What can managers do to motivate employees? No workplace will ever give managers the perfect work environment and culture to support their efforts toward fostering employee motivation. But you can create an environment that motivates your employees and increases their level of satisfaction by taking seven key steps, such as providing them with opportunities to grow their knowledge and skills and giving them all the information they need to do their jobs effectively.
Employee motivation is built on authenticity: authentic feedback, authentic conversations, and authentic relationships.
Authenticity is the foundation for forming personal connections in the workplace. Individuals need certainty on their performance as well as an appreciation for their achievements. If your authentic self is not a part of your daily interactions with your team members, they will struggle to gain that certainty.
Motivational posters have never motivated anyone, and team-building exercises are often a waste of time. Simply acting as if your workers are competent, sensible, and trustworthy can be a powerful motivator all on its own.
People love to feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves — this is the psychology behind communities, clubs, fandoms, youth groups, and more. But when you show up to work every day to focus on a tiny piece of the larger puzzle, it can be hard to attain that feeling. It can even become demoralizing, to feel as though your work is trivial and unimportant.
To motivate your employees, you must first gain deep understandings of where they want to go in their careers. When you understand employees’ ambitions, you can pair them with tasks that need to be accomplished while tapping into employee motivation. While assigning tasks based on ambition is a great first step, motivation can quickly fizzle out without followup.
When someone in an entry-level job feels that they’ll never advance, they won’t give you 100%. In fact, they probably won’t stick around if something even a little better comes around. But in an environment where career advancement (or even just financial advancement) is a distinct and tangible possibility, people will work harder.