Motivated employees are productive employees.

When an employee is engaged, and they believe in what they do, they start to work much harder, and end up producing great results.

There are too many managers out there that don’t seem to take the time to motivate their employees , and look at it as an afterthought.

Maybe they’re too busy, but that’s no excuse.

It really comes down to treating your employees with respect, and showing them that you trust them, and care about them.

There is also a lot of psychology involved in keeping employees motivated, so it would be wise to read an article or two on the subject.

Employees (especially good ones) understand how in demand they are, and can afford to act like divas. If they don’t like where they are, they’ll end up leaving, and it will be a nightmare for your company.

Besides the financial damage that an employee that leaves does, it has a major effect on morale. All of the other employees become demotivated, start to question their own careers, and feel pressured about their own job security.

Below I’ll share 5 secrets that will better employee motivation for your company:

1. Collect Feedback

This is probably the best way to motivate employees because it shows them that you value their opinion, and they start to feel important. That will give them the confidence they need to produce incredible results.

Here are a few tools that you can use to collect feedback from your employees:

Employee Motivation Pro Tip: Make sure to give them credit for the idea. There’s nothing more demotivating than having a manager take credit for one of their employees ideas.

2. Delegate Tasks

Delegating is another great way to motivate employees, because again, you’re showing them that you trust them and respect them enough to complete the task at hand.

It’s important for me to mention that you need to actually delegate, don’t assign a task to someone and then micromanage them.

Micromanaging is the worst thing you can do, and will pretty much guarantee that the employee becomes demotivated.

When you’re delegating a task to someone, you have to give them very clear instructions about how you want the task completed, otherwise they might not perform as well as you’d like.

Potentially use a tool like Balsamiq (depending on what the task is) to help communicate your goals.

Also, while making sure not to micromanage, it’s okay to check in every now and then and ask if they need any help.

Sometimes an employee might be too shy to ask or think asking will make them look stupid, so make sure to let them know that you’re open and willing to help.

I would also recommend giving the employee praise when they’re done with the task at hand, because it will make him feel proud of his work, which will lead to higher motivation.

3. Embrace Failure

This one is so important not only to do, but to reiterate over and over so the employee knows that failing is okay.

There was a survey done recently about how much fear employees have, and the numbers are kind of scary.

Most employees live in fear.

The 2 biggest things employees were scared of were fear of making mistakes, and fear of being fired.

This has a huge effect on productivity because employees spend half their day worrying and stressing. As a manager, one of the easiest and smartest things you could do is to remove that element of fear.

Remind your employees that it’s okay to make mistakes, and we all make them. You can learn from your mistakes, and only by trying will you ever grow.

Managers should not only be encouraging and embracing failure, but encouraging personal growth, and linking these 2 together.

Make sure to communicate this to them so that they feel as if they work in a safe environment. Once that stress and pressure is gone, employees will be more motivated to work harder.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

4. Encourage Collaboration

Working alone can be lonely. You should encourage team building and collaboration to motivate employees, and to get them helping each other out.

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You want a team that is cohesive, and feeds off of each other’s strengths. This is when great work will be done, and when great work is done, employees will be proud, and that will lead to higher motivation.

Collaboration also helps motivation in the sense that it helps reinforce the bigger picture to everyone.

For example, when I found out about a few projects that were being worked on in a department that I wasn’t in, it made me feel better, and really showed me how much progress the company as a whole was making.

Here are some tools that we use internally to help us collaborate, but there are literally hundreds of tools that you could use:

  • Sqwiggle – We use this tool to chat and share notes within our team. We also do our daily update meetings on Sqwiggle. I always have Sqwiggle open.
  • Yammer – We use Yammer company-wide, as a way to share articles, plan events, or share funny videos.
  • Trello – We use Trello for task management. We have several different “boards” for different initiatives that we’re working on. It helps us all know what any one individual is working on at a given time.

5. Give Praise

Not only is this bound to increase motivation, it’s easy to do, and it’s free. Everyone loves praise, and as a manager, it’s important for you to give it continuously. There are a few really important things to remember when giving praise though.

  • Do it often – It seems weird that some people will wait until the annual performance review to give out praise. Do it right away, and do it alot.
  • Be specific – Instead of saying “good job”, say something like “great job on that powerpoint you put together for our sales presentation. I especially like what you did on slide 15 with those images”. It shows that you’re really attentive, and that you’re not giving praise just for the sake of giving praise.
  • Give constructive feedback – You can slip in some feedback in your praise to make your feedback less negative. For example, say something like “great job on that powerpoint you made, it really helped us close that deal, the only thing you might think of trying next time is more images.”

You can also use an employee engagement platform to encourage team building and collaboration.

Over time, as people use the platform, you’ll see that they’ll become more motivated to work harder because of the positive benefits they’re getting from the platform.

Your Thoughts On Employee Motivation?

There are a lot of simple, often free things that we can do to keep employees motivated and happy. Anything you think I left out? Let me know in the comments!