How to Properly Motivate Employees

May 20, 2021

Managers often look for ways to motivate employees. Usually, they first seek wage-based incentives; however, there are also nonwage methods. Here are a few basic incentives that can motivate and encourage your employees.

Employee Recognition

“It’s helpful to keep in mind that incentives don’t have to be monetary,” explains Fleet Maull, a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. “Praise is effective, free and important. Even an incentive that celebrates an employee of the month is a good choice for a non-monetary reward.”

Indeed, recognition is essential to motivating employees to perform well. Another possible incentive is granting more responsibilities to trustworthy employees. Employees gain more control, which leads to more motivation.

Maull stresses that recognition and other incentives need to be unambiguous. When offering praise, managers should make sure to be specific about employees’ accomplishments when offering praise—which should be separate from the routine bonuses and incentives that are part of the job. Encouraging exemplary behavior beyond the basic requirements is crucial; such a strategy leads to more motivated employees.

Furthermore, it should be made known that there are achievable goals with clear incentives attached, such as more trust and responsibilities or recognition at a team meeting.

Managerial Support

Bob Nelson, an employee motivation expert that has worked with companies such as FedEx and Time Warner, details some of the most desired employee incentives in an article for Harvard Business Review

Nelson cites a survey revealing that out of fifty-two options for possible incentives and rewards in a workforce, respondents selected “managerial support and involvement”—a process that involves “asking employees their opinions,” “involving them in decisions,” “giving them authority to do their jobs,” and “supporting them when they make a mistake.”

Positive Feedback

Taking time to offer specific positive feedback is likewise an excellent incentive for heightened performance. Kevin Dickinson of the Washington Post agrees; he explains that giving positive feedback when an employee succeeds is always better than giving negative feedback when an employee makes a mistake.

Dickinson asserts that active listening is important in tandem with active feedback. Finding ways to listen and take complaints from employees is critical to understanding how best to serve them.

“The advantages of active listening are immense,” he writes. “It builds trust, helps you comprehend your employees, and shows them you care. It limits misunderstandings, saving time and increasing productivity.”

Qlicket allows employees to be heard and understood so that they can feel more autonomous and recognized. Give employees the managerial support they deserve.

Written by Qlicket team member Ethan Forde.

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