The Top 14 Ways To Motivate Employees In 2018

Woman explaining how to motivate employees

By Ashley Espinal, Head of Community, Bond Collective

The best managers know how to motivate employees, and they use that knowledge on a daily basis. These professionals understand that a motivated team is the holy grail of today’s business, so they do everything they can to keep their employees focused and engaged.

But how exactly should you go about doing this? The experts at Bond Collective give you 14 of the best ways to motivate your employees.

How To Motivate Employees

1) Make Your Business A Nice Place To Work

Nice work space as a way to motivate employees

One of the best ways to motivate employees is to give them a nice place to work. This doesn’t just apply to their cubicle or desk. The concept of a motivational space extends to every corner of the workplace environment (and even beyond it).

The bathrooms, the break room, the lounge, the outdoor space (e.g., the roof or patio), even the neighborhood in which your office is located — all of these areas can have a profound effect on your employees’ motivation.

That’s why every Bond Collective coworking space is thoughtfully designed and curated to provide inspiration for our members. We know the value of a motivated team, and we want your employees to feel it too.

2) Offer Flexible Scheduling

Flexible scheduling is about more than what days each week your employees will work. It’s also about when they come in and when they leave.

Some people work better in the morning. They’re up early and raring to go, so give them the freedom to start work at 6 a.m. and leave at 2 p.m. Other people work best in the afternoon. They like to stay up late, so allow them to begin work at 10 a.m. and finish at 6 p.m.

By giving your employees a more flexible schedule, you’re also giving them the freedom to work when their motivation is at its highest, meaning their productivity will skyrocket. That’s good for them and for your business.

3) Maintain A Positive Attitude

Are you the type of manager who focuses on the negative? Or are you the type of manager who focuses on the positive? You can have a profound effect on your employees’ motivation by doing the latter.

A positive attitude is infectious, and it can help you and your employees start to view problems as opportunities to get creative rather than as difficulties that need to be overcome.

4) Find A Way To Have Fun

How to motivate employees by having fun

Not every day at work is going to be exciting and engaging. When you feel your motivation flagging on those mundane days, find a way to have fun.

Take a break and go out for coffee. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Play a few games of ping pong or air hockey. Get creative at finding even just five minutes of fun, and your employees’ motivation will improve greatly.

5) Allow Your Employees Autonomy

If you really want to motivate your employees, allow them room to work. Put another way, don’t micromanage. Instead of watching your team’s every move, give them an assignment and a deadline, and then step back and turn them loose.

Giving your employees autonomy shows them that you trust their abilities. That sense of trust then helps them feel more motivated to do good work.

6) Give Purpose To Your Team’s Work

When you give purpose to your employees’ work, you help them see how valuable it is to you, your business, and your customers. This helps them feel like they’re making a difference and not just performing tasks with no real value.

As a result of seeing the larger purpose — not just the small job that needs to be done — your employees be more motivated to contribute to the success of your business.

7) Define Your Expectations

To improve motivation in your business, always be very clear about your expectations. Don’t clutter the point with a hundred details. Focus on what you want done, be clear about the steps involved, and then set your employee to the task.

Never underestimate the power of a clear and concise mission to motivate your employees for the better.

8) Celebrate Achievements

Coworkers celebrating achievements

When an employee has done good work, take the time to celebrate their achievements. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small task or a large one. Find opportunities to recognize their hard work and the results it produced.

When you do celebrate, be sure to include a specific reason why they did a good job. This will help them see what behavior yielded the best results and will motivate them to do it again.

9) Offer Rewards For A Job Well Done

Most managers reserve tangible rewards (like money or a gift certificate to a local restaurant) for the end of a big project or the end of the year. But, really, you can choose to reward great work at any time. It doesn’t have to be just about money either.

Maybe it’s a night out on the town after a particularly difficult stretch of work. Maybe it’s the option to leave early on Friday. Think about what your team members need, get creative, and come up with a reward that fits each employee.

10) Give Your Employees Growth Opportunities

Very few things drain motivation faster than feeling like you’re stuck in a dead-end job. To combat this emotion, give your employees plenty of opportunities to grow and stretch in their jobs.

Offer training in new skills to those who want it. Assign smaller side tasks that fall outside an employee’s regular skill set. Give team members an opportunity to work in a different department for a day or two.

Changing things up and giving your employees room to grow is an easy and productive way to improve their motivation.

11) Turn An Important Task Into A Game

How to motivate employees by turning tasks into games

Don’t let the size or the importance of a project affect your employees’ motivation. Make a game out of it instead. Even something as disheartening as digging a ditch can be made more fun when you introduce elements of gameplay.

If you’re not sure how to motivate employees by turning a task into a game, use video games as your model. Set up rewards (e.g., badges, trophies, medals) for certain milestones. Hold small ceremonies at the end of the week. Pit two teams against each other in friendly competition.

Even little things like these can transform a difficult job into a game that your employees will look forward to completing.

12) Keep Your Team Fueled

To stay motivated, your employees need to stay fueled. That means eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water.

If you’re in the middle of a long work day or tackling a particularly difficult section of a project, make sure to have healthy snacks on hand (and maybe some not-so-healthy ones too). Pass out water every hour or two. You may even want to order-in lunch or dinner to keep your employees’ energy levels — and their motivation — as high as possible.

13) Lead By Example

If you’re thinking about how to motivate employees, try examining yourself first. Your employees will follow your lead, so if you can keep your motivation high, it will rub off on your team.

A good mood, even in the face of difficulty, can go a long way toward getting everyone on board and working to achieve a goal.

14) Take Regular Breaks

Employee taking a break at work

Taking regular breaks is a great way to relax, refuel, and keep your employees motivated. Even a short five-minute break every hour allows them time to unwind and de-stress. That keeps them both physically healthy and firing on all cylinders.

Don’t worry that nothing is getting done during these regular breaks. Some of the best ideas come when your employees are discussing things in the breakroom. In the middle of a big project, you may have to make breaks mandatory, but your team’s motivation will benefit when you do.

Start Motivating Your Employees Right Now

There’s no time like the present to put what you’ve learned about how to motivate employees into practice. Pick one or two methods from the list above and implement them from now on. Once you’re comfortable with those, pick one or two more.

Soon, you’ll see an increase in motivation and your employees will be performing at a higher level than ever before.

To learn more about the advantages of coworking spaces for startups, digital nomads, remote workers, and businesses of all kinds, visit BondCollective.com today.

Bond Collective