Ways To Motivate Employees

The way we view motivation is changing rapidly. While monetary rewards and promotions were once seen as the top motivation tools, today we truly see that money doesn’t buy everything. A number of thought leaders, researchers and studies have revealed the true keys to motivation:

1. Autonomy


Giving your employees autonomy over their work creates a sense of ownership. This fosters a deeper sense of pride in accomplishments and encourages self-motivation to achieve the best results. In fact, many top companies such as Atlassian and Google are actually giving employees more autonomy over their work schedule to foster ingenuity. In a study conducted by Cornell University, companies that gave their employees more autonomy experienced four times faster growth and only one-third of the turnover of their traditional command and control counterparts.

2. Growth


Research shows that motivation runs high when employees are developing skills that will help them meet their potential. Deloitte found that two-thirds of millennials believe it’s their manager's responsibility to provide them with development opportunities. If your employee aspires to learn a new programming language or develop their video making skills, assign them projects in which they can practice these skills and provide coaching. This may sound like it conflicts with the idea of giving more independence, but checking in and giving feedback with the appropriate amount of space makes the difference between great mentoring and micromanagement.


3. Purpose


Employees want to feel they’re doing something that matters. In his TEDTalk “What makes us feel good about our work”, behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains that motivation plummets when an employee doesn’t feel value in the work they’re doing. This can happen either when shifting goals cause projects to suddenly become unneeded, or when people don’t have a sense of how their work is contributing to the bigger picture.


4. Recognition

Providing recognition the right way will signal to your employee the importance and value of the work they’re doing. A simple “good job” won’t provide them with the feedback they need. Instead giving detailed feedback “The in-depth market research you conducted helped us to gain valuable insights on the direction of our product” will help them gain a sense of how their work is contributing to team and company wide goals.


This article is part of a management guide about how to become a better leader with feedback. 

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