The question of motivating employees is often on a business owner’s mind. But, unfortunately, it can be challenging to find ways to genuinely motivate employees at work, and often the old standards—performance-based bonuses, commissions, and increased rewards—only work in the short-term, if they even work at all. In addition, some polls have shown that the usual motivational tactics aren’t effective at all.

So when it comes to motivating employees, can you authentically do it? 


Share positive feedback

More often than not, rewards and recognition are based on achievements—closing a big account, or increasing sales, for example. Your employees usually do a lot of work behind the scenes that doesn’t gain attention on a spreadsheet. Going that extra mile for a client or showing compassion when dealing with a frustrated customer help enhance your company’s reputation even if they don’t immediately affect your profits.

Create a process through which you can gather feedback from your clients. When they share positive comments about your workers, ensure you share it with them. It’s important to let them know they made someone’s day, even if it wasn’t directly related to their job. Doing this can increase your employees’ job satisfaction, which can be a great motivator. It also shows employees that you—and your clients—appreciate them.


Focus on individuals

Yes, your employees are all members of a team. But each team member contributes in a unique way and based on their individual goals, skills, and habits. Remember, when motivating employees, your team as a whole, the people on it need to feel aligned with the goals and strategies you implement. In addition, you need each person to feel that they contribute to and benefit from the team’s work.

Talk to your team members to find out what they do and don’t like working on, their goals, and how you can help them reach their objectives as a team. Do they want to improve their skill set or maybe try a new role? Do they want a mentor on their team to help them with their professional development? Have one-on-one check-ins and ask questions focused on their skill set and goals. Listen to their thoughts, ideas, and dreams for the company. After all, you hired them for a reason.


Ask your employees what they want

Business owners frequently develop recognition programs and rewards based on what they want or follow what other companies are doing. Rewards are often tied to financial incentives or programs. These are nice to offer but may not appeal to all your employees. For example, not everyone wants increased work responsibility.

Some employees might prefer additional vacation days, extra benefits, flex time at work, free lunches, or other bonuses that aren’t tied to their wage or job title. Talk to your employees. Ask what motivates them and what they would like and create rewards and bonuses based on what they identify as most valuable to them.


Final thoughts

Business owners often view financial rewards for achieving goals as the leading way to motivate employees. However, research shows that these tactics are not always as effective as previously thought. You can do other things to show your employees you value and appreciate the work they do.

It’s also good to remember that even the most motivated employee faces bad days. In those moments, showing your colleagues compassion and offering support can help them feel valued. Precision has developed an award-winning program to help motivate our Team in ways that are beyond just financial rewards. If you would like to know more, contact us to Join the Conversation…

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