How to Motivate Your Employees To Succeed?

Aug 30, 2018

Motivating employees is one of the most important yet challenging aspects of human resource management. Whether you are a manager, HR Director, CEO, or MD of a company, it's important that you know the techniques required to motivate employees.

But why should you make the effort to motivate the staff? Should you not just pay them and expect them to do the job? What exactly is in it for the company to invest in motivating employees?

  • Enhanced Job Satisfaction — Job satisfaction is highly tied to business performance. Most researchers have found that workplace satisfaction results in increased job commitment.1 Employees who are satisfied are more likely to contribute in a positive manner towards organisational growth.
  • Improved Employee Retention — One of the challenges faced by firms in the UK is retaining employees. High turnover costs can hurt profit margins and quality of customer service. By taking steps to improve employee motivation, the employee retention rate can be drastically reduced. Motivated employees are more likely to stick with the company and contribute to its success.
  • Increased Productivity — Another reason for why a company should invest in motivating employees is that it will result in improved productivity. Workers who feel engaged with their work and are excited about their future prospects with the company are more likely to work efficiently and contribute to the growth of the company.
  • Recruiting a top Candidate — Motivated employees will share their positive experiences in working with the company. This will attract skilled and talented employees to apply to the company. It will result in an accumulation of a pool of references and resumes that will help in hiring qualified people for the job.
  • Brand Image — Contended employees can serve as brand ambassadors for the company. They are more likely to share their experiences of working at the company with their social circle. This will result in positive publicity for the company. Motivated employees tend to leave a positive remark about the company in job review sites and social media pages. The enhanced reputation will not only help a company attract customers, but also prospective employees.

If the management nurtures and makes employees feel happy about their work, it will result in the development of high overall productivity and subsequently profitability for the company. Not only the quantity of work will increase, but also the quality of work will improve.

The fact is a company has nothing but to gain from motivating employees. The business reputation will improve due to increased focus on improving employee commitment. It will also lead to increased job commitment from employees, resulting in enhanced productivity and profitability for the company. In short, when you invest in employees, they are more likely to invest in your company.

Now that you know about the importance of motivating employees, let's look at some of the effective ways in which you can boost employee motivation.

1. Focus on Meeting Individual Needs

Company management should focus on meeting the needs of employees. The individual needs according to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs can be categorised into the following.

  • Physiological needs —The foremost thing that a company should do to avoid employee dissatisfaction is to meet the physiological need through ensuring availability water, food, oxygen, and a pleasant working environment.
  • Safety needs —Next, it's important to ensure that the employees feel safe at work. A company should focus on both the physical and psychological safety of employees. Physical security includes making the workplace secure through hiring guards and security cameras. On the other hand, psychological safety can be ensured by increasing job security.
  • Belonging needs —According to Maslow, employees seek to overcome the feelings of alienation. This need can be fulfilled by devising programs that can help employees feel part of the organisational culture.
  • Self-esteem needs — Self-esteem needs can be met through recognition, status, prestige, and attention to employees. Moreover, it can also be met through employee training and independence in performing work. When this need is not met, employees feel weak and inferior that makes them demotivated.

The management can provide opportunities for workers to interact with others and share their opinions freely. Also, they can acknowledge the contributions of the team members in meeting organisational goals. Including employees in important meetings can also increase the sense of belonging among employees.

Once all the above needs are fulfilled, it will lead to self-actualisation. Employees will be motivated to meet organisational growth targets. They will make their presence felt through the relentless pursuit of excellence.

2. Increase Job Satisfaction and Reduce Job Dissatisfaction

Employers can take action to increase job satisfaction and reduce job dissatisfaction. Fredrick Herzberg had put forward two factors known as motivational and hygiene factors that affect employee motivation.

The motivational factors include recognition, achievement, challenging work, responsibility, and advancement and growth prospects of the company. Contrarily, the hygiene factors include working conditions, pay and job security, supervision, interpersonal relationship, and employee friendly company policies. Focusing on these two factors can result in increased employee motivation.

3. Develop Fair and Equitable Reward Structure

The reward and compensation structure should be fair and impartial. If employees feel that they are not fairly evaluated by their supervisors, it will lead to decreased motivation.

Perceived unfairness of the reward system is one of the major reasons employees feel demotivated and leave the organisation. It will prevent the employee from making an effort to reach the targets. That's why it's essential to create an equitable reward system.

Managers should consider getting feedback from employees regarding the reward structure. Any grievances with the system should be promptly addressed. Make sure that the rewards justify the effort made by the employees. There shouldn't be any gender, racial, or any other kind of biases when rewarding employees.

The compensation, wages, bonuses, and commissions should be based on established criteria. When employees perceive that the compensation structure is equitable and fair, they will be more motivated to put their best efforts. The reward system should focus on fairness. This will ensure that employees remain willing to reach the set goals thereby improving organisational efficiency and profitability.

4. Encourage Employee Empowerment

Employers should follow the management by objective (MBO) approach to motivate employees. They should be included in the process of establishing goals and targets. Empowering employees will make them motivated to fulfil their job requirements.

Consider defining a framework that will help employees to take responsibility for their actions. Enable them to fulfil their roles without hovering supervision.

Employees should be given the flexibility to perform tasks in their own way. They should be empowered to make decisions but also remain accountable for the results. This will result in increased employee satisfaction and job performance.

5. Promote Participatory Democracy

An important factor that can increase employee motivation is a participatory democracy. It is a fundamental concept that can help reduce the feeling of repression among the employees.2

Participatory democracy encourages self-determination that helps improve the perception of the work environment. It gives control to the employees over their work environment. Employers can create a participatory democracy by creating a job structure with high job involvement.

Managers should take decisions that relate to the employees through a consensus. The advice of the majority should be followed in making a decision regarding reward, compensation, and other employee benefits.

In addition, managers should get feedback from employees to improve working conditions. When employees feel that their voices are heard, it will result in increased job satisfaction and motivation.

6. Reward Team Work

Teamwork and cooperation between the employees will also increase employee motivation. A collaborative environment will eradicate competition within the workplace. It will encourage employees to work together to achieve organisation goals.

A competitive environment causes strain and frustration among employees. It discourages team cooperation as everyone wants to attain the top position. This results in a rat race where everyone strives to get ahead at the expense of others. This results in a negative impact on overall organisational productivity.

Employers need to encourage a team spirit within the organisation. A team-based approach will be more effective in motivating employees. Promoting teamwork will increase collective efforts in delivering excellent services.

7. Develop Emotional Competency

According to Simon Sinek, author, and motivational speaker, when people are financially invested, they want a return. But when people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, evaluate, and control emotions. It's more important in contributing to the workplace as compared to a high IQ. Goleman who had popularised the term emotional intelligence had stated that people with a high emotional intelligence have a higher level of motivation on achieving long-term goals.3

In a World Economic Forum's report, emotional intelligence was listed as one of the critical skills employees must possess to succeed in the workplace. Research has found a direct link between the emotionally intelligent workforce and measurable business results.4

So, how can a company develop emotional intelligence of workers and motivate them to succeed in the workplace?

  • Premortem Technique —The technique is recommended by psychologist Gary Klein for reducing emotional friction to new projects. The technique involves considering alternatives to a decision. By showing people what could go wrong with the alternative, there is an emotional buyout regarding the project. This motivates the employees to contribute to the success of the new project.
  • Storytelling — Marketers know about the power of storytelling. The same technique can be used to motivate employees to improve performance. You can motivate your employees by telling them anecdotes to which they can connect. Let them know about the context of any business decision and connect with real-life examples. You should balance the reasoning behind a decision with emotional connection. This will help you to motivate your employees to take the desired course of action.
  • Provide Group Incentives —You can encourage employees to emotionally invest in the business by using group incentives. Programs such as Employee Share Purchase Program help workers to connect emotionally with the group. The result is increased personal well-being and loyalty with the firm. The group incentives will have a more positive outcome as compared to individual monetary rewards.
  • Make them Identify and Realise Their Dreams — Richards Boyatz has put forward the Intentional Change Theory that can help start and sustain change due to emotional intelligence. According to the theory, you must first let employees discover their dream. Let them find out what's important to them in life. Is it owning a big country house for retirement? Saving for a vacation? Buying a luxury car? Reaching the top of the career ladder? Whatever the dream, it must be compelling enough to motivate employees to work towards achieving that dream. Then, you must coach the employees on how they can achieve that dream by achieving corporate goals. In other words, you motivate the employees by linking their personal goals with corporate goals.


The most important reason to focus on employee motivation is that it will lead to enhanced employee output. This will result in improved profitability for the company. An employee who is motivated will put 100 % effort in order to achieve organisational goals.

The success of an organisation depends on hiring capable and skilled workers. A quality workforce will allow your company to grow and succeed. You need to create a strategy to hire candidates who are a good fit for the job.

As one of the leading executive search and headhunting firm in the UK, Jefferson Maguire can help you find skilled and capable employees for your company. We can assist you in hiring the ideal candidate that is the best fit for the role.

With years of experience in the field, we can help corporations of all size and types in searching for the right candidate. We make use of the latest search technologies and techniques to find potential candidates. Our professional executive search and headhunting services will allow you to hire the best candidates for driving your business forward. For more information about our services, you can contact us today.

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