12 Tips to Motivate Your Employees and Be the Best Manager

Team leading is one of the most influential tasks a manager takes responsibility for. Keeping high morale in teams can be tricky, but you can tackle the situation effectively with adequate methods of motivating employees in an organization.

As reported by Forbes, motivation and job satisfaction lead to improvement in a company’s profitability (up to 21%) and a reduction in absenteeism (41%) as well as turnover rates (59%). Hence, team motivation should be your prioritized action point to excel as a leader.

Despite the positive impact of staff motivation being rather evident, Gallup has reported that only 21% of employees feel engaged at work. So what can a manager do to increase their team's motivation at work? Let's have a look at our top 12 tips.

ways to motivate employees
Tips on How to Motivate Employees

1. Create a Pleasant Environment

Think about it. No one feels pleased staying in a dull workspace for too long. Decorate your office to be aesthetic appealing, functional, and pleasant will boost motivation in the workplace - just think of how many people say they would love to work for Google just because of how creative and welcoming their office is. 

Simple actions like providing your staff with comfortable chairs, updated computer screens, or even a nice break room can also boost morale and motivation at work. You can also consider lifting the working atmosphere as a way to motivate employees, try hosting birthday celebrations, casual Fridays, team-building activities, and more.

Remember that even the color of the office walls can be influential in motivating your team. For example, red walls can increase anxiety as we interpret it as a danger signal. Conversely, shades of blue tend to be more accepted by most people.

2. Reward Employees

Managers need to consider the most suitable rewards to motivate their employees. Although a good salary might be the obvious answer, plenty of other non-monetary rewards can improve your relationship with your team and their productivity.

For financial motivation, you want to offer incentives that give your employee a push and make them feel appreciated — for example, end-of-the-year bonuses, profit-sharing, or a well-designed employee stock purchase plan.

On the other hand, extra leaves, one-on-one meetings, allowing employees to take on more responsibilities, social media shout-outs, and mentorships are some great non-financial ways to increase motivation in the office.

3. Trust Your Employees

People like being trusted, especially by their colleagues and line managers. Showing them that you're confident in their skills is the best way to motivate them in a company.

Another way to motivate your team members is by fostering the employee autonomy. This leads to increased job satisfaction and positively affects employees' well-being. Avoid micro-managing employees and allow them to work remotely/independently. Motivated employees will work harder to reach the milestones you set for them.

Here are some team motivation ideas that you can use as a reference:

  1. Set rewards based on milestones
  2. Allow employees to take extra paid hours or work from home.
  3. Allow different team member to lead important team meetings rather than only having the head of departments present.

4. Give Positive and Constructive Feedback

Another non-financial method of motivation worth considering is making your employees aware of their contributions. Letting people know they did well fuels their spirit and improves efficiency. Kindness and optimism go a long way. 

On the other hand, managers who want to motivate their employees need to learn how to deliver feedback in a constructive way to avoid demoralizing employees. Mind your tone of voice and choose the words beforehand to avoid undermining someone’s self-confidence.

Whenever you want to provide feedback, remember to align your thoughts, be tactful, focus on the solutions/accomplishments, and give them a chance to respond. If possible, try to have the conversation face-to-face, and do not forget to follow up to see if the feedback helped to motivate the individual.

Here are a few examples to boost your motivational leadership skills:

  1. “I am very pleased with the visuals you turned in this week. All of them performed excellently on our social media channels.”
  2. “Congratulations on your proposal during the meeting. We will consider your suggestion for our action plan.”
  3. “Good job today. One small sales tip, I’d recommend you send a follow-up email thanking the clients for their time.”
  4. “I can tell you put a lot of work into your report. Thank you for investing the time. Please make sure to have it done before our meeting next time. I recommend you to create a template you can update rather than starting from scratch.”
  5. “We could not have finished the project without your help. Thank you for your valuable contributions.”

5. Offer Accommodations

Companies aiming to be inclusive need to offer installations, equipment, and other facilities that can allocate anyone and help augment performance motivation. Employees with different conditions (disabilities or chronicle diseases) may need accommodations to guarantee they can perform in ideal conditions.

As a leader, it’s your job to motivate your employees to perform to the maximum by providing them with a comfortable and appropriate environment. Having one-on-one conversations with them can help you understand their needs and adapt accordingly to increase your team’s motivation.

Here are a few examples of what kind of accommodations can help your employees do their best and raise motivation in an organization:

  1. Offering flexible work schedules.
  2. Designing wide hallways and proper access for wheelchairs.
  3. Providing alternative material such as braille or large prints.
  4. Providing necessary tools such as mouth stick devices and telephones compatible with hearing aid.
  5. Offering software that aids employees, like computer text readers and color-changing apps for those who are color blind.
  6. Guaranteeing break times for those who need to take medications
  7. Providing sign language interpreters.
  8. Restructuring jobs to avoid conflicting tasks.
  9. Allowing employees to attend doctor appointments.
  10.  Providing reserved parking.

6. Provide Snack Catering

Providing your staff with snacks and drinks at the office is also a way to motivate employees and increase productivity.

An exemplary employee motivation technique is making everyone feel included by taking their suggestions when buying the products. Moreover, remember to be inclusive and consider different dietary preferences/restrictions (buy vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/low-calorie options).

7. Respect Your Employees

If you search “how to motivate employees as a manager” online, most searches will come back with one result in common - if you want to motivate your team, you need to have a respectful relationship with them.

You need to learn a respectful way of communicating things to motivate people. Whether providing positive feedback, sending an email, or solving an internal conflict, keep your delivery professional and be respectful.

Let’s look at these examples that can do so:

  1. Active listening - especially during one-on-one meetings.
  2. Avoid using nicknames unless the person expresses they like being addressed like that.
  3. Express your gratitude in person and via email.
  4. Mind your tone of voice and body language
  5. Encourage a praising culture among employees and supervisors.

8. Be Transparent about the Business Plan

Being transparent about companies’ activities can boost employee engagement and motivation since it creates a sense of belonging and trust among employees. If possible, you can comfortably share with your team important details about the company and value their feedback.

When employees feel that managers include them in big decisions, it leads to motivation in the workplace. Furthermore, it increases their commitment to the company's goals.

Think of a manager who shares the new product launch information with her team. She can gather valuable opinions and learn from contrasting points of view. A team that feels heard tends to be more supportive and such motivation increases their performance.

9. Set Small, Weekly Goals

Given the impact of motivation on employee performance, you must pay attention to setting goals that they can reach to increase their morale. 

Set SMART goals as a way to motivate employees. Make them specific to them so they are relevant and measurable. Making them small and weekly helps keep them attainable and time-bound. 

These are a few ideas of SMART goals to motivate employees:

  1. Copywriter: Write five pages of an article by Friday.
  2. Social Media Manager: Increase our followers on Instagram by 15 people by the end of the week.
  3. Graphic Designer: Deliver the proposal for three visuals before our Monday meeting.
  4. Web Developer: Dedicate 50% of your working hours to developing the new user dashboard.
  5. Event Planner: Research and present your top 5 suggestions for events we should attend next quarter on Monday. 

10. Make Employees Feel Safe and Comfortable to Talk with You

Being a good leader is an important part of effective employee motivation. If you fail to be reachable, employees probably see you as a scary boss rather than a team leader.

To motivate team members, you need to make them feel comfortable to talk with you - their feedback is the key to improving your managerial style and becoming the leader they need. 

For example, try sitting down with them in the break area or having a hallway conversation rather than calling them to your scary office. Showing a welcoming friendly face is helpful to motivate employees in the workplace to talk with you.

You could also try to use an open-door policy to motivate employees. Make it clear that you welcome any suggestions and ideas and it will more than likely help you boost your staff’s motivation.

11. Motivate Individual Employees Differently

There are several types of employee motivation techniques you can use. But they are not one size fits all, every person has their preferences. Therefore, it is best to learn how to motivate employees individually.

The most straightforward solution is to ask your employees what they want. You could spend lots of hours guessing on your own or directly gather team motivation ideas from them and save both time and resources.

One-on-one sessions are also great to find out the most suitable employee motivation strategies for each individual. Go to the meeting with an mindset and listen to their suggestions.

For example, if your copywriters and designers tell you that the office is so loud that they get distracted, you could offer them noise-canceling headphones or even the chance to work from home. Similarly, you could offer your social media manager or sales team members some financial motivation in case they reach a given milestone.

12. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Caring about your employees' wellness goes a long way in increasing the motivation level in the company. Prioritizing fun activities that lighten up the mood (such as team-building activities, yoga classes, videogames & pizza parties) during the workday can help.

Make sure you plan activities that include everyone and be wary of focusing on a niche group of employees, for instance, do not only plan sport activities if you have team members with fragile physiques or disabilities. To avoid alienating your employees, you can offer alternatives - you can plan a bowling/arcade-themed get-together for those not into sports and a softball game for the more active team members. Remember, there are different types of employee motivation techniques - explore your options!

Key Takeaways

It might feel like common sense to acknowledge that good managers should motivate their employees. Managers need to learn the different motivational techniques to effectively boost employee encouragement.  There are a few common tips that can help managers improve the work environment and lift their team’s motivation:

  • Create a pleasant and inclusive environment (e.g. provide accommodations, snacks, and a balanced work-life relationship).
  • Reward employees with individually catered prizes – listen to what they want.
  • Show respect, trust, and openness to make your employees comfortable with you.
  • Provide positive and constructive feedback.

Whichever tip you decide to follow, keep in mind that increasing motivation in the workplace is beneficial for the employees and the company. Do not look at it as an expense - it is an investment.

Want to read more HR blogs and recruitment news? Follow our blog for more! CakeResume is one of the best professional resume builder tools in the market. We also offer other HR-related services like Job Search, Job Posting, Talent Search, Recruitment Services, and Employer Branding.

— Originally written by Roger Rene Ortega Figueroa —

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