Employee Motivational Techniques: Three You Can Try Today

Your employees are crucial to your success. If you’re looking at ways to improve your business, start by focusing on your employees. Motivated employees are personally invested in their work, surpassing departmental goals and helping their employers succeed.  Motivational techniques can help you connect with employees, improve morale, reduce turnover, deepen engagement and increase productivity.  They are a win-win for everyone.  


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Three best practices

People often have personal career goals that help them meet deadlines and produce quality work,  but an employer’s sincere interest can build loyalty, trust and better relationships. This can go a long way in terms of retention and developing employees who will go the extra mile for their managers and companies. 


Generally, motivational techniques involve showing appreciation, setting clear goals and offering incentives that make people happy. Here are three best practices that you can try today:

  1. Show appreciation
  2. Set clear goals 
  3. Give incentives

1. Show appreciation

One of the most important things you can do for the people at your company is to let them know how much you appreciate them. Start today by recognizing your team for a job well done. Here are a few ways to show appreciation:

  • Give praise. If someone’s work is exceptional, tell them. People appreciate the acknowledgment and a few words can inspire an even better performance. 
  • Provide feedback. Take time to evaluate your employees’ work and give them direct feedback. This lets people know if they’re doing their jobs well and provides helpful insight for future projects.
  • Remind them of their importance. Every employee at your company contributes to your company’s success. Remember to tell employees why their roles are integral.
  • Consider a raise or bonus. You can immediately show your appreciation to your team by giving a raise or bonus for consistent, great work.

Giving praise is one of the easiest things you can do to reward your employees. It is a form of kindness, which is a great motivator.

Related: How to Conduct an Employee Evaluation


2. Set clear goals  

A team without clear goals is likely to be unmotivated, unproductive and potentially, frustrated. Sit down with your employees and work on a list of goals. This helps everyone understand your expectations and how to achieve them:

  • Establish smaller weekly goals. It can be easier to achieve goals when focusing on specific, smaller goals and timeframes. You might schedule a weekly meeting to catch up on progress, revise goals if needed and acknowledge team successes.
  • Allow your team to lead. It can be easier to achieve goals when focusing on specific, smaller goals and timeframes. You might schedule a weekly meeting to catch up on progress, revise goals if needed and acknowledge team successes.
  • Create a tradition for recognition. Implement a fun office tradition for rewarding people who reach their goals. This could be as simple as acknowledging accomplishments during regular meetings or providing gift certificates for local restaurants or online shopping outlets.

Before you set new goals, start with small goals that give employees a sense of satisfaction. This can also help you with planning, keeping projects on track and ensuring that long term goals are achieved. 


3. Give incentives 

Professionals get hired because they demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for a job. But everybody needs and enjoys an incentive at times. Gym memberships, free lunches and work-from-home days can add a bit of fun and motivation to work. Ask employees for ideas to generate even more enthusiasm.


Related: 7 Effective Skills to Help You Become a Better Leader


Motivational techniques FAQs


What should I do if my employees are struggling?

If your team is falling behind on deadlines or being less productive, it’s time for an intervention. Sit down with individual team members individually to discuss ways to make the office more productive. Speaking one-on-one provides a safe space for communication and what you hear you may surprise you.


How do I know if these motivational techniques are right for my team?

These techniques have proven by many top companies in the U.S. and here’s a huge chance for success. However, if you do not see improvement, it may be that the personality types of your team members require additional or revised techniques to motivate them.


Motivational techniques may seem like abstract experiments at first because results can take time. If something doesn’t work as you’d hoped, try something different going forward. Your employees will help you understand what needs to change and what motivates them best. 


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