How Leaders Can Motivate Employees at the Workplace

Are you a manager struggling to motivate employees at the workplace? Good news, you’re not alone. There’s lots of managers who have the same problem, for all sorts of reasons.

Still, there are ample ways to get the fire burning within your employees again.

People are motivated by many different types of things. Work isn’t the be all and end all for employees. Not like it can be for employers or owners of a company, anyway. When you speak to a CEO or an entrepreneur they might say they do what they do to “change the world”. But often this isn’t the reasoning for their employees.

Most assume that money is the greatest motivating factor in the boss’s arsenal. Because everybody could use more money, right? It turns out, money can be a good motivator. Yet there are other non-monetary motivators which can inspire your team better.

From an organisational point of view, employee motivation is extremely important. Because of this, having an employee or manager that can manage to keep employees motivated is an invaluable asset. They are valuable as they help the company meet their goals by keeping on task.

There are some key motivating factors that will have your team more energised and ready for work. Because you want the team that nothing and nobody can stop. And motivation is a key factor in creating the dream team. “As we know, nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude” – Thomas Jefferson.


Photo: Mauro, Flickr

Be a great communicator

Without great communication skills, leaders will have a harder time motivating their team. Effective communication is one of the keys to unlocking the motivation needed to ensure the open and transparent office culture that you desire. In addition to the success that’s ultimately achieved through increased motivation.

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When you’re communicating with your team, be sure to use the impactful words needed to deliver the efficient message. Always be clear and open about everything that’s on the need-to-know basis and about what’s expected of them.

Be a great listener

Going hand in hand with great communication skills is the ability to listen effectively. Your employees have thoughts and opinions that they believe can improve certain work situations. As a manager, leader and motivator, it’s important for you to listen to them and take what they say on board.

You should always be prepared to listen when trying to motivate employees at the workplace. Even if it isn’t even work related, good or bad, they could just need somebody to speak to.

Nurture life outside of work

Remember that not everyone is as motivated to be at work as the entrepreneur owner is. Changing the world isn’t always as high on the list as it may be on others’. To combat this, ensure you push for the things that you feel your team needs. For example, for people to take their annual leave, to do the things they love and to try to make them happy at work.

It’s their life outside of work that gives people the energy and motivation to be a great employee. So nurture that side of them by allowing them to get reenergised from time to time.

Be likeable

The first of three principles thought of by Dr. Robert Cialdini, the principle of liking can be implemented to effectively motivate the team. The principle of liking can be implemented for motivating your team as the more you like someone, the more you’re more likely to be persuaded by them. So when you’re motivating your team, ensure you’ve done the groundwork in getting on their good side.


Another one of Cialdini’s principles, reciprocity is the idea that if you give a little something, you’ll get something in return. Implementing this to get the team more motivated is simple. As if you give the team a little bit of something, they’re likely to give you something in return. If it’s as little as a can of soft drink or a shared meal on Friday’s, they’ll reward you with being more motivated to perform at work.

It can be as simple as allowing people to eat throughout the day. It means they can stay happy and energetic, while you get good work out of them.

Social proof

Using social proof is a great way that leaders can to motivate the team. Social proof is the demonstrating of good work of others, to validate what the team is doing. For example, by celebrating somebody in the team for good work will motivate others to reach the same kind of relative success. Celebrating someone’s work, a work anniversary or a large accomplishment are all ways to show social proof. This allows individuals to feel better about their actions, based on what others are doing. Coupled with praise, increased motivation can arise.

Partnering not parenting

Partnering with employees gives the employee the perception of shared responsibility. This managerial style enables the employee to gain a more self-motivated working style as they feel both the responsibility and reward.

As for the opposing parental managerial style may be undesirable for many businesses. The feeling of being constantly watched and punished with no real responsibility makes for a disengaged and unmotivated individual.

In Summary

To understand the fundamentals of how you can motivate employees at the workplace, you should know that not all motivating factors are monetary based. To be a great workplace leader, you must be able to motivate your team. And since people are all different, you might have to be aware of a few different ways to do so.

Luckily for you, it’s easy to learn with the right tools.

Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke

Lauren writes for 6Q and a number of other blogs from her home office in Australia. She spends her time writing, reading and changing US to International English on many articles that she edits.