How to Motivate Your Employees

If you want to know how to motivate your employees, the best starting point is to learn what motivates them. One thing you should know when it comes to motivation is that it’s only temporary.  In regard to employees, motivation is even less effective in the long term. 

Also, if you want long lasting results, you must make adjustments to your entire approach and even your process.  Having employee morale issues isn’t uncommon in any workforce, and YOU as the owner or high-level manager will be the last to know that it even exists.  Most people hate their jobs, but they will never admit that to their boss.

Happy Employees Produce Happy Customers

Why is it so Important to keep happy employees?  Because happy employees will always do their best work and treat your customers with the highest level of respect. Keeping happy employees isn’t as difficult as it may seem.  But like anything that is built to last, you need a strong foundation.

 Engineer Your Team

First, it’s important to know that every change begins at the captain’s chair.  If you aren’t open to making a few changes yourself, you won’t have much luck getting others to do something you aren’t.  Great leaders lead, they don’t demand.  You can demand all you want, but if you want motivate your team…become a great leader.

Also, know that not all people currently on your team are team players.  People who don’t play well with others will drain your energy and the energy of the entire team.  Some people are too far gone and their attitude isn’t going to change on demand.

Welcome in anyone who can bring value to your business.

So, always keep your doors open to new people who would make great replacements for those who aren’t a good fit.  This is your business.  If you want an all-star team, you’re going to need people with good attitudes. If you already have that, great.  But if you don’t, skipping this step is like building a house of cards.  You really need a strong foundation if you want long term results.  Also, you risk losing your strongest players by holding on to someone who isn’t willing to improve.

Attitude is something that each individual brings to the team.  This is something you should always look for when making hiring decisions.  You can always teach a skill, but you can’t teach a good attitude. Once you have the start of a strong team, then you can begin making the following changes.   

Focus on the Why

Too many owners keep their employees in the dark.  There are things that should be kept as classified information, but employees need to know the impact of their work and how that affects the business as a whole.  Sometimes knowing the objectives is much more helpful than just the tasks.   

Having a strong Why behind your company’s mission will motivate every action your team takes.  You won’t get that by just telling them what needs to be done.  Knowing the why makes a difference, and it also explains the how.

Recognize a Job Well Done

So, why recognize people for doing their jobs?  Isn’t that why they were hired?  Yes, but there is science to this…

Psychology is a powerful tool if you learn to use it well. Recognition serves a worthwhile purpose.  Recognition confirms you’re doing the right thing, and encourages you to keep doing it. This also releases dopamine which is a neuro-transmitter, that plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior.

Make Your Business a Pleasant Work Environment

If you are working with outdated equipment from the Cold-War era, update it for the sake of efficiency and the sanity of everyone you are tormenting with it.  Newer equipment and software are much faster, less buggy and far more efficient.  It’s a great investment if you plan to stay in business for another 5 years or more.

It won’t hurt to have a few items that make your employees feel at home.   Keep a clean and orderly work space, but maybe a plant here or there… or a designated break area with a cozy feel.

Your Reputation Online

If you think your online presence isn’t important, think again. Not only do your potential customers read about you, but so do potential employees and your current ones too!

Take your online presence and reputation seriously.  Social media will destroy your credibility and your reputation with it, unless you are in tune with what’s going on and staying in front of it.  People who work for you represent you and your company’s integrity and reputation is also theirs…don’t take that for granted, if you want loyal employees.


Be the Boss Everyone Would Wait in Line to Work For 

We’ve all had someone to answer to at some point.  However, having a boss who is narcissistic, disrespectful, or self-righteous will send your best people seeking employment elsewhere. Even more, nobody wants to get up every day and subject themselves to that kind of unnecessary abuse.  This should be a no-brainer, but bad management is one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs.  Great leaders create great leaders through patience, respect, honesty, and support.  Listening and communications skills are key here.  So, if you don’t have leadership skills, there are online courses, or ask your business coach.

Share the Positive Feedback

Nevertheless, it’s great to feel like your work was appreciated.  Too often a chance to share something positive that came from a customer is missed.  These missed opportunities could give your employees a stronger connection to your business.  Actually, letting your employees know that they made someone’s day will make them feel good…but caring about them enough to share it with them will take that one step higher. 

Ask for Their Feedback

Include your team members in your process.  If you are looking for more than just mindless warm bodies, you will need to trust in your team.  Hire them wisely, give them the proper training and support, but then TRUST them to be the cog in your machine.  Micro-managing your managers is a sign that you don’t trust the judgement of your managers.  This is a failure on your part (if this is the case).  When you bring employees into setting policy, they now become enforcers of that set policy. You should never practice a parent and child scenario with your employees.  You didn’t birth them, you hired them to work for you.  Specifically, ask for their ideas and feedback.  If it makes sense, use it and credit them for their ideas.


Get to know Your Team

Take some time to know each member on your team on an individual level.  For example, sit down with them and find out what they value. Knowing your people let’s them know that they are more than just another number.  If you want long term results with your employees, you must be willing to show that you aren’t like anyone they’ve ever worked for before.  Doing the unexpected will throw them off in a pleasant way and your words will stick.

Motivation only lasts for a short while.  Building a strong team from ground zero requires a solid foundation.  And that requires a different mindset.  Your goal should never be to motivate your employees, but to mold them into becoming great leaders.  You can bet safely that nobody has ever done that for them until they met you.

Be a Better Leader

These ideas to motivate employees are just a start. Above all, your goal should be more than to motivate them. Indeed, if you want a long term commitment of excellence from your team, you need to become the leader that will guide them to every victory. So many great people leave their jobs to find a better opportunity elsewhere. To conclude with this video, you will gain a better idea as to why, and what you can do to attract them to you, and keep them and the ones you have worth keeping.