Improving employee motivation is more than a paycheck. Especially with the next generation of workers. 
What motivates one employee can be different from what motivates another.

Find the best methods and keep it personalized. Everyone has something else they need for personal motivation.

It may look easy to motivate people by throwing money at them, but that doesn’t always work – here are some great alternatives.


Reduce red tape

Some great companies still have the red tape running through them like it’s 1980. Having rules is important, but once you go overboard you destroy employee motivation.

Excessive bureaucracy is a known killer of motivation. From the smallest startups to the biggest companies it is important to reduce it as much as possible.

The more you let your employees perform actions without second-guessing them, the more they feel valued. Improving motivation by providing value is a two birds one stone situation.

A good example of reducing red tape is the use of an “open door” policy. Reducing the effort it takes for employees to talk to higher ups. This proven method helps in improving job relationships.


Great onboarding process

Motivation for the job starts well before the very first day.

From the moment they write their signature you can do a lot to start building employee motivation.

Streamline the process to get them up and running as efficient as possible. An effective onboarding process will ensure that the new employee feels ready and motivated.

A great onboarding process will save your company a lot of hassle in the future. But the most important thing is that it will help the new employees. By covering all the bases you will make sure they have a great start.

“It’s a valuable tool for any company to get happier and more productive employees.”

You can use onboarding service such as Valker to get the new employees motivated and excited for the first day, improving employee motivation.

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Effective reinforcement

Giving a compliment in a public setting such as a company meeting will go a long way. Focus on what they accomplished and what it does for the company.

Become a positive presence for the employees. Especially when they come to you looking for reinforcement.

Let struggling employees know how much they mean for the company. Losing faith in ones ability to perform is a slippery slope. One slope which you can help rebuild by reinforcement.

But reinforcement goes the other way too. If there are disappointments, let them know. You are expecting the best performance but always keep focus on the positive. It’s important to not drag employees through the mud.

The indirect approach is great, make employees learn from mistakes. No one likes direct critique, this only reduces employee motivation.

Try to have specific feedback. Focus more on the smaller accomplishments. It will be far more effective to compliment someone on very specific skills than a general “you did great”.

Remain a positive influence and employees will respond in kind. Especially when it’s from higher-ranking managers.


Career development

As a manager, you need to keep an eye on employee ambition.

The greatest ambition comes from possibility, especially in a corporate setting.

Support your team with career coaching, give them opportunities to improve. It’s a good idea to make a personalized development plan for each employee. This makes them feel valued in the organization.

Keep your company objectives in mind when mapping out an employee development plan. Consider the long-term goals and try to plan with that in mind to get a hand in improving employee motivation.

“Creating a career path and demonstrating advancement and promotion opportunities through development can help you retain your top talent.”

says Lynne Klein, human resource advisor at Insperity.

Team building

There are almost no jobs left where teamwork isn’t an important part of the work.

Organizing group activities for your team will have a great effect. It doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time. Smaller team building exercises are effective as well.

The important thing is doing. Start by getting the ball rolling.

For example trivia, an escape room, charades or a good old-fashioned office party. Get employees involved and ask for ideas.

Team building sports are great as well, but for every company or group, there are certain things that will work and plenty that don’t. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different activities.

Combine certain groups of the office that never work together, go across departments and make everyone interact.

This enforces the working relationships by socializing, increasing productivity. It also improves the morale in the office, in turn improving employee motivation.

Communication is a great reason to use team building. Working comfortable with your co-workers needs good communication. Because who doesn’t love an office where everyone enjoys talking to each other.

Team building increases the trust between your employees. Removing the space between the leadership team and employees.

Give leadership the opportunity to interact as a colleague rather than a boss.



Marketing Manager at

Also published on Medium.

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