For business owners and managers, having employees who lack motivation and seeing them deliver subpar work can be disconcerting. You need to know and implement effective ways to motivate employees before the business suffers. When your people lose their drive, it often leads to:

  • absenteeism
  • presenteeism (being at work but not really working)
  • tardiness
  • mediocre work
  • lapses
  • general sense of sluggishness 

As a result, productivity and bottom line dips. So, it’s best to nip any signs of de-motivation in the bud. However, you can’t simply call the employees to attention.

effective ways to motivate Employees

Motivated employees are those who have a good sense of well-being and are happy and satisfied with their jobs. It may not mean everything is rosy and well in the worksite, but they are able to handle pressures and conflicts better because their motivation is strong. 

RELATED: 10 Ways to Create a Productive Workforce in Your Organization

How Is Having Effective Ways To Motivate Employees Beneficial?

A company’s greatest assets are its employees. They are like foot soldiers whose work provides the company with the ability to muscle through challenges, cover grounds, and win the war. After all, business is war and you need your soldiers to be in top shape and spirit.

After all, business is war and you need your soldiers to be in top shape and spirit.

There are many benefits to having motivated employees. They make a good team that can bring productivity and profitability up and help carry the company forward to reach its set goals. 

Let’s enumerate the gains when your people are inspired to work and deliver their best. 

Increased Productivity

Employees who lack motivation tend to be sluggish, dragging others down with their slow and second-rate performance. Conversely, motivated employees have a spring in their step. They are excited to take on challenging tasks, do their best to meet targets and deadlines, and would even go the extra mile to complete a task because they love what they do. These kind of employees no longer need to be pushed to go forward and achieve something because they run on a full tank. 

The result? More work done in terms of quantity and quality. Their successful work output further motivates them to keep working with enthusiasm, and the positive cycle goes on if sustained. 

RELATED: The Correlation Between Wellness Programs and Increasing Productivity in the Workplace

Improved Employee Retention

Motivated employees who are happily invested in their work often don’t feel the need to look for greener pastures elsewhere. Meanwhile, people who feel less engaged and satisfied in their workplace are often one step closer to the exit. They tend to put in little work, get distracted easily, become irritable, and simply go through the motions of their day without a sense of purpose or meaning. 

This lack of motivation and wanting to resign may be caused by various factors, including:

  • feeling underappreciated
  • not seeing career growth opportunities
  • having health issues
  • being exposed to a stressful work environment

Addressing these issues and taking care of their well-being through wellness programs are effective ways to motivate employees and keep them in the company. 

How Is Having Effective Ways To Motivate Employees Beneficial

Improved Employee Engagement

When employees are driven, dedication follows. They develop a strong bond with their work and the company, and they become more engaged and involved in its goals, affairs, and ethos. 

Furthermore, they do not stay on the sidelines as mere spectators. They gladly join the action. They roll up their sleeves, get down to work, and contribute what they can to accomplish company goals. You can count on them to take initiatives. When they experience a setback, they get back up, turn their loss to lessons, and move forward with a fresh dose of energy.

Better Workplace Environment

Unmotivated employees tend to deliver lackluster work. The danger here is this could rub off on other employees and begin an epidemic of mediocrity in the workplace. While this may be an extreme case, creating effective ways to motivate employees can curb the possible crisis.  

Promoting work-life balance in the workplace can greatly improve employees’ mental, physical, and emotional health. When employees’ well-being is taken care of, they feel more supported and empowered to thrive.  This creates a positive atmosphere in the workplace that inspires teamwork, creativity, and drive for success.  When people feel valued, it boosts their morale and heartens the way they see themselves and their environment.

RELATED: How to Use Wellness Programs to Boost Team Morale

What Are the Top 10 Effective Ways to Motivate Employees?

Lifting your employees’ spirits from the pits is not as simple as giving them a pep talk and a reward. It’s about fostering a culture of well-being in the worksite that gives them space to breathe, find balance, know their worth, and be inspired to be the best they can be—not only as an employee but also as a human being. 

A holistic approach in caring for the things that matter to them like validation, aspiration, sense of security, and recognition of their contribution is key to making them feel happy and satisfied at work. It is important for them to know that the company cares for them. 

customer stories

Here are some tried and tested strategies to motivate employees in the workplace. 

1. Celebrate Employee Milestones

This is a good way to communicate to employees that their loyalty and contribution matter to the company. Appreciation is best shown through conversations, tokens, and service awards. To make it even more special, you can also make it an important event by holding a ceremony or a party, putting the spotlight on your workers who have reached career milestones and a certain length of tenure. 

Provide them with rewards and incentives not only as expressions of gratitude but also to set them as examples for other employees. This will also remind them of how far they have come and the good future that lies ahead.

RELATED: 10 Employee Wellness Gifts to Incentivize Healthy Behavior in the Workplace

2. Provide Employees With a Wellness Program

Employees with physical illnesses or psychological issues like anxiety, addiction, or depression lose their motivation to work. They feel incapacitated by their limitations and lose their confidence and drive. 

They feel weighed down by their health issues and this is manifested in their attitude towards work and life in general. Having a well-designed and implemented wellness program in the workplace can help employees deal with their concerns, promote healthy habits, and gain back their lost energy. 

To be effective, this program must cover employees’ holistic wellness. Addressing a physical pain or limitation may be good but if their minds are still filled with negative thoughts, they will still not be able to move past their state of inertia. 

They would still feel stuck in the rut of their rainy days, wading through rushing waters, and swimming against the current. The role of the company is to provide them with the help they need so they do not sink to the depths of demotivation. 

RELATED: 10 Tips to Implement Mindfulness in the Workplace

3. Encourage Employees to Develop Skills

Another effective way to motivate your employees is to help them enhance their skill sets. By giving them the tools to achieve their goals, you can lead them on a progressive path can breathe life to their dreams.

Help your employees identify their personal goals and how these can be aligned with shared company goals. Encourage them to discover the needed skills to achieve their goals and what specific things they should do to take steps toward their aspirations.

By giving them feedback and advice about their current situation and skills level, you can help them assess their strengths and weaknesses, see their aptitude and potential, and open up opportunities for learning the skills they need to achieve their goals. 

ongoing employee training to support effective motivation

Help them find out new skills to learn through one-on-one talks and connecting them with expert coaches who can train them through apprenticeship or company-sponsored classes. 

4. Offsite Bonding With Employees

A change of scenery can activate your employees’ minds and give them a fresh, positive perspective. Including offsite activities in your wellness program like:

  • company outings
  • outdoor meetings
  • training sessions
  • team leisure walks
  • sports activities
  • family picnics
  • trekking

Bonding activities in new places can strengthen teamwork, renew interest, open channels of communication, and lift employees from a motivation slump by giving them some space to breathe, think, feel, and flow with their colleagues. 

RELATED: 16 Workplace Health and Well-being Ideas, Activities, and Initiatives for Any Budget

5. Hold Learning Sessions and Seminars

In-office learning programs like cross-departmental training, peer mentoring, professional coaching, workshops, and team building activities can help them develop their skills in familiar settings. You may also hold some sessions off-site to give them greater exposure, expand their learning avenues, and make activities more exciting and stimulating.

It’s also best to make activities dynamic and inclusive by utilizing sharing and broadcast platforms like messaging apps, media sharing, webinars, and other stimulating technology support.  

6. Provide Recognition

Showing appreciation for a job well done is one of the effective ways to motivate employees. Failing to recognize their contribution could diminish their drive to deliver good performance again next time, thinking it doesn’t make much of a difference enough to be noticed anyway. 

When giving recognition, make it public and specify the quantitative and qualitative gains that came from their commendable work. This will reinforce their sense of validation and beef up their credentials in the company. When employees are given a shoutout for their valuable input, it inspires them to keep excelling. It can help elevate performance standards across the workplace.   

Have the big boss write and sign a recognition certificate and thank you notes addressed to employees who have made significant contributions whether in initiating cost-saving projects or going the extra mile to resolve a customer service crisis. Featuring their story in the company’s newsletter or intranet can also give them the recognition they need. Of course, tokens and gifts are always a good idea. 

RELATED: 10 Employee Wellness Gifts to Incentivize Healthy Behavior in the Workplace

7. Create Goals and Rewards

Clearly defining goals and steering everyone’s efforts toward achieving them set things to motion the right way. While some employees are quick to move along this track, others who are less motivated tend to lag behind. 

recognition for employees to motivate them

One way to motivate everyone in the company to do their part is to incentivize milestone achievements and significant contributions in accomplishing targets. 

Hold periodic awarding ceremonies, give out monetary or non-monetary rewards to deserving employees, and publish the recipients and their success stories in the company’s communication channels like newsletters and social media pages. 

Setting short-term and long-term individual-based or team-based goals and designing a reward system for those who reach them can drive employees to step up and be competitive.  

RELATED: Best Employee Retention Strategies to Reduce Labor Loss and Increase Loyalty

8. Provide Employees With the Freedom to Make Decisions in the Workplace

Being empowered to make decisions sends employees the message that their ideas are valued and that they are trusted to call the shots in certain situations. 

Giving them a rightful place to implement their judgment boosts their confidence. When they are given the authority to decide and be accountable for their decisions, employees will:

  • expand their capacity to think critically
  • analyze costs and benefits
  • proactively manage things

You can start by giving them opportunities to head committees, projects, or small teams, and depending on how well they perform, you can give them bigger decision-making responsibilities in the future.

9. Create a Good Work Environment

One of the effective ways to motivate employees is to provide them with a safe and caring environment where they can flourish and be happy. A noxious and negative work atmosphere can cause employees to lose their passion and interest for their work. When they constantly feel overworked and faced with impossible demands, or when conflicts escalate and are not resolved, stress levels among employees can surge and swell.

Work-life imbalance can take a toll on the employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health. This may lead to:

  • a negative attitude towards the job
  • loss of focus
  • unsustained stamina
  • low productivity
  • sub-par performance

You can counter this by fostering good relationships through open communication, conflict resolution, and wellness activities that break the monotony in the workplace and promote employee well-being. 

Activities like yoga sessions, fitness training, art classes, games, healthy lifestyle coaching, motivational talks, and management support can create a wholesome work environment that helps clear mental clutter, promotes health, and adds cheer and relaxation to the employees’ work days. 

RELATED: 50 Office Challenge Ideas Including Office Fitness Challenges for 2024

health and wellness challenges to motivate employees

10. Encourage Friendly Competition

Being in a competition can shoot up employees’ adrenaline and rouse them out of their comfort zones and sluggish spirit. The company can use this friendly competition strategy to push employees forward and put their strengths to use. It can also enhance work performance and productivity output because of the prestige and excitement that come with winning. 

Make these friendly competitions value-adding to both the company and the employee. You can launch contests for:

  • the fastest to lose excess weight in a wellness program
  • the highest sales for the month
  • best team initiative

Competitions such as these help employees not only improve themselves, but also learn, share, and experience best practices with others. 

Everybody loves to win and prove their worth. Winning at work is like being put in the spotlight. There’s attention, recognition, and an added feather on the cap that can motivate employees to keep doing their best in their job.

Everybody loves to win and prove their worth.

An employee who experiences victory at work and all the perks that come with it like rewards, recognition, and career advancement opportunities, would feel encouraged to stay on top of their game and be on a winning streak. 

RELATED: 8 Desirable Benefits of Corporate Wellness Challenges for Employees

Final Thoughts On Effective Ways To Motivate Employees

These effective ways to motivate employees must come from a place of genuine care and concern for their well-being. While motivational strategies as listed can very well serve as investment on your people with high returns in terms of productivity increase and work quality improvement, their value goes beyond superficial. 

Just like any mutually beneficial relationship, the company-employee bond needs to be nurtured from the heart. When one party, namely the employee, slips, the company has to provide support to lift the worker from lethargy. This act, in return, is rewarded with employee dedication and loyalty. Ultimately, everybody gains and goals are more easily attained.

Just like any mutually beneficial relationship, the company-employee bond needs to be nurtured from the heart.

Many of the aspects presented in this article today can be found within a wellness program built to serve and motivate your employees and further your team. Book a free demo call with our team and discover how you can do so today!

About The Author

Dr. Steve Aldana

Dr. Aldana is the CEO of Wellsteps, a worksite wellness solution that leads the nation in wellness program deployment and engagement. Dr. Aldana authored over 75 scientific papers and 7 books on health risk management, healthy living, and health promotion programs. He has given over 350 keynote speeches across the U.S. on the ability of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.