Motivation At Work: How To Motivate Employees In Their Jobs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 December 2022

Published 8 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Motivation is a crucial factor in an organization's work culture and one that influences the morale and productivity levels of its employees. When people find satisfaction and enjoyment in their work, they perform better and can get more done. By understanding the role motivation plays in fostering a positive work environment, you can adopt the strategies necessary to enhance employee engagement and improve productivity. In this article, we discover the importance of motivation at work and review the different approaches you can take to encourage your workforce to do better.

What Is Motivation At Work?

Motivation at work is the desire or willingness of an organization's employees to perform well in their job. It is an indication of the level of their enthusiasm for and commitment to their work and profession. Employee motivation has a considerable impact on their energy, creativity, and productivity. It also subsequently affects the business success of the company. That is why most employers make an effort to maintain and improve it. They may do this by ensuring a supportive and innovative work environment, acknowledging employee contributions and achievements, and offering decent salaries and benefits.

Related: How To Motivate Employees: 18 Steps for Workplace Success

Why Is Motivation Important In The Workplace?

Motivation is important in the workplace as it can do the following:

  • create a friendly work environment where employees feel comfortable

  • help companies retain their existing workforce and attract new employees

  • reduce a company's recruitment expenses and training requirements

  • lead to lower absenteeism levels as employees are more motivated to come to work

  • foster a collaborative atmosphere where people can share ideas and be innovative

  • incentivize employees to arrive on time and put in more effort in their everyday work tasks

  • make employees more enthusiastic at work and have better interpersonal relations

  • improve relations between employees and management and lead to better customer service

  • enable employees to do high-quality work, achieve more, and accomplish the company's business objectives

Related: Why Employee Motivation Is Important: A Complete Guide

How To Motivate Staff In The Workplace

The following tips may prove useful in fostering job motivation in your staff:

1. Inquire about what your employees want

You can do periodic surveys to get employee input and understand what they like about working for the company and what they want to obtain from their job. It might help to have an online forum where employees can post their ideas, suggestions, and concerns. During projects, encourage team members to speak up about various work aspects and operational decisions. Knowing what your employees want and think can help you offer the right mentorship programs and create a friendly, supportive workplace where they feel valued and can achieve their career goals.

2. Allow your employees to do remote work

Depending on the type of business your company is engaged in, it might be possible to allow your employees to do remote work. You can offer them flexible work options to work remotely full-time, part-time, or on specific days of the week or the month. Most employees appreciate this type of work flexibility as it allows them to get the work done independently and also lets them have more personal time. It can increase their satisfaction with their job, and they may be more motivated to do better.

3. Assign purpose to the employee roles

Employees are more likely to do better in their daily tasks if they understand the purpose of their specific roles and the projects in which they are involved. It can help to discuss the work you assign them and explain how it matters in achieving overall business development and growth. Knowing that their contribution is beneficial to the company may make them take more pride in their job and encourage them to continue to do quality work.

Related: Types of Motivation for Career Advancement (With Examples)

4. Set realistic and achievable objectives

You can help your employees achieve work success by setting realistic and achievable objectives. Inform them what the project goals are, outline the strategies they can use, and give them the exact time frame for completing the work. You can set daily, weekly and monthly goals to keep the project manageable and maintain a chart of individual work tasks to enable the employees to measure their progress. They may be motivated to complete the project on time when they are not overwhelmed with work and know how much work they have to do.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

5. Communicate your expectations clearly

It is essential to let your employees know what your exact expectations are regarding work performance and quality. They may then be more likely to meet the standards you want them to meet. You can create and share visual charts that they can refer to as they work, provide strategies for performing more effectively and make it easy for them to ask for feedback and assistance when they need it. You can also encourage them to communicate and collaborate with one another. It can improve their interpersonal relationships, build trust and prevent misunderstandings.

Related: What Is Interpersonal Communication?

6. Encourage workplace autonomy for employees

Letting employees work independently, without any micro-managing, and take essential project-related decisions can show them that you trust them to do their work adequately. They may be more willing to take the initiative in work matters when they know you support them. Allowing workplace autonomy inspires mutual respect and motivates employees to take responsibility for their work-related actions.

7. Enable employees to develop their self-esteem

Self-esteem is a crucial factor in workplace success. Employees with high self-esteem tend to take on more responsibilities and perform better at them. They make intelligent decisions, act effectively and persevere despite any challenges they face. They improve the work environment with their work ethic and inspire others to follow their example. When you take positive actions to help employees develop their self-esteem, you enable them to have more confidence in their capabilities, feel more deserving of respect and achievement and be more motivated to succeed.

8. Offer an appropriate compensation

To ensure employee satisfaction and high performance, you can pay them salaries commensurate with their work duties, skills, experience, and qualifications. You can also provide them with opportunities to advance in the workplace and increase their earning potential. It can motivate employees to show more work dedication, perform better at their tasks and exceed expectations. You can research the current average salary ranges in your industry for specific departmental roles and use that as a guide to provide fair wages to your employees.

9. Foster commitment to the company

You can foster a commitment to the company by involving employees in various company activities and projects. It is a good idea to invite employees from all levels to provide their input and perspective on matters related to the company. They can inform the management about the areas in which they feel the company can improve and offer suggestions to make the changes happen. When they feel that the company values them and their opinions, they are likely to care more about making positive contributions toward its welfare.

10. Invest in employee training and development

Providing new employees with the necessary training and orientation can help them understand their work responsibilities and get on with their tasks more quickly. They may be more confident about what they have to do and require less supervision. You can also arrange for regular training and professional development opportunities for existing employees. With these, they can refresh their skills and gain other valuable ones.

It may help them to increase their productivity and improve their work performance. By doing so, they can advance further in their careers and improve their earning potential. It could also motivate them to continue working with the company and gain more skills.

Related: Types of Workplace Training: Definitions and Examples

11. Recognise and reward achievements

Showing genuine appreciation for employee achievements can make them feel proud of themselves, boost their morale and motivate them to perform beyond expectations. A few examples of employee achievements are completing complex projects, meeting tight deadlines, undertaking extra tasks, achieving personal work milestones, exceeding company objectives, and winning awards. You can offer these high performers monetary rewards, gifts, gift cards, paid vacations, or free days off.

You might also want to acknowledge and celebrate the work anniversaries of employees who have been with the company for several years. By awarding them for their performances, you can let them know how much you appreciate their loyalty to the company and the contributions they have made during their years of employment.

12. Promote a creative and fun work environment

While it is essential for employees to take their work seriously, they may do better at it if they can also be creative and have fun. You can encourage employees to have team brainstorming sessions, participate in team-building off-site events, organize enjoyable contests, take relaxing work breaks and use the company's fitness equipment. You can have friendly competitions between teams, celebrate special occasions and holidays, and organize team lunches every week. Setting up team social media accounts and arranging socialization opportunities at corporate events can also foster better communication and interactions.

Related: Motivation Theories (Definition, Types And Examples)

Explore more articles