilitate collaborative processes
Employees can become frustrated and demotivated very easily when they feel as if they are alone in their roles with little support from others. To prevent this from happening, you should promote a collaborative and supportive working environment where employees feel as if they not only have a voice, but that they have others around them that they can trust and depend on.
A few ways that you can do this include:
- Integrating plenty of brainstorming and feedback sessions into your regular internal processes.
- Creating a company culture of openness and transparency.
- Giving employees the opportunity to network and get to know each other on a personal level.
5. Ensure job roles have plenty of variety
Boring, repetitive, and monotonous tasks can be detrimental to workplace motivation. When designing job roles for your company, make sure that each role includes a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities. This can help keep staff challenged, interested, and motivated to succeed.
Managers should also have the authority and freedom to delegate tasks when appropriate. Delegating tasks is a great way to show employees that you are proud of their performance and trust them to take on more responsibilities. Additionally, it can also help managers spot potential high-performing individuals deserving of a promotion or raise.
6. Implement fair rewards and compensation policies
One very basic yet essential practice that all organizations should follow is the implementation of fair HR policies for rewards, compensation, and promotions. Nothing is more demotivating than feeling unfairly compensated or being unjustly turned down for a promotion – and motivation in the workplace greatly suffers when organizations turn a blind eye to their improper and unfair rewards systems.
If you haven’t examined your organization’s policies on promotions, rewards, and compensation in a while, it might be a good time to take an honest look to make sure that your policies:
- Do not discriminate against age, gender, race, or sexual orientation.
- Entitle each employee to fair and regularly administered performance reviews.
- Reward employees based on merit and the quality of their work.
- Discourage against a culture of ‘cliques’ and ‘boys club’ style management practices.
7. Give employees some control over their working environment and schedule
Employees are much more motivated when they feel as if they have a sense of control over their working situation. Giving employees this sense of autonomy empowers them to work not because they have to but because they want to.
A few ways that you can give employees some control over their working environment include:
- Giving them a window of time to set their 8-hour schedule, i.e. anytime between 6 am – 8 pm.
- Offering employees the option to work from home either full-time or part-time.
- Giving employees a good mix of office environments to work in, including plenty of quiet spaces and spaces for collaboration.
8. Help employees understand their purpose
Even though everyone’s motivations at work may differ, most employees still want to feel as if their work serves some sort of greater purpose for the organization. When employees begin to see themselves as part of a bigger picture, they are much more motivated to perform their work with a sense of confidence and pride.
To ensure that your employees understand the purpose of their role and how they fit in, you can try to implement the following strategies:
- Providing an extensive onboarding process that introduces the company’s mission, values, and purpose to new employees.
- Frequently updating employees on how their work positively impacts the organization and the world.
- Hosting annual ‘town hall’ type events where employees can see and speak with top management.