employees in a conference room

Want to get more out of your employees? Creating an environment of recognition, trust and respect goes a long way toward improving job satisfaction and discretionary effort in the employees who help your business succeed.

Chances are you started your business because it was something you were passionate about. Who wouldn’t want engaged, enthusiastic employees being in charge of their life’s work?

Employee motivation is fundamental in helping your business grow, and it may be easier to influence than you think.

Why are motivated employees important?

Engaged workers are more likely to go above and beyond to help a company achieve its goals. They feel invested in the success of the company and will take actions that drive profits and help you stand out from your competition.

Motivated employees can lead to even greater success for your company, including:
  • Better overall work performance
    An engaged and excited employee will want to put their best foot forward in any task that benefits the business.
  • More positive work environment
    Engaged employees improve the morale of others and lead to higher customer loyalty.
  • Higher employee retention
    Did you know that the average cost of hiring a new employee is over $4,000? This includes recruiting, training and the average amount of time it takes a new employee to reach the level of productivity that a business needs. Imagine instead the benefit of retaining an engaged employee. For extra help, check out some of our employee retention strategies.

Employee motivation strategies

So, how do you go about motivating employees? Here are several ways you can help:

  • Create an environment of trust, respect and appreciation
    These are table stakes. The culture of an organization starts at the top, so be an example of the culture you want to create. This can show up in how you communicate with colleagues, how you inspire and motivate employees, demonstrate gratitude and exemplify values. All of this will set the tone of your business.
  • Keep open communication between managers and employees
    One of the easiest ways to improve morale is to make employees feel heard. Be open to listening to their concerns, ideas or anything they feel could improve the overall quality of the business. Make sure to practice empathy and recognize their ideas so that even if their idea isn’t put into practice, at least they’ll know you’re ready to listen.
  • Openly accept employee feedback about the workplace
    One of your jobs is to coach employees and let them know how they can improve their work performance. At the same time, you need to be ready to accept feedback as to how you can be a better boss. This will strengthen trust between you and your employees and let them know you value development as a leader and an individual.
  • Acknowledge employee wins
    Show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their accomplishments. Send out an email congratulating employees for certain actions, give praise publicly in meetings or create an employee recognition program to celebrate achievements and performance. Simply, say “thank you” for the impact they’ve had on your business.
  • Create connections for employees
    Make sure you’re checking in on your employees and enabling them to do the same for each other. Ask them how they’re doing with work and also in their personal lives, if they’re comfortable sharing. Simply asking, “How was your weekend?” and displaying genuine interest in your employees shows that you care about them as workers and as people, too. Don’t forget about having fun every once in a while!
  • Offer a career growth plan
    Let your employees know that growing and developing in their careers is important to you. Take the time to talk to them about their career aspirations, help them put a plan in place, and support their growth through learning experiences.
  • Maintain a work-life balance
    Sure, everyone gets days off. But what if you rotated who gets Fridays and Saturdays off? This makes it fair for everyone and lets people plan to enjoy their weekends every so often. If you’re operating a business that has traditional work hours, don’t constantly push your employees to put in extra time. Of course, there will be instances where employees need to stay late, but that shouldn’t be the normal way of doing things. Above all, keep your employees’ mental well-being in mind.
  • Offer incentives (if applicable)
    This can be anything from bonuses to gift cards (even $5) to days off. Even though employees are paid to do their jobs, a little extra incentive can make a big difference.

Are you ready to motivate?

Every business and team are different. These are just suggestions of ways you can help boost employee motivation. Feel free to get creative and find new ways to enable your employees to come to work with a smile.

To learn more about how we might be able to help you improve employee motivation, and to find other resources available for businesses, check out our Nationwide Business Solutions Center.

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The information included is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal, tax, financial or any other sort of advice, nor is it a substitute for such advice. The information may not apply to your specific situation. We have tried to make sure the information is accurate, but it could be outdated or even inaccurate in parts. It is the reader’s responsibility to comply with any applicable local, state, or federal regulations and to make their own decisions about how to operate their business. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, its affiliates and their employees make no warranties about the information nor guarantee of results, and they assume no liability in connection with the information provided.