7 Tips For Motivating Employees

Any CEO knows that employee motivation is key to individual performance, group productivity, and maintaining a terrific office culture. So how do you do it exactly? For a dose of inspiration on how to motivate those who work for you, we've compiled the best recent pointers on the subject from articles we have reviewed.

1. Set A Good Example

Remember that your attitude is contagious. Kevin Plank, Founder of Under Armour, says that communication is key to making members of your team feel included in major decisions. "I listened to everyone's opinions, and, without fail, they'd bring up things I had not thought of. More importantly, my team members knew that they were part of the process and that their voice mattered." Employees are more motivated when they feel needed, appreciated, and valued.

2. Focus on Employee Happiness Rather Than Employee Motivation

Zappos is often hailed as the most employee-friendly business out there. But, perks aside, what really keeps the workers motivated? Zappos, CEO Tony Hsieh really cares about making Zappos's employees and customers feel really, really good. In fact, he decided that his entire business revolves around happiness. Zappos' approach to workplace bliss differs from other employee-friendly businesses. For one, Zappos pays salaries that are often below market rates.

3. Make Sure Employees Share In The Company's Success

Employee performance, productivity, and motivation can all be tied to how invested a worker feels in his or her company. That's what makes profit sharing such a powerful tool – especially when the company is consistently successful. It fosters employee identification with the organization's success.

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4. Create A Culture Of Autonomy and Agency

Companies should create conditions for employees to find joy in work itself. That can mean giving workers the autonomy to choose what they do and with whom, which can help foster a desire for mastery of tasks and skill sets and simply doing more, better.

5. Encourage Workers Voice Complaints

There are many reasons why employees do not contribute critique of management or the company's culture – from fear of retaliation to hesitation to appear ungrateful. If that is your culture, begin by changing it. As there are many reasons why employees should contribute these complaints without any fear of recourse.

6. Take On Fun Volunteer Assignments

In the heat of the recession, Door Number 3, an Austin-based advertising agency, saw business slow. Thus, creative employees were occasionally idle on the job. The company president decided to ramp you the agency's pro-bono efforts. An established way to build work portfolios and maintain track records. It also had the side effect of keeping employees sharp and motivated between projects.

7. Get In Touch With Your Inner Start-Up

Every morning in the Chicago Offices of Total Attorneys, a legal software and service firm, small groups of the company's 180 employees gather in clusters around the office. Laughter, banter, and collaboration ensue. For about 15 minutes, the office might be said to resemble a college cafeteria, but to the CEO, Ed Scanlan, it's the perfect example of what he calls controlled chaos. That's a process inspired by a process for designing software called 'agile development,' which aims to foster flexibility, speed, and teamwork.

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About the Author Walter Orechwa

Walter is Director of IRI's Digital Workplace Solutions Group, and the founder of A Better Leader. Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.