How to Improve Employee Motivation in the Workplace

Motivation in the workplace is valuable in terms of both revenue and production. You can improve employee motivation quickly and easily by following these five steps:

1. Improve the Work Environment
Look for simple ways to make it more pleasant to come to work and to enjoy working at your facility. This can mean providing a clean, well-stocked break room with free coffee and snacks, or it could mean elevating the dress code (to make a more professional environment) or relaxing the dress code (to promote a more hip, enjoyable working environment). Consider the lighting, cubicle arrangements, parking, equipment and schedule. The physical environment can make a big difference in motivation in the workplace.

2. Assign Value to Work
It is important that your employees know why the work on which they are toiling for 40+ hours a week is of value. Thank your employees for doing work well and on time; explain how their work improves the company or makes a difference. Look for ways to integrate an employee's desire for learning and growth into the job at hand. Fund training, and assign each employee to work that will be interesting and challenging for him or her. It is important to facilitate personal fulfillment from the task at hand whenever possible.

3. Celebrate a Job Well-Done
Everyone appreciates a pat on the back; for those devoting many hours to a task, kudos need to be given as often as possible, especially if the task has been tedious or difficult. This can be done in private employee reviews and in public opportunities, such as progress meetings or announcements. Take advantage of every opportunity to recognize hard work; this cannot be overdone.

4. Tie in Monetary Benefits or Perks to High Performance
Most employees work for one reason: to make money to pay the bills. Few people get to work solely for emotional benefit, so you'll need to make sure monetary rewards go to your best employees. Make these bonuses, monetary rewards or perks accessible to all so everyone is motivated to work hard to make more money. Hard-working, efficient employees save the company money, so the monetary rewards should balance out in the end.

5. Solicit Input/Open Lines of Communication
It's important to know if your employees feel challenged, bored, overwhelmed or satisfied. They also need to be able to communicate about frustrations with coworkers, salary or work assignments. Meet individually with your employees on a regular basis, and ask the important questions. Make sure you allow honest answers to be expressed, and let them know how you will actually respond to the concerns expressed. While you may not be able to accommodate every request, you can do your best to make the work experience a positive one by listening sincerely.

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