Idea cheat sheet: 15 staff motivation activities

I love my workStaff motivation is critical in business, but implementing everyday activities to keep your employees motivated and engaged can be a challenge. So to assist you, here are 15 motivational activities to help you empower your employees, improve performance and create a more positive working environment.


1. Encourage employee feedback – Sometimes employees will hold back feedback in fear of being ridiculed or criticised. Encourage your employees to share their feedback with an open door policy and a safe space for feedback, ideas and concerns.


2. Help employees get to know each other – It’s important the colleagues and co-workers get along. Organise social activities, both inside and outside of work so that they get to know each other on a personal level.


3. Mentor your employees – If an employee needs help with a project or an issue they are facing you can assist by mentoring them through it. And if they need help urgently don’t make them wait, stop what you are doing and help them immediately.


4. Give employees flexibility – Don’t insist the only way to do a task is the way it’s always been done. Give employees the flexibility to try new methods and processes; you never know what they might discover!


5. Get involved in the community – Be an organisation that gives back to the community and get your employees involved in deciding which organisations to support and how you might help them. This could include some fundraising activities or even just giving your staff the day off to tidy up the garden of a local community project.

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6. Highlight employees achievements – Even if you don’t have a formal recognition programme, highlight your employees’ achievements to their peers and their senior managers.


7. Celebrate – Choose specific occasions to celebrate with employees such as birthdays, the birth of a child, or a personal achievement. Make the occasional personal with a card and a treat, such as a cake.


8. Have random treats – Sometimes when the pressure is on we need something to lift our spirits, give your staff a break by getting in lunch or buying everyone an ice cream.


9. Have brainstorming session – A lack of ideas or a solution to a problem can be a challenge. If one of your employees is struggling on a project have a team-wide brainstorming session to solve the problem. Collaborative working enhances employees sense of purpose.


Employee recruitment10. Recruit internally first – Career development opportunities are an important motivator for many employees, so always try to hire or promote internally before looking for external candidates.


11. Have a mufti day – Forget your usual business attire and have a mufti day. Employees can come in whatever they feel most comfortable wearing or you can choose a theme, for example, a ‘Wear Pink’ day or wear a Hawaiian shirt day. You can even ask for small donations to come in mufti clothes and donate the proceeds to a local charity.


12. Bring in an external speakerMotivational speakers can remind employees how they can contribute to the organisation and improve engagement.


13. Offer flexible working times – Allow your employees to work the hours that suit them and their lifestyle, give them the flexibility to structure their working day how they see fit as long as they meet their deadlines.


14. Have a breakfast meeting with the CEO – Employees love knowing those at the top of the organisation care, so each month hold a breakfast meeting with the CEO for all those that have their birthday in that month.


15. Hold a contest – You can either choose a game with a competition element related to the work or have a fun contest, such as a weekly caption competition.


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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