Top 21 Ways to Motivate Employees in 2021

Ways to Motivate Employees

Motivating employees in the workplace is a significant factor for companies as it directly impacts their success. It has become increasingly important to find ways to motivate employees and increase productivity amid the pandemic, which has given rise to a work-from-home culture. 

Employees often feel demotivated due to the lack of personal touch while working remotely. This can be harmful to the company as higher levels of employee engagement can increase productivity and improve a business’s profitability by 22%

More than 94% of HR professionals agree that setting up rewards for employees to motivate them can increase a company’s sales. This is because motivated employees tend to work harder and are more productive. 

However, only 30% of managers claim that their firms provide them with adequate resources to motivate employees. This could impact a company’s worker turnover rate, impacting its business in the long run.

To reduce your employee turnover rates you need to implement team motivation ideas to energize a team. This article will help you identify ways to motivate employees and increase productivity.

Here’s the List of 21 Ways to Motivate Employees

  1. A simple thank you note or email 
  2. Bonuses or gift cards 
  3. Team-building exercises 
  4. Installing a suggestion box 
  5. Offer opportunities for their development 
  6. Set stretch goals for teams 
  7. Set clear boundaries 
  8. Offer vacation benefits or a surprise off-day 
  9. Project completion party 
  10. Revamping the break room
  11. Monthly or annual awards for employees 
  12. A points-based rewards system 
  13. Celebrating birthdays and non-work achievements 
  14. Transportation credits 
  15. A Yoga day or retreat 
  16. Providing support and feedback based on employees’ needs 
  17. Team lunches or meal preparation kits 
  18. Recognition on a company bulletin board or shout-outs on social media
  19. Staff appreciation night 
  20. Holding informal meetings to check up on employees
  21. Distributing company merchandise to workers

How to Keep Employees Motivated?

To understand how to keep staff motivated, you need to understand the different types of motivation in the workplace. There are four types of motivation in the workplace:

  • Incentive motivation: Incentive motivation is derived when a worker receives rewards in exchange for work well done. This is one of the simplest methods of motivating employees in an organization. 
  • Achievement motivation: Achievement motivation is gained when a staff member receives satisfaction after performing their task. This can be accomplished by giving workers praise or an award after they fulfill their targets.
  • Affiliation motivation: Affiliation motivation is the desire to belong to a team or workplace. This can be derived by using team-building activities which promote interpersonal relationships.
  • Competence motivation: Competence motivation is related to a person’s need to feel capable and qualified. Workers who are driven by this type of motivation would respond well to training programs and professional development.

To understand how to keep staff motivated, you need to analyze their needs. These 21 ways to motivate employees and increase productivity can be considered by your company to reward workers and increase productivity.

Recommended Read: 20 Impactful and Motivating Employee Feedback Examples

1. A simple thank you note or email

This is one of the most cost-effective ways to motivate your employees. Managers can also use apps like iAppreciate, Workmates, or Slack bots like EngageWith to send messages of appreciation to remote employees.

Such apps can provide public recognition and inspire other workers to boost productivity. It can also facilitate peer-to-peer recognition, which is a helpful motivational tool.

2. Bonuses or gift cards

A monetary reward is a guaranteed method to make your employees feel appreciated for their hard work. The promise of a reward like raises or bonuses keeps staff motivated and helps them achieve their goals or targets.

Offering gift cards or other subscription services could also help create an atmosphere of healthy competition amidst colleagues and inspire them to do their best and increase productivity. Therefore, you should set up rewards for employees to motivate them.

3. Team-building exercises

Team-building games or exercises are fun ways to motivate employees. You should use team motivation ideas to energize a team. These activities could be centered around work or just meant for entertainment. Outdoor activities like scavenger hunts or escape rooms could help employees develop group communication skills.

Team building activities to motivate employees often improve their work ethic. Fun experiences like these also can refresh employees, provide opportunities for team motivation, and increase productivity.

4. Installing a suggestion box

A suggestion box can be helpful in motivating employees in the workplace as it allows them to voice their concerns about the workplace anonymously. This can help understand areas regarding which they are facing problems. By implementing these suggestions, you can make them feel that their concerns are heard.

5. Offer opportunities for their development

Providing opportunities to develop professional skills is one of the most impactful ways to motivate employees and increase productivity. By investing in an employee’s development, you not only increase productivity but also boost their morale.

Frequently facilitating development by providing training and workshops will encourage workers to stick with your company. Around 33% of workers claim professional development is the most important factor they consider when accepting a job.

6. Set stretch goals for teams

Managers should set stretch goals, which are goals that are slightly beyond the team’s capacity, for their employees. These goals seem achievable and can motivate employees to work a little harder and increase productivity.

Targets that seem entirely beyond your team’s capacity can often be overwhelming and reduce motivation rather than increasing it. Such goals or projects should be broken down to keep your team motivated.

7. Set clear boundaries

Employers should set clear work boundaries for staffers, especially those working remotely. This can help reduce employee fatigue and encourage employees to give their best every day.

8. Offer vacation benefits or a surprise off-day

Providing extra vacation days and surprise off-days upon completing a project can be one of the most effective methods of motivating employees in your workplace. This can also offer inspiration to reach targets early and increase productivity.

9. Project completion party

Additionally, parties to celebrate the completion of the project are fun ways to motivate employees and increase productivity. Such events can energize your team and increase productivity.

10. Revamping the break room

Adding a break room for employees or redesigning an existing one is an exciting way to keep staff motivated. You can take suggestions from workers regarding what changes they want to make in the break room. This will provide an optimum place for them to relax and increase productivity. Adding games like table tennis or foosball can also promote team building.

11. Monthly or annual awards for employees

Competitions like employee of the month or employee of the year are impactful ways to motivate employees as they can provide recognition to dedicated individuals in your office. Events like these give them an incentive to continue working harder and increase productivity.

12. A points-based rewards system

Managers could implement a points-based recognition system that rewards employees based on completing specific tasks or achieving targets. Employees can then receive rewards like gift cards based on the points they have accumulated. Implementing such rewards for employees to motivate them has been very popular.

13. Celebrating birthdays and non-work achievements

Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or other non-work achievements in the office fosters a community spirit among workers. These celebrations are not only fun ways to motivate employees, it makes them feel valued. Such team motivation ideas to energize a team can eventually increase productivity.

14. Transportation credits

Offering staffers cab credits and discounts or reimbursing commuting charges can motivate employees to come to work, especially after working remotely amid the pandemic. These credits can reduce some of the hassles of the commute and increase productivity.

15. A Yoga day or retreat

Setting a day aside for yoga classes, a spa retreat, or any other form of relaxation can help employees take a break from work and increase productivity. It is necessary to give employees opportunities to revitalize themselves to prevent burnout. This can help workers understand that the company values their well-being.

16. Providing support and feedback based on employees’ needs

It is vital for managers to identify how to motivate employees. For this, they need to understand their workers’ needs, strengths, and weaknesses. It is significant that bosses provide frequent feedback, motivation, and constructive criticism to workers, which can help them overcome their shortcomings and increase productivity. Not giving proper advice could reduce job satisfaction and demotivate employees. 

17. Team lunches or meal preparation kits

Offices should assign specific days for team lunches to help workers bond with their bosses as well as their fellow employees. These events can boost interpersonal relationships among staffers, which can help them improve their work.

It is also essential to remember how to keep your team motivated remotely. Delivering food or sending meal preparation kits to remote workers are fun ways to motivate staff and energize a team.

18. Recognition on a company bulletin board or shout-outs on social media

Offices could set up a physical or virtual bulletin board on which employee accomplishments can be celebrated. This would also encourage peer-to-peer recognition and motivate workers. Managers could also praise employees on social media or feature them in the company newsletter.

Such public praise provides a sense of accomplishment that is different from that of achieving a goal and prompts employees to continue working hard.

19. Staff appreciation night

Offices can dedicate a day to appreciating and acknowledging their entire staff’s accomplishments. These programs let your staff know that they are valued and can energize a team. This will prevent them from leaving the company or quitting their jobs soon.

20. Holding informal meetings to check up on employees

Organizing informal meetings to discuss ideas casually or check up on employees can help build a connection with a manager and can keep your team motivated remotely. Additionally, your office could hire a therapist or a counselor to help employees deal with work stress or non-work-related issues.

21. Distributing company merchandise to workers

Distributing merchandise like cups, stationery, jackets that feature your company logo are popular ways to motivate employees as they promote a sense of unity and belonging in your staff. It can also help those working from home feel like they are a part of the company. 

Final Words!

While these methods of motivating employees in an organization are effective, a few other aspects should also be kept in mind to increase productivity. To create an efficient rewards and recognition program, it is essential to define your vision.

Managers should have a clear idea about how to keep employees motivated and which methods of motivating employees they want to use. Feedback should be taken from workers to ascertain what motivational tools will be effective for them. It is crucial to test the efficacy of your recognition program to ensure it can keep staff motivated.

No rewards program is 100% effective, but a combination of the above-mentioned methods of motivating employees can help improve your company. A finely-tuned rewards initiative can boost the performance of an average employee by 11.1%. More than 69% of workers would also work harder if they received better recognition.

Thus, setting up awards for employees to motivate them will help your company cut down on unnecessary training and recruiting expenses. A hardworking and motivated workforce will also help your firm perform better, increase productivity and client satisfaction, drive business and sales, and enhance your brand image.

Recommended Post: 23 Best Employee Engagement Apps for 2021

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Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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