How to truly motivate employees

At times, it can be difficult to motivate employees and often companies turn to financial rewards and incentives. However, of course costs can become an issue, not to mention the fact that it’s not the smart way to motivate employees. Some companies find they’re not in a position to hand out financial incentives or pay rises, and therefore look for alternative ways to motivate employees.

Whatever position your company is in, these tips will help you motivate your employees.

Don’t rely on monetary incentives and rewards
There’s loads of research out there that proves money isn’t everything when it comes to motivating employees. Don’t make the mistake of simply handing out pay rises or financial bonuses. As mentioned, you need to be smarter when it comes to motivating employees, and while financial rewards do have their place, they shouldn’t be used often.

Engage your employees’ passions
Help your employees improve and grow in what they’re passionate about. Employees are motivated by their passions. Provide feedback, opportunities to learn and the opportunity to practice their passions in the workplace where possible.

Be personal
Showing appreciation is about showing you care and showing the employee that you recognise how important they are to the business. An email or a card is nice but speaking to an employee face-to-face is the best way to show your appreciation for them. There’s nothing more de-motivating for an employee than feeling like just a number as part of a company. Let your employees know how much you appreciate them and be personal about it!

Challenge your employees
Keeping employees motivated in their role is all about flow. Their work needs to be challenging enough relative to their skills in order to be interesting and motivating. Too challenging relative to their skills and employees will feel anxious and stressed. Not challenging enough relative to their skills and employees will become bored and start looking for a new challenge.

The key is to make sure their role is just the right level of challenge relative to their skills and experience to motivate them. How can we find this out? Simple, speak to your employees! Ask them how challenging they find their work and if they have any problems.

Build relationships
Good leadership involves building key relationships. Employees who value their relationship with their colleagues and leaders are much more likely to be motivated and inspired to work harder. The reverse of course has the opposite effect. Poor relationships lead to demotivated employees.

Tie incentives to reaching goals
This can be done for teams and on an individual basis. Recognising employees when they reach certain goals is a great motivator and an even better way to show you value their hard work, as is recognising individual employees when they reach personal goals.

Empower employees
In the modern working environment, empowering employees is one of the best motivators. Employees want to feel fulfilment from their work and that their work has meaning and purpose. By empowering employees, you’re giving them a greater chance to contribute more to the success of the company.

Consider perception of fairness
You’ll need to make sure that when you’re incentivising employees, you’re doing it fairly. For example, if you reward the sales team for closing sales but not the marketing team, you could end up demotivating employees. Make sure key performance indicators are clear and incentivised fairly.

The key theme here is about being personal. Employees want to feel valued and that they’re contributing meaningfully to something. Rewarding and incentivising employees can be done easily through your employee benefits platform, providing it has the functionality.