Employee Motivation | 9 mins read

Employee Motivation and All it's Parts

employee motivation and all its parts
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow


Increasing employee motivation increases various factors including employee productivity and employee engagement. Disengaged employees alone costs the United States an estimated $550 billion every year in lost productivity.

What is Employee Motivation, Really?

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Employee motivation is crucial to boost employee productivity and increase employee retention. A high level motivation workplace environment can improve both employee engagement and employee satisfaction long term. Unfortunately, many business owners, supervisors, and managers are not given employee motivation training.

Business owners cannot force employee motivation to rise. Instead, both large and small business owners alike must work harder to make sure they keep employee work environment and company culture as ideal as possible.

The seven elements of employee motivation are-

  1. Boost employee satisfaction by making sure they are provided every day with work they employees feel good and meaningful performing.

  2. Praise is a motivating factor that will help your employee feel good without necessitating a financial investment. Make sure your employees feel valued every day by recognizing when they have done a job well done and beyond the basic need requirements of their job description.

    Increase employee engagement further by requesting employee feedback through methods such as employee survey opportunities. Your human resource department should always make sure to identify occasions where employee feedback can be gathered, reviewed, and implemented.

  3. Increase intrinsic motivation by every day employee empowerment.

  4. Purposefully create a workplace environment and company culture that focuses on work life balance optimization. Make sure you do not overwork employees, you properly compensate them, and you go above and beyond to make every employee feel good and feel valued by your business.

  5. Your human resource department should focus on developing strong leadership training and development programs that encourage accountability and employee support. This will increase employee engagement and help with performance management long term.

  6. Make sure that your human resource department and leadership are always looking for ways to promote a workplace environment that is fair. Every employee should feel valued for their work and both resource distribution and interactions must be just regardless of employee role.

  7. Although money cannot buy high level employee motivation it is a motivating factor that should not be ignored. Incentivize and richly financially reward employees every day possible.

    Whether you are a large or small business owner, you should already be fairly compensating employees by providing them not only a living wage but provide a competitive salary and benefits. When you go above and beyond for your employees they will feel good at work, and your bottom line will positively reflect this.

The Value of a Motivated Workforce

Employee engagement is positively affected by an increase in employee motivation levels. 70% of employees report that they are dissatisfied and unengaged. By increasing employee motivation you will increase both your employee engagement and employee satisfaction levels.

A motivated employee is usually a better problem solver, more creative, and increases overall business bottom line profitability. High level employee performance leads to better employee retention rates.

A work environment and company culture that fosters employee motivation will encourage your top talent employees to continually work harder towards business objectives. Make sure you sustain a high level of employee motivation by heavily investing in your most valuable asset, your employees.

How to Measure Motivation

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Many large and small business owners are unsure about how to measure employee motivation levels. Luckily there are methods to quantify employee motivation including-

  1. Paying attention to work from home requests- The most productive and successful companies largely let their employees work from home and actively promote a work life balance. However, if you are an employer who insists on having your employees come into the office, or their job absolutely requires it, you should pay attention to increases in requests to work from home.

    A large spike in requests to work from home may indicate an issue in your work environment or company culture that needs to be addressed. Your employee may not feel good about their position, salary, or overall work life and that is something that you must make sure yourself and your human resource department promptly address.

  2. You notice increased absences- Are your employees increasingly calling in sick to work? Make sure when you analyze any increases to look out for seasonal trends, for example during flu season.

    Perhaps you are not providing a healthy work environment or company culture that stresses a work life balance and your employees do not feel valued by your business. An overly stressful work environment will create lower levels of employee satisfaction and decrease your employee retention rates. Great employees will not stay long term at a company that does not provide both a work life balance and great opportunities.

  3. Less hours worked- Similar to increased absences, a decrease in hours worked is a clear indication that you may have an employee motivation problem. Employees who do not have intrinsic motivation and do not feel valued will likely not invest as much time into their role as they previously had.

    To combat this, learn from the most successful companies who provide their employees with remote work opportunities, competitive salaries, and are constantly attempting to improve work life balance levels.

  4. More errors- Over worked and stressed employees are more likely to make mistakes which can be both costly and dangerous. High levelemployee motivation increases your employees ability to perform a job well done and feel good about the work they produce.

  5. Negative company culture- Antisocial behavior may indicate that there is an issue with your work environment and overall company culture. Make sure your employee can feel good as much as possible to decrease their bad mood spreading into your entire work environment and negatively affecting your bottom line profitability.

  6. Resistance to growth- High levelemployee motivation is fueled by continued opportunities for growth. If your employees are overworked and stressed they are less willing to take on new projects or new assignments. If they are pressured into performing additional work to an already too packed schedule, work quality and ultimately your entire bottom line will suffer.

How to Properly Motivate Employees

There are many factors that can improve employee motivation including-

  • Incentivizing employees financially
  • A great work life balance
  • Staying true to company mission
  • Employee recognition for well done work
  • Positive company culture and work environment
  • Making every employee feel valued
  • Providing realistic employee objectives
  • Proper performance management
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Employee empowerment
  • Respect towards every employee
  • Giving employees as much control as possible
  • Employee involvement in decision making
  • Employee feedback
  • opportunities such as an engagement survey
  • Coaching and mentorships from management and leaders

The Role of Incentives in Motivation

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The most successful large and small business owners employ an incentive system in order to increase employee engagement and employee retention levels. An incentive program boosts business bottom line profits by $104,000 a week. Additionally, a proper employee incentive program can grow employee motivation levels by 85%.

Compensating high level employee performance and acknowledging a job well done will not only help employees to feel good but will majorly improve your bottom line profitability. Both employee motivation and employee performance must be properly paid for by both large and small business owners.

Whether you incentivize based on overall performance or per goal met just make sure that you are providing your employees with as many financial benefits as possible. Benefits of incentivizing employees include-

  • Increased bottom line profitability
  • High level
  • employee retention rates
  • Employee satisfaction
  • boost
  • Enhanced work environment and company culture
  • Boost employee engagement
  • More highly motivated employees
  • Better employee survey results
  • Increased positive employee feedback
Financial incentives can include-

  • Direct Cash Payments
  • Salary increase
  • Gift cards
  • Additional paid time off
  • All inclusive vacations
  • Meals provided free of charge

Motivation Strategies

Creating a positive work environment and prioritizing employee wellbeing are two main methods of employee motivation theory that have great short and long term results. A positive work environment is only necessary if you are still requiring your employees to come into work for jobs that necessitate a job site.

If that is the case, create a work environment that your employee will want to come every day to work hard at. While home is the best environment for your workers to get work done and have the work life balance possible, if your employees must come into the office they should feel comfortable.

Require your human resource department to introduce a regular employee survey program to get employee feedback about your interior design and functionality of your workspace. Many top companies have renovated their office space and made it more playful by including fixtures such as ping pong tables and bean bags.

If playful isn't your style, at the bare minimum avoid fluorescent lighting, cubicles, and bad floor plans. Also, make sure you have as much natural lighting as possible and invest in lots of plants as they are proven to increase employee productivity and happiness.

Employee wellbeing should always be a top priority. Avoid burnout and unnecessary stress by providing flexibility, plenty of work life balance, and incentives for well done work. When requiring employees to come into the office make sure to provide them with healthy food and water as well as bonus perks!

Regular breaks and paid time off are essential in creating a work life balance that is sustainable and high level employee motivation in the long term. Ideally, let all employees work from home and do not ever micromanage their hours as the most productive employees are those who take regular breaks throughout the day.

How Improper Motivation Impacts Business Success

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Just as high employee motivation can boost productivity and profits, low employee motivation can have disastrous effects on your entire business. A motivated employee is not one who merely clocks in and out but one who insists on a job well done every day that they are working.

You do not want an employee who does not believe in your company mission and who does possess the intrinsic motivation to work harder towards your business objectives. Motivated employees who have high levels of employee satisfaction and employee engagement do not come free.

If you are a large or small business owner who wants to most motivated employee possible you must be willing to actively research motivation theory and implement employee motivation techniques. By proving a work environment and company culture where every employee can feel good and feel valued for great work done you are well on your way to creating a more productive and satisfied workforce!