Culture & Engagement

Top 10 Tips to Help Motivate Employees

motivated employee

Updated on 8/11/23


Understanding how to motivate staff can be a game-changer, as it directly impacts an organisation's success. To address this challenge, this blog will explore the top 10 employee motivation strategies and techniques.

In this article, we'll dive into ways to motivate employees effectively, whether you're a manager or team leader, and discuss methods and motivators that will help your team thrive.

1. Inspire your team

All the great leaders manage to inspire their teams. Paint an exciting vision of the future for your business which inspires you. Demonstrate dedication, a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude. When you embody the behaviour you expect from your team, it inspires them to do the same.

You can inspire and encourage your team in a number of ways:

  • Model effective communication: Communicate clearly, actively listen, and encourage open dialogue with everybody. When employees see that you value communication, they are more likely to engage in constructive conversations.
  • Prioritising a healthy work-life balance: You can do this by not overworking yourself or your employees. Show that you value time spent outside of work to recuperate and try new hobbies, whilst supporting employees to do the same.
  • Sharing your successes and failures: Be transparent about the successes and failures within the business. Celebrate achievements together, but also openly address setbacks. When employees see that you acknowledge both, it fosters trust and a culture of continuous improvement.

2. Empower autonomy

There’s so much science out there telling us that micromanagement stifles creativity and kills motivation. One of the most effective methods of motivating staff is to give them the autonomy to innovate and solve problems. Being excessively controlling of employees to the extent that managers closely oversee every task and decision made by their employees is not allowing your employees to grow and learn from any mistakes they make.  

While it's essential to maintain some level of supervision, overdoing it can lead to disengagement, frustration, and decreased productivity among your staff..

Why is empowering autonomy important for your employees? 

Here’s a few reasons why autonomy is important:

  • Boosts their confidence: Allowing employees to make decisions on their own fosters confidence in their abilities. When they see that you trust them, they are more likely to take on new challenges with enthusiasm.
  • Advances their responsibility: Autonomy encourages employees to take responsibility for their work. They become more accountable for their outcomes, which can lead to a stronger sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishments.
  • Encourages innovation and productivity: Autonomy gives employees the freedom to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems which results in increased productivity. 

Mistakes are common at work, which is why a support system is essential and to establish a relationship where your employee can openly communicate about tasks and work-related issues.

3. Set SMART goals

We all like to have personal goals to keep us going. Employees are no different. Give them clear goals and they have something to aim at. One of the most powerful employee motivation strategies is to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). Employees need to know what is expected of them. Clear objectives provide a roadmap and instil a sense of purpose, motivating them to work towards your company's goals. SMART goals play a role in motivating employees by providing a clear path to success that encourages continuous improvement. You can read more in our expert interview with Simon Kilpatrick.

4. Trust and empower your team

Not all mistakes are equal.. But, if a staff member makes a mistake after pushing themselves, praise their efforts in trying or else you’ll kill creativity, innovation and initiative.

Trust them to take initiative, be accountable and learn from their mistakes so they truly feel autonomous at work. You can do this by being transparent and honest about the company’s goals and challenges, and not lying to them when things go wrong. 

You can also ensure that your team has the necessary resources, tools, and training to excel in their roles. This could be anything from having the right everyday technology, the right software, or a thoughtful line manager.

5. Recognise, reward achievements and show gratitude

Many studies show that one of the best things you can do to staff is to recognise their efforts. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” when they have done something good, or even investing in a performance review software that gives employees the platform to praise one another. 

Motivating and rewarding employees go hand in hand. Acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments, both big and small, is a fundamental aspect of motivation techniques. Positive reinforcement through bonuses or promotions, can energise your team and inspire them to continue excelling.

6. Provide constructive feedback

To discover techniques to motivate a team, offering regular feedback is essential. Staff need positive feedback to feel motivated, but they also need feedback delivered in a constructive way as this will show them that you care about their development and don’t abandon them when the going gets tough.

Providing constructive feedback, both positive and negative, helps employees improve and grow. It's a vital component of how to motivate employees as a manager, as it shows you're invested in their development.

7. Prioritise their career development

There’s no better feeling than being in a company that is invested in your growth and provides the steps in order for you to get there. Motivational strategies for employees should include access to training and workshops. When employees see a clear path to self-improvement, they are more motivated to excel.

The ways in which you can prioritise your team’s development are through individual development plans and staff appraisals. Start by having one-on-one discussions with each employee to understand their career aspirations, strengths, and areas for improvement. Create individual development plans (IDPs) that outline their goals and the steps needed to achieve them.

You should then conduct regular performance reviews that include discussions about career development. Provide constructive feedback and recognise their achievements, while also discussing areas for improvement.

8. Embrace flexible work options

A work-life balance is vital. Offering flexible work arrangements and beneficial remote work options is a newer way to motivate employees. This motivational technique enhances job satisfaction and overall motivation.

Some methods which companies have used to embrace flexible work options are by: 

  • Flexible hours: Allow employees to set their work hours within a certain range. For example, they might start their workday between 7 am and 10 am and finish accordingly. This flexibility can accommodate personal commitments and preferences.
  • Parental leave and family-friendly policies: Offer generous parental leave policies and other family-friendly benefits. This supports employees who need time off to care for children or family members.

Remote work: Offer the option for employees to work partially or entirely remote or hybrid. Remote work can reduce commuting time and create a more comfortable and productive work environment. Whereas hybrid creates a sense of communication with their team and other departments.

9. Avoid overworking your employees

You’ll need to burn the candle at both ends sometimes, but if you overwork your employees, (that is let them consistently work over 40 hours a week), productivity will drop and absences will rise.

To prevent overworking your team, start by setting realistic expectations. Clearly define their job roles, responsibilities, and expected outcomes. Ensure that their workload aligns with what can reasonably be achieved during regular working hours.

You should also monitor and adjust their workload when necessary. Regularly communicate and check in with your team about their work and how they’re feeling about it. Be open to adjusting and offering support to prevent burnout.

10. Communicate how their work benefits your company and your clients

Employees need to feel important and that what they are doing really matters to their organisation. By openly communicating how their work directly impacts clients, you create a strong connection between their efforts and the satisfaction of the people you serve. Moreover, it's not just about explaining their impact; it's also about demonstrating it.

Ensure that managers motivate staff to achieve objectives internally and through the work they do, and take a personal interest in what every staff member contributes. This hands-on involvement not only motivates employees but also creates a sense of unity and shared purpose within the organisation.

Supercharge your employee motivation strategies with PeopleHR’s performance management software

Motivating employees and understanding theories of motivation is the key to a successful, engaged, and thriving team. Whether it’s through open communication, flexible work options, or recognising the value of their contributions, it's within your grasp to create an environment where employees are not just motivated but excited to be part of your organisation's journey. 

Empower your team by harnessing the potential of our performance management software as part of your integrated HR system, and watch your employees flourish.

Jake Fields
By Jake Fields New Business Sales Representative

Jake Fields is a New Business Sales Representative at Access PeopleHR. With a diverse background spanning customer service, training, and sales, he is a seasoned professional in all things HR software. Jake's global training experience has cultivated strong client relationships across a range of industries. A true people person at heart, his mission is to provide tailored solutions and support individuals throughout their HR journey.