5 tried and tested ways of increasing employee motivation

Posted on July 20, 2013 · Posted in Motivation, The Happy Workplace

In this guest post, Craig Henderson offers some interesting tips on increasing employee motivation. It makes sense that a motivated employee will generate a lot more quality work, therefore leading to a more successful and profitable business. But the question for many employers is how – short of promising ludicrous pay rises if they meet every target – they can increase the commitment and happiness of their employees.

Be the best boss


Being in charge of a number of people can be stressful, and you may have a tendency to become frustrated and perhaps unjustly snap at some of those who work for you. In order to develop a better employee-employer relationship you’ve got to remember that nobody starts at the top, and recall your own experiences at the bottom of the working hierarchy.

Treating your employers as you were (or wish you had been) treated will increase your team’s commitment to you and enhance their work ethic.

Getting to know them

Although it is important to establish some authority as an employer, knowing your colleagues allows you to understand what would best motivate each of them, as different individuals may be striving for different things. Small gestures; knowing every face in the room and acknowledging personal events in their lives (such as weddings or a new arrival to their family) shows that you value your employees as people and understand that there is more to life than just work.

A good level of communication with employees will undoubtedly motivate them to do their best for you.

Attempting to aid their careers

Increasing employee motivation

As mentioned, different employees will want different results from their job. Whilst some will be happy with the position they are in, others will be hoping for promotions and other opportunities within the workplace. Supporting those who work for you by offering genuine advice and mentoring will increase employee motivation for the aspiring individuals within your company, as the potential for furthering their career means they will work even harder in order to hopefully fulfil this.

Dealing with any suggestions or concerns your employees may have will also show how you appreciate their input and that you want them to be happier within the workplace, which is likely to result in a better quality and volume of work.

Communication is key

It is important to ensure every member of your team fully understands their role within the company. Showing how their contribution affects the achievements of the whole business will show how important they are, and is likely to increase their commitment to the job. Also, as an employer, you will know time management is crucial and it can be extremely tempting to quickly tap out a succinct email to your employees when you need to contact them.

Whilst this is sufficient now and then, more important conversations will be more fruitful if you communicate with your employees face to face. Consequently your instructions will be put across more clearly and you can ensure that they fully understand what it is you are asking of them. And of course employee motivation will be increased, as this level of interaction improves the working relationship.

Increasing employee motivation with …. praise!

This ties in with improved communication. If your team achieves something fantastic, it is important to acknowledge their successes, despite the fact that it can be tempting to attribute it to your own managerial skills. You must, however, give credit where credit is due – positive comments reinforce the employees sense of achievement. This leads motivation to remain high as pride is a great incentive.

It is far more effective to deliver deserved praise than continuously criticise individuals within your working environment.

Craig Henderson writes on behalf of Firestarter, an employee matching service for small and medium business.