Money - Business
By: - at May 24, 2013

How to Properly Motivate Your Employees

As a leader you must contend with the fact that many of the employees you lead will not be as self motivated as you are. They will benefit from a little extra motivation that you can help supply them with.


Understanding motivation begins with knowing the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation comes from within a person. An employee might have an internal feeling of motivation driven by, personality, or explained by a quality fit with the work. Meaning they actually like what they do.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation resulting from any number of external things bosses or managers might do in an attempt to stimulate new motivation in others. The vast majority of writing, thinking and tools in the area of employee motivation focus on forms of extrinsic motivation.

This is not bad in and of itself, but it is not the most productive view of motivation. The most effective way to think about motivation is in a balanced manner that incorporates both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. With a clear emphasis on supporting intrinsic motivation think of it this way, sometimes we become so focused on using things such as money and other types of rewards, that the rewards can become a much bigger focus than the work itself.

types of motivation

Three Types Of Motivation
There are three major approaches to employee motivation. The first two are the most popular, and they are extrinsic in nature. I am referring to goal setting and the use of rewards and recognition. These are popular because they are the easiest to understand and implement. The third approach is somewhat less popular, but actually far more important.

This one deals with relationships and the work environment and how they can often bolster and support intrinsic motivation. Nothing motivates a person more than high quality relationships in a positive work environment.

The Work Environment And Relationships
So, let us address four key aspects of the work environment and relationships at work that have been proven, many times, to be great explanations for employee motivation. Research on motivation is very clear. The quality of relationships at work matters. And none matters more than the relationship an employee has with his or her direct supervisor. In fact, the number one reason that professionals voluntarily leave their jobs, is bad boss relationships.

working towards better teamwork motivation

As a leader, realize that you are not trying to become best friends with the members of your team. You are trying to develop positive, helpful, and supportive relationships. Remember, for every employee their view of the quality of their relationship with you, is the lens through which everything else at work is seen.

business team working together towards common goal

The next motivating aspect, is a feeling of inclusion. You build a sense of inclusion by genuinely seeking employee input on important matters. Make them feel like you are partners, not just mere workers. Third is a sense of opportunity. You create real belief in opportunity when others see that great performance is justly rewarded. This helps the team see the workplace as a fair place. Last but not least, you want to build a sense of purpose. You accomplish this by sharing comments about why the work matters and how the team's work actually helps the business to grow and make money for everyone involved in the business.

Simple Tips For Properly Motivating Your Employees:

  • Ask your employees second opinions.  Talk with your employees and ask them how the team could be doing things differently for the better.  Ask them for suggestions and feedback on the tasks they are doing.  Doing this will encourage them to think they are actually apart of something important which will increase their motivation.  If they say something that does not seem right to you, don't say "that sounds like a bad idea", instead say something like, "okay, I will keep that in mind".
  • Reward your employees with praise.  Anytime an employee does something good, congratulate them by saying, "nice job!", or "good thinking!".  Doing this validates that what they are doing is working great, which will motivate them to continue doing their best.
  • Don't be angry.  Bosses who are constantly angry creates a poor work environment.  Employees will lose interest in their job and will most likely want to quit.  Instead, try to talk through your problems in a positive and respectful manner, while keeping a good mood.
  • Be generous with your employees.  Give gifts to your employees, such as taking them out to eat, or even mini vacations, such as a taking them on a small cruise trip.  Being generous creates positive friendships between you and your employees, which will motivate them to respect you and your business more.
  • Have fun with your employees.  Take time to talk about normal life stuff with your employees, doing so will further create friendship and a trust between you and your team.  A friendly work environment is a positive work environment.
  • Make sure you have reliable managers.  If you have managers, make sure they are following the key points above.

Creating A Sense Of Value
Use your comments, notes, or comments from others in the organization supported by your team, or from customers or clients you ultimately support. When you build positive relationships with your employees, and build a sense of inclusion, opportunity and purpose.

Creating A Sense Of Value

You will have done a great deal to support intrinsic motivation.

Avoid Fear
Here is one additional quick but very important piece of advice. Never rely on fear as a motivator. It is important to understand that while fear is effective in obtaining short term compliance from your employees, there are two huge problems. First, using these tactics causes resentment, which can simmer, for a long time.

Avoid Fear

Second, use of fear stops you from achieving the one thing that is much better than short term compliance which is long-term behavioral commitment. Fear and negativity, should be very rare in a productive workplace.

Motivating others is not mysterious. You'll need tactics that support both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Both are important, but always remember nothing is more motivational than being a part of positive and supportive relationships at work.





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