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10 Practical Strategies To Motivate Employees and Boost Morale

Lisa Ardill

Content Editor at Workvivo

9 Oct 2023

Employee motivation and productivity are closely related – but unfortunately, only 32% of U.S. employees report being motivated and engaged at work.

The good news is that there are plenty of effective ways for companies to help employees increase their enthusiasm and boost morale.

From employee recognition initiatives to giving staff a sense of purpose, let’s look at ten practical strategies you can use to increase motivation at your company.

How motivated employees help your company thrive

Whether you’re running a small business or a multinational corporation, keeping your employees motivated and engaged is key to reaching your company’s goals. Here’s why.

Increased productivity

People do their best work when they’re happy with their job. However, you may be shocked to learn how much lost productivity due to a lack of employee engagement can cost.

According to Gallup, employees who aren’t engaged at work cost companies worldwide a total of $8.8 trillion per year in lost productivity – which is equal to roughly 9% of the entire global GDP. 

Boosting employee performance is one of the most straightforward ways for companies to improve their profitability. Motivated and engaged workers are far more likely to go the extra mile for their employer.

Better work quality

Working harder leads to improved productivity and higher-quality work. When employees are unmotivated or have low job satisfaction, they tend to only do the bare minimum.

But the thing about motivation is that it leads to pride in one’s work. When employees take pride in their work and are genuinely excited to do their best, they’ll work with care and precision. This helps eliminate errors and the need for rework, further boosting your business’s productivity.

Improved retention

When you spend time and money to attract talented employees, train them, and guide them through their professional development, you want to keep them around! 

The good news is that motivated and engaged employees are much less likely to leave.

More innovative ideas

Employees don’t think outside the box and brainstorm new ideas because they have to; they do them when they’re genuinely enthused about their work. If you want value from your company’s greatest resource for innovative ideas, finding simple ways to motivate your employees is a key first step.

Positive work environment

Employee motivation is an important factor in maintaining a positive workplace culture. When staff truly care, everything tends to run more smoothly. There are fewer conflicts, and employees get along better with their coworkers.

In this way, improving motivation can have a ripple effect that reinforces other key company values, such as:

  • Collaboration
  • Team building
  • Accountability

10 ways to motivate your employees

The benefits of a motivated workforce are undeniable, but keeping employees on task is not always easy. Here are ten proven strategies if you’re looking for simple yet effective ways to motivate your employees.

1. Focus on your company culture

A strong company culture is the foundation for a motivated workforce since it fosters a sense of belonging, purpose, and community. When employees feel like they’re a part of something meaningful and aligned with their values, enthusiasm comes naturally.

This type of intrinsic motivation is impossible to replicate, no matter how many incentives you offer. This means that improving your company culture is often one of the best things you can do.

2. Recognize employee contributions

Everyone likes it when their hard work is recognized and appreciated – and employees may not feel motivated to go above and beyond if they feel like their efforts go unnoticed.

Give positive feedback freely, and always recognize any milestones or achievements your workers accomplish. You may be surprised how far a few words of appreciation can go to keep employees motivated.

3. Promote teamwork and collaboration

Effective teamwork is critical to reaching collective goals and driving organizational success. Employees also tend to be more motivated when they feel like they’re part of a connected, supportive community.

Establishing a company culture that promotes teamwork and collaboration creates an environment where employees motivate each other

4. Set achievable goals and expectations

Companies have been using goals to motivate employees ever since Dr. Edwin Locke pioneered research into goal-setting in the 1960s

When you give people measurable objectives, they’ll usually apply themselves to reach those goals. That said, setting the right goals for your employees is important.

They need to be challenging yet achievable. Setting unrealistic goals will only discourage them, while goals that are too easy won’t push them to do their best work.

5. Use technology to enhance engagement

There are a lot of different tools and technologies that companies can use to enhance employee engagement. For example, communication tools make it a lot easier to foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration. 

One type of tool that can be especially useful for boosting employee motivation and engagement is a social intranet. A social intranet serves as a private social media platform for companies, offering a space for streamlined communication and community building. This boosts the employee experience, which can lead to higher motivation.

6. Promote training and development opportunities

The opportunity to grow their skills and advance their career is a strong motivating factor for many people. If employees feel like they don’t have an opportunity to grow and improve, they may become either complacent, frustrated, or both.

Providing ample means for continuous learning and professional development gives staff goals to strive toward and the tools to reach them. When it comes to keeping employees motivated, this is a powerful combination.

7. Offer incentives and rewards for good work

Rewards and incentives serve as tangible recognition for outstanding effort and can take many forms – from perks like extra time off or flexible scheduling to monetary rewards such as cash bonuses and gift cards.

Whenever possible, you should tailor rewards to an employee’s individual preferences. For example, some workers may value public recognition, while others prefer private gestures.

By personalizing your approach, you can demonstrate that you value each employee as an individual and appreciate their unique contributions.

8. Give employees a sense of purpose

No one wants to feel like they are just another cog in the machine. When employees see how their efforts contribute to the company’s success, they’re more interested in doing their best work.

By regularly communicating the company’s goals and how each team member plays a role, you can align individual goals with company objectives to encourage motivation across the whole organization.

9. Be transparent with team members

Open and honest communication creates trust and confidence among a company’s employees. For this reason, you should always keep them informed about updates, challenges, and successes. Address concerns promptly and involve your staff in decision-making processes when appropriate.

Transparency also extends to providing feedback on individual and team performance. Constructive feedback helps employees understand their strengths and areas for growth, encouraging continuous learning and boosting their motivation to improve.

To communicate better with your employees, check out how Workvivo’s employee engagement platform gives everyone within an organization a voice.

10. Understand what drives employees

Recognizing employees as unique individuals with individual motivations, strengths, and aspirations is important. By taking the time to understand these individual employee factors, you can tailor your approach to motivating them to make it far more effective.

Engage in regular one-on-one conversations to discuss their professional development, goals, and any challenges they may be facing. This will help you understand what drives your employees, and it will also demonstrate that you’re invested in their success.

Use Workvivo for a more motivated workforce

An engaged workforce is one of the most valuable resources that a company can have. If you like to create a culture of communication and collaboration that will motivate employees to do their best work, Workvivo can help!

With Workvivo’s advanced employee engagement platform, companies can effortlessly communicate with them, give and receive feedback, and encourage community building via features such as a customizable social intranet.

To get started building the type of workplace culture that fosters motivation and engagement, we invite you to try out a free demo of Workvivo today!

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