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How to Motivate Your Employees

Offer a Variety of Incentives
A 2006 study by Florida State University analyzed employee incentives that have a positive influence on business. Data collected from 19,319 organizations showed that companies which promote various tactics to motivate employees, such as incentive pay and flex time, experience at 10-20% improvement in employee retention, employee productivity, and profitability. Employee incentives actually save businesses money by producing content employees.

Incentives come in all shapes and sizes. Many businesses offer a cash bonus as an incentive for hard work. Providing chances for promotion will also encourage employees to do their best. Promote productivity in the workplace and reward the hardest worker with extra break time. Incentives as simple as giving away t-shirts with your business' logo will motivate other employees. Marking significant accomplishments, such as a bonus check for significant employee anniversaries, keeps the workforce dedicated to your business in hopes of reaching that milestone. Whatever the incentive may be, be sure that it is one that all employees can strive for.

Acknowledge Hard Work
Something as simple as a thank you can go a long way and help motivate your employees. Take the time to recognize an achievement of an employee by personally acknowledging their successes. A one-on-one meeting to thank employees for their hard work or special project they completed drives the workforce to want that special recognition. Add another incentive to individual recognition by going public. In your business' next newsletter, on the homepage of your website, or on the office bulletin board, recognize your hard working employees. It will encourage more hard workers to get their name publicly acknowledged and their accomplishments honored.

Respect Your Employees
It may sound very obvious, but respecting your employees is an easy way to gain motivation in the workplace. Providing a workplace which respects employees on and off work duty will encourage hard work. Acknowledging that things come up in personal lives and allowing some flexibility to tend to those issues will demonstrate your respect for your employees. Another way to show them respect is to communicate. Ask for feedback from your employees about your company. Listen to what they have to say, and act upon it. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and acting upon your employees' suggestions will reward you with respect.

Create a Fun Work Environment
Let's face it – a fun workplace is an enjoyable workplace. Your employees spend countless hours at your business, and having an enjoyable workplace boosts morale. Make the work enjoyable with creative ideas to keep your employees motivated. Create friendly competitions between employees about sports, entertainment, politics, or anything! Keeping the environment of your workplace positive and upbeat encourages optimistic and motivated employees.

Keep Employees “In the Loop”
Employees are not always involved with important decisions that upper management or owners handle. Those employees who are left in the dark feel left out. Employees that feel unimportant or useless will not be motivated to work hard, or work at all. Any news or changes regarding your company should be communicated to all employees to let them know that they are important.

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said,“Motivation is the fuel necessary to keep the human engine running.” Without motivation, there is no drive or inspiration for us to succeed. Small businesses need that extra push to keep their business open and successful. If you have any success stories of motivation, or suggestions of other ways to motivate employees, post them below. We'd love to know how you motivate people.

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