How to Ignite Employee Motivation in the Workplace

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Employee motivation is the cornerstone that determines the breakthrough and success of a company.

It’s not found in the contract signed between the employer and employee. It’s an intangible, intrinsic drive found within employees, in wanting to excel in their jobs.

Employees need to feel motivated and driven to be able to contribute effectively to the company. One person has the ability to change the outcome of a situation. An assembly of employees possessing this motivation can be the key to a company’s success.

However, if you’re an employer having trouble identifying this trait in your employees, what should you do to ignite employee motivation?

1) Involve Employees in Decision-Making Opportunities 

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Employees become disengaged and unmotivated when their co-workers are involved in important company decisions but they’re not. This sort of behaviour can cause distrust among employees and hinder the relation between management and employees.

Another example is to micromanage employees. Micromanagement is also a way of telling employees you’re unable to trust them and let them make their own decisions. In such cases, they don’t feel respected and valued for their skills to want to perform well in the company.

Sometimes, allowing employees to take risks is important for them to learn and grow out of their comfort zone. Time is wasted when an employee has to wait for an employer to give the green light on tasks that could be handled by the employee himself if he was given the opportunity. 

When employers don’t involve employees in decision-making opportunities or risk letting them make decisions, they can’t expect employees to remain interested and loyal to the company. Employee participation is vital for employees to feel and gain a sense of accomplishment at their jobs so as to want to contribute further.  

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By creating such a work environment, you can expect employees to develop self-initiative, produce quality work, and motivated to excel in upcoming projects.

2) Workplace: An Environment of Trust

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You want to work with people whom you can trust. Employee motivation is the result of work stability and trust in the workplace environment. 

To foster an environment of trust; communication and regular feedback must be exchanged between both employees and employers. Communication is a two-way street that both parties need to be involved and willing to compromise.  

While employees should be open to feedback, employers can learn to listen to employees’ suggestions.

Many times, employers take for granted of the situation and begin walking all over employees with their own set of regulations without understanding the employee circumstances.

They began enforcing strict policies even though they know that dictatorship and trust are antagonistic with one another and employees, in fear of facing the consequences, tend to lie or approach their employers hesitantly. 

Hence, employers should also drill into employees’ core values and vision of the company. They must align their goals with the company’s vision and mission so as to create employee motivation. 

This creates a conducive environment where everyone works together to solve arising problems rather than pointing fingers. It’s critical to develop a culture where employees and employers can rely on the other, wanting the best for the company, as trust grows.

3) Respect Employees with Basic Courtesy 

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Employees are humans. Not bots. They have feelings to be addressed. 

You wouldn’t want to work in a place where you’re not respected. A polite greeting and basic courtesy of asking the employee’s well-being can boost the employee’s day immediately. Respect can also be demonstrated non-verbally via body language and tone of voice.  

Employees long for a sense of acknowledgement from their employer and the company. Treat your employees how you’d want to be treated by your employer. Respect for an employee equates to high morale which leads to quality work produced by employee motivation.

4) Monetary and Non-Monetary Rewards

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It’s a fact that people are motivated by monetary rewards. Temporarily. 

Bonuses and salary increments go a long way in sustaining employee motivation. Monetary rewards is also an expression of appreciation to employees. It helps to inspire employees to push themselves further to prove their capability for future promotions. 

Not restricting rewards to monetary rewards, non-monetary rewards such as company dinners, training and courses, company sponsored education are excellent ways to boost employee motivation in the workplace.

A lot of better performing or highly motivated employees lose interest quickly in their jobs when they lack motivation. They may feel that their time isn’t worth investing here when they’re better opportunities out there. Or employers are not providing enough mentorship or paying enough attention to their efforts. 

Employee motivation is an abstract idea that lives within us every day. It’s something that both employees and employers are constantly seeking but may not know how to comprehend and understand its value. And it’s up to us to trigger this instinct within us. 

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