10 Principles for Keeping Employees Motivated

Maintain employee motivationKeeping employees motivated, even in times of recovery, needs constant commitment and attention. Here are my 10 principles for keeping employees motivated and keeping your business growing. 


1. Hold regular team or staff meetings

Keep your employees updated on developments, goals and targets through regular team and town hall meetings. Constant communication through a variety of channels is fundamental to employee motivation. If face to face meetings are tricky to coordinate, make use of other channels, such as your intranet or internal magazine.


2. Rally team members to help fellow employees

If an employee is stuck on a particular problem, rally your team members to help them solve the issue. Take an hour and spend some time brainstorming ideas, several fresh pairs of eyes may help come up with new ideas or ways of implementing previously dismissed suggestions.


3. Emphasise the importance of looking after themselves

Stress, whether caused by the job or outside of the job, has a significant impact on your employees’ motivation levels. Encourage your employees to look after themselves through exercise and nutrition. If your employee benefit scheme offers health and wellness benefits then make sure these are properly communicated and promoted.


4. Give regular one-on-one feedback

When your employees doubt their abilities they can easily become demotivated, therefore it’s important to give regular one-on-one feedback so that they know how well, or otherwise, they are doing. Taking just a few minutes to say that was a job well done can make a lot of difference to your employees’ motivation levels.


5. Say thank you

Nothing can beat a simple but personal thank you when your employee has put in extra effort on a project or to achieve a mutually agreed goal. Immediate and specific acknowledgement of what your employee did and why it was appreciated can be a great motivator. You can also follow up by acknowledging your employee in a staff meeting, or via a formal employee recognition scheme.


Motivational cartoon6. Get to know your employees

It’s well known that a single approach to reward won’t appeal with everyone, so spend some time getting to know your employees. If you’re looking for motivation/reward ideas then use a motivation survey or simply ask questions such as “What motivates you to work for this company?” “What type of incentives would you choose as a reward?” over a coffee.


7. Flexible work schedules

Flexible work schedules help your employees achieve a better work-life balance and therefore can reduce stress and time off for illness. You don’t need to offer shifts, but allowing some flexibility such as starting and finishing 15 minutes later to accommodate the school run or buying and selling annual leave as part of a benefits scheme can mean a lot to your employees.


8. Peer nominations

If you have an employee recognition scheme make sure that you include peer nominations. Peer nominations are often seen to have more value to employees as they come from colleagues who have seen first-hand the contribution your employee has made. Ask the nominator to explain what their colleague did as part of their nomination to showcase best practice.


9. Recognise staff

Recognising staff for a specific achievement or on-going contribution can increase motivation and boost productivity. Rewards don’t have to be expensive, they can be as simple as leaving a note on your employee’s desk, a voucher for coffee and a cake or part of an on going reward and recognition programme. We even offer a coveted, pride of place car parking space as part of our in house scheme! Daft as it may sound, small, often slightly silly things can make a big difference.


10. Encourage participation

Involve your staff in team decisions, where appropriate. Involving your team members in the decision making process gives them a sense of control over their own destiny and a say in how the team can reach its goals and targets.



John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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