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Workplace Motivation: 4 Ways to Motivate your Employees

Updated on May 7, 2011

We all have our "blah days" at work when we just don't feel like being there and doing our job - and that is okay, we are only human. It becomes a problem when many employees within an organization experience "blah days" or lack of workplace motivation on a regular basis.

Without a reasonable and healthy level of workplace motivation, it is impossible for a workplace to strive, to reach its full potential. Infact, a workplace that suffers from repeated extreme lack of motivation is likely to eventually fall apart completely or at the very least, always struggle to stay afloat.

When there is not much motivation in a workplace, there is a general feeling of low morale, of "just do my job and go home." Efficiency is not good and more mistakes are made.

If you're a manager or supervisor and would like to increase workplace motivation where you work, read these 4 Ways to Motivate your Employees:

1. Opportunities for Input

  • When employees feel like they have a say in what happens at work, they are more likely to be motivated while at work because they feel more connected to what they are doing. This is just simply a fact. It's all too easy to stop caring and to stop trying when one feels that their input is not valued.
  • One of the ways you can do this is to actually ask your employees for their opinions and feedback. It's best if you can sometimes ask people individually too because asking for feedback in a grounp often excludes many of the people who are not comfortable with speaking up in front of others.

2. Recognition

  • An employee can be motivated by either money or recognition. In reality, most people are motivated by some combination of both, not falling on either extreme. 
  • As a manager or supervisor, if you have the power to give raises when they are fairly deserved, then do so. Going a long time working hard but with no increase in pay can lead to lack of workplace motivation.
  • An easier and cheaper thing to do is to praise your employees when they have gone the extra mile. They have to respect you in order for this to matter and it has to be sincere. But if those two things are in order, then it can help fuel motivation. Praising people in public can be a good strategy but again, it has to be sincere.

3. Opportunities for Advancement

  • For employees who want to advance their careers, having the opportunity to do so within their workplace can be a great motivator.
  • Sometimes there is just not much room for advancement for some employees, but whenever possible, promote within and do it fairly based on who deserves it, not based on office politics.

4. Respect

  • If you do not respect your employees, how do you expect them to respect you and in turn work hard for you? Respect definitely has to be a two way street.
  • One of the ways you can respect your employees is to not be condescending towards them because this will eventually start getting on their nerves and they will start caring less and less about working hard for you.


Maintaining workplace motivation is one of those things that needs - you guessed it - regular maintenance measures. If you see it starting to dwindle, it's better to try to nip the problem in the bud right away because it's something that can spiral out of control if left unattended.


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    • senderwollas profile image


      6 years ago from Earth :)

      Interesting! I'm a head of a small team so this article is more than just helpful for me. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • truthfornow profile image


      7 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Good advice on a tough issue in the workplace.

    • marketingnotesja profile image


      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I actually agree with Golden Guy.... The post was good... but it read more like a text book. I actually enjoyed it though. It was good.

    • profile image

      Golden Guy 

      7 years ago

      Interesting comments but one suggestion would be that would make the read seem less text book would be to include more real life experiences. I remember an employee that after numerous warnings about being late for work, I finally sat her down and explained I had reached the end of the road with the issue and she assured me it would never happen again. The very next morning she was late. She arrive with tears in eyes, sobing with the explanation of "my dog ate my alarm clock" I did not fire her and in fact she was still there when i sold the business and would you believe it was never late again. The moral to the story....yep dogs are mens best friends and sometimes even a young females also.

    • profile image

      Roger Chestnut 

      8 years ago

      Some great advice for employers! People like to be recognized as being on time, or working their full hours, or even as simply contributing to the work atmosphere. You share some good ways to increase morale, and I might also suggest, if the problem includes coworkers who don't take their part of the work, that employee reviews and accountability measures could also be put in to place. Thanks for sharing!


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