Training and Development

16 Ideas For Motivating Employees

Are you entering your place of business with the thoughts that someone has turned all your employees into zombies? Have you noticed a higher rate of workers calling in sick? Maybe you have to mediate in employee arguments. Has productivity and sales slipped?

It sounds as if you have a motivation problem.

Yes, I said you have the motivation problem.

You assumed I was going to say that your employees have the motivation problem, and you are correct….But, employees normally play follow the leader, and if the leader is demotivated, the employees will not have any motivation.

So, the first item of business is to motivate yourself. Take a vacation, or eat a bowl of your favorite ice cream. Find what will motivate you, and you will then have a better chance in motivating your employees.

Now that you have a huge smile and you are motivated, try any, or all of this 16 methods to motivate your employees. Yes, a pay raise always helps, but that is not the only answer.

1: Performance Bonuses

When that employee goes above and beyond, rewarding them with a performance bonus can create a willingness to keep performing above standards.

2: Create Team Missions

In many work environments, employees work solo. By changing things up and creating a team mission, you just may see a renewed energy from your staff.

3: Reward The Employee Through Their Family

Find a system to reward an employee’s family to a paid entertainment. It could be a drawing, or you could just go in alphabetical order. Now, some employees may not have a family per say…this is where you should allow them to invite a friend or 2.

4: Community Service

Here is an idea where you can gain respect from your local community and motivate your employees at the same time. Why not shut down the office or factory for 1 day and perform community service? You could clean trash from a river bank or roadside, paint a public building, or any number of community service ideas.

5: CEO-Employee One On One Time

How about picking an employee and taking he/she to lunch? Just a little one on one time with a boss that will listen and converse can really create inspiration in the workforce.

6: Offer Education Incentives

Maybe your local college is offering a course that could benefit some of your employees. Possibly there is a seminar that could help. Just offering to pay for these educative opportunities can inspire your workers.

7: No Favorites

This can be difficult, as there seems to always be a favorite employee but as the boss, you should not play favorites. While having a “CEO pet” may motivate the pet, it could demotivate the rest of the staff. Treat all the same, and you will gain respect and motivated employees.

8: Kids/Pets Day At Work

Depending on the work conditions, it may be a great motivational factor if you allow employees to bring their children or pets to work for a day. Of course, you will want to check your insurance to make sure you can do this safely.

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9: No Micro-managing

Most employees have a difficult time being motivated if their employer is standing over the top of them watching every move. You can monitor their work without hovering over them.

10: Improvements And Suggestions

Having a system that rewards employees for profitable or ergonomic improvements can create a huge buzz of motivation. Many large corporations use this technique because it works.

11: Profit Sharing

When you share your profits with the employees, they feel an ownership in the business. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but splitting 10-20% of the profits between your employees can create a whole new and improved work force.

12: Ergonomics

Making sure your employees are comfortable in their work environment is a large motivating factor.

13: Simple Prizes

Just giving a lottery ticket, a movie pass or some small prize for productivity works. Try it!

14: Goals

Provide your workers with reachable goals and get out of there way. If you give them the map, they will follow it. Make sure and congratulate them when they reach those goals.

15: Recognize High Achievers Publicly

This somewhat goes with #14. When an employee does well, call them out in front of all the other employees. It will enliven the motivation of everyone.

16: Create Friendly Competition

Almost everyone likes friendly competition. Use the small and simple prize system with the winners of these competitions.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the first person that needs to be motivated is you, the boss. After that is solved, use these methods, and watch your workforce get inspired.

About the author

As a book author and freelance writer, Greg Boudonck writes on a variety of subjects. His favorite subject is business management. With well over 10 years of professional writing experience, you will find Greg’s material easy to read and understand. Visit Greg’s website: to see more.

Greg Boudonck

0 Replies to “16 Ideas For Motivating Employees

  1. I was thinking as I was reading this from the beginning in order to motivate others you’d have to be motivated. But motivated to do what? Some people are motivated to make life tough for others. It is said most often that the main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them. A successful business owner needs to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board to follow them towards their vision of success. I remember a story to about my Uncle who was a leader and good example. He was a top level Union Representative, but was respected because he also worked on the floor right beside those who were workers.

    1. Leaders have to have people follow in order to lead. Often that means you can’t “manage” as well. Showcasing your empathy is a great way to grow followers. Then managing them is another equation. Often in business, you have to lead customers and manage employees.

      The best companies seem to have one person as the “face” of the company to lead. Then the operations person to manage.

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