December 6, 2021

Do more: 11 effective ways to increase motivation in the workplace

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Did you know that 70% of employees feel disengaged at work?

That’s right — and staff motivation levels are heavily influenced by managers like you.

Making small changes to the way you manage your team can make a huge difference to morale and motivation. When your employees feel motivated, they’ll work harder, make more sales, and be less likely to quit.

Need some ideas to help get your team excited about work again?

Keep reading for eleven effective ways to boost motivation in the workplace.

1. Set Measurable Goals

How do you feel after you achieve a goal or check something off your to-do list?

You feel a surge of positivity — and you feel more motivated to move onto your next task.

You can put this effect to good use in the workplace by setting small, measurable goals for your employees each day. Instead of analyzing their performance once a year, make tracking and rewarding their work a regular thing.

This might mean setting a daily sales goal rather than a weekly one, and rewarding to employees who hit goals consistently.

For new employees, it might mean providing a list of simple tasks to get them started, then praising them for ticking everything off.

No employee should ever feel like they’re just turning up at work to do the same thing, day after day, with no recognition. Even repetitive jobs like data entry can be made more engaging with measurable goals around speed and accuracy.

Make sure goals are used to encourage employees, not to punish them.

2. Give Daily Positive Feedback

‘You’re doing a great job and we all appreciate your hard work.’

How good would it feel to have somebody tell you this every single day?

Pretty good, right?

It’s easy to get complacent if you’re been working with the same team for a long time, but everyone needs a little recognition and praise to stay motivated.

Try identifying areas where your employees consistently perform well and give verbal feedback as often as you can.

You might praise somebody for always getting important filing done on time, being willing to help out with urgent projects, or staying late if there’s work that needs finishing at the end of the week.

Even the tiniest positive comment could be enough to make somebody’s day.

3. Allow Regular Breaks

How motivated do you feel when you’re forced to sit at your computer for hours on end without a break?

Not motivated at all.

While you might occasionally need employees to grind, strive to encourage a healthy work/life balance — and that means giving regular breaks.

If possible, have some open green space for employees to enjoy or fill your break room with flowers and plants. Time in nature is a great way to recharge, especially when you’re always using technology.

You should also encourage proper lunch breaks away from the desk. Rushed sandwiches at the computer might seem like a good time-saver, but they’ll only lead to burnout and frustration in the long run.

If possible, let employees choose their own breaks — feeling that you have autonomy and freedom can do wonders for motivation levels.

4. Encourage Healthy Eating

Is your office fridge currently stuffed full of fizzy drinks and sugary snacks?

This could be causing a slump in motivation.

Research shows that eating regular, healthy meals helps boost productivity and increase motivation levels.

If you have a canteen on-site, make sure it offers a wide range of healthy options to cater for all dietary needs. That means saying goodbye to junk food, and hello to wholesome salads, hearty chillis, and veg-filled stews.

Next, look at the snacks you have available in the office. Try replacing salty chips with nuts and seeds and swapping candy for a bowl of fresh fruit.

If fizzy drinks are popular, try offering options like fruit juice and herbal tea instead. You should avoid caffeine-heavy drinks, which can cause anxiety and decrease energy levels long-term.

Get employees involved in helping to choose new healthy snacks and meals so that they’re fully on board and don’t feel patronized.

5. Offer Employee Exercise Initiatives

Exercise is an amazing way to boost motivation levels, especially if you spend most of the day sitting down in an office.

Ever been for a quick walk around the block and instantly felt more energized?

This is the exact effect that employee exercise programs will have, but on an even larger scale.

If you have space, hire a yoga teacher to run a session once a week. Alternatively, install exercise equipment that’s free for staff to use. Consider group activities like lunchtime jogs or visits to the climbing gym.

Let staff workout during the day and the time that’s lost will soon be made up for in increased productivity.

6. Invest in Team Building Activities

What do you picture when you think of team building activities?

If you’re imagining awkwardly standing in a circle with your colleagues and doing cringe-inducing trust exercises, think again.

There’s a whole industry around team building nowadays, and you could be doing anything from ax-throwing to navigating a fantasy-themed escape room.

Team building is a great way to get to know your employees away from the stress of the normal working day. When everyone feels happy and supported at work, motivation levels naturally rise.

Combine team building days with long-term business planning to make staff members feel involved in the bigger picture of what you’re doing.

7. Share Big-Picture Results

As mentioned above, making staff feel like they’re part of the bigger picture is an excellent way to boost motivation.

Imagine that you’re working as a cleaner in a large department store. It’d be easy to feel like you weren’t making much meaningful difference to the overall operation of the company unless somebody told you otherwise.

However, if a manager shared statistics like, ‘The cleanliness of this store makes customer 25% more likely to shop here,’ you’d have a positive, motivating statistic in mind while you mopped floors and cleaned toilets.

You can apply this logic to any employee in any business.

Make a point of sharing big-picture results and achievements, emphasizing exactly how each member of the team contributed to each success.

The bigger your company, the more important this tip is — nobody should feel like a meaningless cog in the machine.

8. Have a Meaningful Mission

Everybody wants to feel like they have a purpose, whether they’re working at a world peace charity or a car dealership.

Creating a meaningful company mission and making staff aware of it is a great way to boost motivation levels.

Think about the core values behind your brand. You might be focused on providing quality products to families, improving results for small businesses, or helping the environment.

Make your mission the foundation of everything you do. Talk about it during the hiring process, reiterate it during training, and mention it during motivational talks.

Your enthusiasm will soon become infectious and the whole team will work harder when they know exactly what they’re working for.

9. Offer Job Security

It’s harder to stay motivated when you’re worried about job security.

If you’re currently offering short-term contracts without much security, consider making some changes so that your employees feel better supported.

This could mean better contracts, policies for dealing with long-term health issues, and perks like maternity and paternity leave.

When staff members feel like they have a job they can count on for years to come, they’re motivated to work harder to stay with your company.

If they feel like they could be let go at any moment, motivation levels are bound to drop.

10. Avoid Micromanaging

Micromanaging makes employees feel frustrated and belittled, as well as increasing burnout for the entire team.

Make sure that you give employees the time and space needed to do their jobs without controlling their every move, and encourage other managers to do the same.

Building an atmosphere of trust and support empowers everyone to do their best work, increasing motivation levels across the workplace.

11. Give Rewards for Good Work

There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned reward for a job well done.

Many employers offer perks like gift vouchers for stores and ‘experiences’, like spa days. Vouchers are an easy option that will go down well with most staff members.

If you’re looking for something a little more personal to commend a special effort, consider an engraved challenge coin. The history behind challenge coins is long and they’re a great item to treasure forever.

Again, try asking your employees for suggestions on the types of reward they’d like to see offered.

Why Learn How to Boost Motivation in the Workplace?

When you figure out how to boost motivation in the workplace you’ll benefit from increased productivity, greater employee loyalty, and a more positive culture.

Increased staff motivation has a ripple effect that improves everything from customer service to sales.

This makes boosting staff morale one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your business. It doesn’t require much time or effort, but it makes a big difference to your bottom line.

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