The best ways to motivate your employees don’t cost a lot. They can even be free. And anyone can do it. One of the questions that every business owner and manager asks is, “How do we motivate employees to perform better and go the extra mile?” Many people believe that the key to motivation is money. But as it turns out, it’s not completely true. 

Don’t get it wrong, though. Money is important. But even more so are some other things, like respect and peer motivation. One recent study conducted on 200,000 employees in 500 companies shows some interesting facts about it. Take a look at what does boost employee motivation based on the results of the study. Also, learn how you can apply it in your company.

Ten Things to boost employee motivation

#1 Respect and Support

The study shows that one of the top factors that boost employee motivation is getting the respect of your superiors. This is similar to a survey from a couple of years ago about the most common reason why talents decide to leave. The cause isn’t money or promotion. Rather, it’s a lack of respect and recognition.

Some managers read leadership books to learn how to treat their employees properly. The fact is that it’s even much simpler than that. Just treat them with respect and offer empathy and support when they need it. It doesn’t take a lot to be nice, but people won’t soon forget how you treat them.

#2 Possibility to Learn and Grow

For highly motivated people, doing the same things over and over can be counterproductive. They may lose interest and start doing it mechanically. Your job is to recognize that people love to learn and grow. So, give them a chance to do so within your company.

Growth doesn’t have to be climbing the corporate ladder if there’s no room for that at the moment. It can simply mean giving your employees more room to be creative and express themselves. Or helping them improve their skills by paying for a course that you know they’ve been wanting to take.

#3 Welcoming Environment

Our surroundings have a profound effect on how we feel and perform. You should make your premises welcoming and functional such that your employees feel good when they arrive to work.

This doesn’t even require massive changes or big investments. Just listen to what they crave or what’s bothering them. If they’re complaining that some device is slow and takes ages to do the work, it may be worth upgrading it. Such small changes can have a massive impact on their motivation and performance.

#4 Incentive Programs

The study also found that people perform better in companies that often reward their employees. But it’s not only about money or promotions. It’s more about knowing that someone notices and appreciates their work. That’s a good enough reason for them to work harder and go the extra mile.

If you don’t have an incentive program, it may be a good idea to think about implementing one. Some companies have quarterly bonuses. Others offer commissions. Choose whatever works for you.

#5 Flexible Schedule

Nowadays, there’s no reason to stick to the traditional 9 to 5 schedule anymore. One Forbes study even revealed that for almost one-half of the candidates, a flexible schedule was one of the most important things for them when looking for a job.

Allow your employees to come in later or leave earlier if they have to. They’ll be grateful and their motivation will respond in kind as a result. Happy employees are better workers.

#6 Seeing a Bigger Picture

Business owners often forget that their employees can’t see the bigger picture if they don’t share it with them. People like to know that their daily tasks contribute to something more important.

Make sure to share your vision and your goals with your employees. Of course, they should feel like a part of that vision. Knowing that their work contributes to something big and positive that’s making a change in the world will motivate them even more.

#7 Providing Lunch and Snacks

No one has time to cook daily in these hectic times. Providing healthy lunch and snacks in the workplace is not just a kind gesture, it’ll also make their lives easier. That way, your employees will have more time to focus on the things that really matter. Moreover, you’re making sure to take care of their needs and their health - people greatly appreciate this.

#8 Feeling Recognised

One of the top factors of motivation is feeling recognised and appreciated. As a business owner, you shouldn’t take anything for granted. Make sure to compliment anyone you notice that’s doing a great job.

In doing so, you’ll be building long-lasting relationships with your employees. When people see someone appreciate their efforts, they’ll work even harder just to not disappoint that person.

#9 Positive Feedback

Let’s say you own a shop. When customers have negative feedback about one of your employees, of course you’ll want to talk to them about it and find a way to figure things out. But what if they complimented one of your employees in front of you?

People often forget to share positive feedback. That’s a big mistake. Share positive feedback with all of your employees and give them a reason to be proud of the good work they’ve done.

#10 Listening to Their Needs

Listening - one of the simplest yet rarely used strategies. If you’ve tried everything and don’t know how to motivate your employees, simply ask them. Ask them what would make them more productive and motivated.

The answers may surprise you because their perspectives are often different from yours. Their needs are a reflection of where they are in their lives. For example, the needs of a single mother will differ from that of a recent graduate, and so on.

Just Take Care of your employees

When you start seeing your employees as persons with strengths and flaws, you’ll understand them better. After that, the ways to motivate them will come to you naturally. It’s important to try different approaches until you find one that works.

The next steps

Do you need a helping hand? We’re here to help you implement these strategies. Find an ActionCOACH business coach near you to find out how they can elevate your company.

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Written by ActionCOACH April 17, 2024
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.