How to motivate your employees

Recently, I’ve noticed that my clients are finding it increasingly difficult to source suitable candidates for their vacancies, mainly due to the uncertain times we are living in. The best answer to this problem is for employers to keep staff motivated to retain their most important asset.

Employee motivation is also the key to improved productivity and efficiency, as employees who are focused and motivated will give good quality work, which ultimately benefits your business. Sometimes just knowing you will be paid isn’t enough!

Here are a few tips on how to motivate staff:

Recognise your employees’ achievements

This can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’, ‘well done’, or presenting them with a bottle of wine to mark an achievement. It is important that you get to know your employees to understand how they like to be recognised; some like to be told privately that they have done a good job, but others prefer to receive praise in front of the team. However you do it, positive reinforcement nurtures a positive attitude towards work, makes employees feel valued, and motivates employees to work harder.

Be flexible

If your employees are happy in their work, they will want to retain that happiness. Allow flexible working hours where possible, and consider the needs of your employee outside the workplace. For instance, they may be caring for an elderly relative or studying for a qualification. Listen to your employees and their concerns, work with them to try and accommodate where possible, and you will be rewarded with increased motivation.

Foster a culture of open communication

Try to have an open-door policy to keep the communication channels open. This will help you gain an understanding of your employees’ needs and motivators. You will need to gain and nurture the trust of your employees so they feel able to speak openly about what would help them work more effectively. This can take time but is well worth the effort.

Ensure you listen to your employees by regularly engaging with them and, if needed, act upon what they say. It is important that you avoid showing frustration or other negative responses; instead, take time to consider their point of view when drawing your conclusions.

Open communication helps your employees to feel more valued. They are then far more likely to come to you with suggestions, and will continue to feel motivated by your trust and approval.

Where appropriate consider introducing incentives

These can be a great motivator for many people. Depending on the role, consider introducing bonuses or other rewards for meeting targets, such as a lump sum payment, restaurant or book vouchers, or even weekends way. This will give employees a material goal to work towards and structure their workload around. In some situations, creating a competitive environment can also help to motivate employees, depending on your business structure.  But do get to know your employees to know what rewards appeal to them. Remember to check the tax implications before agreeing to any rewards though!

These are just a few simple tips you can use to motivate your employees, some of which are very easy to implement and can, over time, transform workplaces into motivational environments. Remember – taking the time to engage and reward your employees will lead to increased motivation, which will have a knock-on effect as their efficiency and quality will improve. Employees produce better work when they feel they have a reason to work that hard.

For more information about motivating your employees, or any other HR services, please contact Mandy Brearley, MB HR Support, on 07766 665665 or email her at