- February 18, 2023
- by Ola Rybacka
- One comment
A good team ensures at least half of the project’s success. Working in a positive work environment encourage employees to unleash their hidden potential. How to keep the employee motivation at a high level? Some employers may find it challenging, but a few nice tricks and employee motivational ideas help keep the team motivated.
Table of Contents
🤔 Why is employee motivation important?
A team consists of people of different characters and attitudes towards work. It’s hard to expect team members to maintain the highest level of motivation every day, especially if they can’t focus entirely on their job because, e.g., their social matters.
It may be pretty challenging, but employers should take care of keeping their employers motivated. It’s a part of good team bonding, which is crucial for ensuring the employees’ loyalty. It also should be a company’s mission, giving the employees well-deserved appreciation.
Employee loyalty has many positive outcomes for the company. They:
- become more willing to share their innovative ideas,
- often are more committed towards the responsibilities,
- are encouraged to share their feedback about, e.g., workflow or current projects’ state,
- are feeling more recognized and appreciated by the upper management team,
- better engage in further projects,
- often take care of the team spirit,
- take more responsibility for their actions.
Sounds perfect, right? But many employers forget that real loyalty should be built on mutual trust instead of constant control. Any method of surveillance will make the employees doubt that the employer honestly appreciates their engagement and skills.
Employee motivation vs. remote work
The last year and a half introduced remote work in many companies. Due to the pandemic situation, people were forced to stay and perform their duties at home. Coffee meetings or cigarette-short conversations moved online, making employees feel losing their natural team bond. It’s also harder to motivate employees if you don’t see them face to face.
It’s nothing strange that employee engagement decreases in those conditions. Struggling with maintaining a proper work-life balance in the domestic environment doesn’t help either.
Don’t forget about making sure remote employees still feel they’re an essential part of the team:
- maintain the highest level of team communication using video conferencing and team collaboration tools,
- hold the video meetings and ask all your employees to have their cameras on,
- make sure all your employees – both in-office and remote ones – participate in team meetings,
- invite remote employees to join the all-department and company meetings and corporate retreats,
- organize all-team video coffee breaks and encourage your employees to use video calls when they need to discuss something (it’s not for strengthening the sense of camaraderie only but also have a significant impact on the effectiveness of remote communication),
- build playful elements to the meetings – playing online games or just sharing lovely moments employees have recently encountered can help them make it through the tough time of being separated.
- start and end the working week together – organize both a Monday morning meeting and a Friday wrap-up.
Employee motivation and TimeCamp
You can try to measure your employee’s productivity by special calculations, but isn’t it a bit too old-fashioned? Instead, you should use the modern solution which can do everything for you – TimeCamp.
TimeCamp is a time-tracking software that follows the activities of the user. It is a great solution for larger companies that need to manage tasks and projects of the employees. The app measures productivity, and it serves as the basis to pay bonuses.
Does time tracking increase employee motivation?
Time tracking can also increase employee motivation in several ways:
Increased accountability: By tracking time, employees are held accountable for their work hours and tasks. This helps to increase their sense of responsibility and helps encourage employees to work harder.
Goal setting and progress tracking: Time tracking allows employees and managers to set goals and track their progress. This provides them with a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to continue working towards their goals.
Improved time management: Time tracker helps employees to identify where their time is being spent and make adjustments to improve their time management skills. Better time management keeps employees motivated and can increase team motivation.
Fairness and transparency: Time tracking promotes fairness and transparency in the workplace by ensuring that all employees are held to the same standards. This helps to create a sense of equity and can boost job satisfaction.
Recognition and rewards: Data from time tracking can be used to identify high-performing employees and reward them for their hard work. This recognition can serve as a powerful motivator for employees to continue to perform at their best.
Overall, time tracking can help to create a more transparent, accountable, and productive workplace culture, which can increase employee motivation and engagement. Remember that motivating employees is not an easy task and it takes more than implementing time tracking.
Smart ways to motivate employees and make them feel more appreciated
What are the best employee motivation ideas? Do we really need a neverending stream of cash to keep employee engagement on the highest level acceptable?
Let’s take find out how to improve employee motivation and what are challenges we can encounter!
💚 Get to know your people
You can’t motivate employees if you don’t know them and their personalities. Some of them are motivated, but value work-life balance and don’t want to work overtime. Others have low job satisfaction but seem motivated beacause they fear losing job.
Make them feel that they’re not just a wheel in the machine but are recognized and important individuals. Sometimes, just remembering someone’s name is worth one’s weight in gold. But in a smaller team, you should go further and know what they value the most at work and try to provide it.
💚 Increase the employee recognition
It’s nothing wrong with being proud when others appreciate your job.
Especially when you know you do your best to achieve the highest results.
That’s why employee remembrance seems to be working as a perfect motivating factor.
As mentioned before, gaining employees’ loyalty should be one of the most important company goals. A recognized employee becomes a loyal one. To make the recognition even sweeter, why not award the outstanding workers with unique crystal trophies from fineawards.com?
To increase loyalty and motivate employees within the workplace, it’s essential to practice employee recognition, express gratitude for their amazing work, celebrate wins and reward their effort. Incorporating these ways of appreciation is crucial for building a healthy company culture, strengthening the core values, and increasing employee engagement.
How to make the employees feel you recognize them?
- address them in person – each team member’s efforts make up the entire team’s success. But if someone stands out from other employees, don’t be afraid to recognize them and show appreciation directly,
- celebrate the collective wins – it’s perfect for strengthening the team bond. Celebrate it in the office or take the employees somewhere from time to time. Changing the environment will help lighten the mood and get to know each other in more domestic, neutral situations. People want to hear that their joint effort has a great meaning for the company – then they will work even harder, because there’s nothing more motivating than the belief of doing something important together,
- a great way to make employees feel valued is by publicly praising them and making them feel valued, start a blog where you write about employee ideas or contributions. You can even do a section on the employee of the month. If you’re not keen on posting employee achievements online or you feel like your employees wouldn’t want their information on the internet you can always create an online magazine that’s only available to the office members and fill it with great things about each employee,
- schedule 1-1 meeting wich each employee- sometimes a public recognition can wake up an unexpected shyness in the employees. In this case, expressing gratitude during the direct conversation can boost employee motivation way more than praise in front of others,
- send a motivational email to employees – it may sound cliche. Still, it’s also one of the effortless ideas to keep the employees motivated. Opening the mailbox and seeing a few nice words about how good job they do from the leadership team works wonders,
- use money factor – an occasional monetary reward (e.g., for a round anniversary or significantly high results and hard work) will be a perfect motivation idea, especially when we want to appreciate long-term employees.
- set up a reward system – you can set up a reward system with an employee recognition platform to appreciate your employees. These platforms provide a digital space where employees can interact, celebrate milestones, and appreciate top performers. They also have automation workflows and help you build a positive work culture.
👉 Check our list of employee recognition ideas
💚 Encourage innovation
There’s nothing odd about the employees getting bored if they do the same things every day. It’s hard to unleash their creativity and let them share new ideas in such conditions.
As a manager, if you want to motivate employees, you must be the one, who makes your employees’ day more entertaining. Organize meetings, brainstorming, discussions, conferences, and training. Make sure that their tasks are not just the same thing over and over again. Give them a challenge, and they will face it with more enthusiasm and engagement.
But once they can challenge themselves and spend some time thinking out of their perfect little box, the results can turn out to be surprising.
So, how to motivate team members and encourage innovation?
- make sure they clearly understand the objectives and big picture for the next project,
- think of team members as different people – they all have their unique skills and mindset. Assign them to the tasks they’re good in, giving employees the field to unleash their creativity,
- make sure they have a reason to participate in the innovation process and provide fresh ideas,
- use team’s weekly meetings as an opportunity for brainstorming sessions and motivate employees to share their most crazy ideas,
- increase employees loyalty – it makes them more willing to participate,
- let them know the company accepts failures – sometimes the final effect is quite different than the general idea. Don’t blame anyone if reality won’t meet the expectations – failures are the best life lessons.
If an employee is aware the upper management appreciates their ideas; they consider working in a particular company as more significant experience on their career path.
💚 Give them responsibility
Here’s a catch. Bad workers escape from responsibility as far as they can, because they are afraid of failure. The wisdom is, responsibility is a grist for a hard work’s mill. When an employee knows that faith of team’s actual task is in his hands equally as in the hands of other members, he will try hard to do it right and also he will be proud of it. Motivated employees feel that they are responsible for company’s performance.
Of course, it’s not for everybody. If you have interns in your team, don’t give them too much responsibility, because it can be too stressful for them as they don’t have enough competence to deal with it.
💚 Stop micromanaging and share control
If you try to control your employee to hard, the results are usually inversely proportional to expectations. After all, you employ them because you expect them to handle their tasks properly. If you show them that you don’t trust them at every opportunity, they will feel like they are useless.
Employees who are given more space to focus on their work are going to learn faster, and they will use this chance to show how reliable they are. As a result, employee motivation rises.
💚 Be flexible
As a boss, you have to know your employees well and respond to their needs accordingly. Be familiar with their motivations. Allow young parents to adjust the working hours, so they can see and play with their kids (and take them to the kindergarten in the morning.)
The creative individualist should be allowed to work on his or her own projects – this may be more beneficial to the company, than a regular work. Google does that, allowing its employees to spend 20% of their working time on their own projects. If you motivate employees to have out-of-the-box ideas, you should also be ready to follow them.
💚 Incorporate team building
An employee-friendly work environment isn’t just about all the tangible assets like fancy relaxation rooms. It’s about the good atmosphere between the team members that makes them more willing to help each other. If you want to motivate employees, make sure they like each other first, the motivation to help others and work together will follow.
A strong team bond is a proven motivator and, unfortunately, most companies forget about it.
So, no matter if you manage a freshly-created team or a group of people thick as thieves, motivate employees by encouraging them to strengthen the natural bond between them.
How to do it?
- invite the entire team to go outside together – organizing a meeting somewhere outside the office is a perfect occasion to motivate employees. Invite the group to eat the team lunch, enjoy some evening drinks in the pub or spend some quality time together solving riddles in the escape room,
- play team-building games – a little bit of friendly competition can make miracles for effective teamwork. It’s a perfect shared activity that brings the entire group together, but in a fun way. Another great way is organizing games with kids of workers or you can occupy them with online educational games for kids since you finish the competition. You can also hire external consultants to organize employee motivation activities,
- take care of the in-office quality time to motivate employees – unmotivated employees often shut themselves off, separate from others, or, the other way, waste their time talking too much. Try to invite all your team to the gamified discussion, e.g., about office trivia. What you’ll need is a set of questions about your work environment and employees (shared knowledge, of course, not personal issues). Prepare some healthy snacks and good coffee for a friendly atmosphere. The game suits remote teams perfectly as well.
💚 Make the employees feel involved
Setting unrealistic company objectives confuses the employees. They’re focused only on delivering work results on time and at all costs, afraid of being punished for a failure. It’s not one of the best motivating ideas.
But the wise company knows it’s not the only way (and not the wisest one) to turn the employees’ efforts into tangible benefits and motivate employees. And if it’s hard to see any real progress, employee morale and motivation decrease rapidly.
First, remember that not everyone knows what’s the great idea that stands behind their actions.
Many employees start their hard work, perform tasks one after another, shut the computer down and go home. Their only motivation is the paycheck they’ll get at the end of the month. They’re not engaged in the company’s life because they don’t have any good reason to pretend they care.
Involve your employees in the processes they’re part of. As a manager, introduce them to each new project and explain what are the objectives. Guide them step by step through the project’s plan instead of just assigning tasks to employees. This could involve anything from taking some time out to give your employees individual attention to hosting a webinar so that everyone including remote employees can attend and you can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Motivate employees to give their feedback on the project plan and listen to their concerns. If they won’t feel that the project makes sense, it will be hard to keep them motivated.
💚 Set clear and smart goals
Uncertainty is the enemy of prosperity and employee motivation.. The same goes for the workplace – if employees know their responsibilities more or less and don’t know the biggest idea behind their actions, how can they feel motivated? Just the sole knowledge of why they come to the office or turn the computer home every day isn’t enough to increase motivation.
However, having a clear goal that goes with a proper set of expectations is a major motivator.
Make sure the goals you set are specific and measurable. Specify what you expect from employees’ actions and ensure you have the proper tools and metrics to measure the outcomes. Experience problems with customer satisfaction? Introduce CSAT score. Does SEO still have some flaws? Improve your backlink score.
And don’t forget to prioritize work.
What’s more, evaluate their knowledge of projects’ purposes at each stage. It’ll help you track down the flaws and, by the way, will make each employee more involved and motivated.
You know, free meals, philharmonic tickets, squash subscription cards, gift cards, and other stuff your personnel doesn’t need, but it’s always lovely to have it. It’s not the most motivating factor, but it’s a big step to work more readily.
Some perks like branded clothes are also part of team building because they improve identification with the company.
💚 Make money worth their effort
Last but not least – monetary incentives. One of the most popular motivation ideas for employees.
Extrinsic rewards are one of the best remedies to improve intrinsic employee motivation. A pay rise is one of the easiest motivation ideas. Unfortunately, it works only for a short time – once the employee gets used to the new rate or the amount of numeration, they want more. And it’s nothing wrong if they want to be paid fairly for their effort.
However, a well-paid employee will feel more connected to the workplace and more willing to deal with work-related challenges.
Why do we need bonuses?
Every company’s goal is to increase sales and reach out to potential customers. And the best way to do it is to motivate employees. They are the main reason the business functions and they contribute to the company’s success to a big extent. But in order to achieve success, the employees need to stay motivated and satisfied.
And the best way to keep their morale high is to implement bonuses. And bonuses have different forms, such as sales shares bonuses, profitability-based bonuses, and non-monetary. But they always keep the employees satisfied and give them the feeling that their work is important and valued. Thus, the reason for bonuses is to keep the staff member motivated. And when the people working in the company are motivated, the company’s success boosts.
Don’t forget that people work to get money and pay their bills, so giving bonuses will be always a good idea to keep employees motivated financially.
How to motivate hourly employees?
Motivating hourly employees can be challenging, but there are several strategies that employers can use to increase their motivation and engagement. They can be similar to salary employee motivation activities, but you need to pay attention if they are suitable to this specific method of remuneration.
- Offer regular feedback – Providing regular feedback on job performance can help hourly employees feel valued and motivated.
- Provide opportunities for development – Providing opportunities for training and development can help hourly employees feel more engaged and motivated.
- Offer flexibility – Providing flexibility in scheduling or other work arrangements can help hourly employees feel more valued and motivated. This can include flexible work hours, telecommuting options, or other work arrangements that accommodate employees’ needs.
By implementing these strategies, employers can help increase the motivation and engagement of hourly employees, which can ultimately lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Every manager wants to lead a team of motivated employees, ready to perform at their maximum capacity every day. But we all know it’s impossible – each employee is different and experiences various problems that can significantly affect the attitude towards work.
However, as you can see, the employee motivation ideas don’t require any special resources to use; it’s rather about the willingness to change.
Remember, there’s a strong relationship between employee loyalty and motivation. Loyal, motivated employees tend to stay more involved in ongoing and further projects, are more willing to share their ideas and feedback.
On the other side, managers are more willing to reward motivated employees.
The key is to understand that increasing employee motivation is a win-win and brings tangible benefits for both sides.
What are your favorite employee motivational activities?
Co-authors: Jakub Szyszka, Marta Piotrowiak