If you’re a business owner, motivating employees in the workplace is on your priority list, as well as fun ways to motivate employees. This article outlines four realistic ways to motivate staff that stray from ‘same old’…

4 Ways To Motivate Staff So Everybody Wins

It’s important to note that while we must remain adept managers of people while running a business, we are never ‘above’ being a person ourselves. Some bosses occasionally forget that, as they use their authority to lay down the law without first considering the best approach. These are often the firms that suffer from high volumes of staff turnover, and very rarely question why that is.

So, motivating staff and keeping them on your side is important. But how can you do this without seeming like a horse trainer, feeding your people lumps of sugar to keep them going? Your staff are worth more than that, and it’s unlikely you wish to reduce them to systems or artificial benefits in order to get their best performance.

Of course, you want to be the innovative leader within a company everyone wants to work for! How can you motivate staff without the ‘carrot & stick’ approach? Let’s take a closer look.

Understand What Your People Want

What do your staff want? This is where we must understand what it is they’re looking for. What would you be looking for, in their position? If you can answer this question, you’ll see that your staff aren’t altogether different from you, and this grants you a sense of potential going forward.

Don’t assume your team members are there for the most money possible with the least effort spent. People care about:

  • Their career
  • Their reputation
  • Their integrity

It could be that:

  • Trusting them with an important project
  • Helping them develop their career with careful training
  • Hiring internally

Is more important to them than a simple cash bonus at the end of the year. You might be surprised how viewing people in their best light will often help them attain it. 

Motivate Staff By Giving Sizable Rewards For Genuinely Good Work

It’s important reward people when they go above and beyond. This also means not wasting rewards on mediocre work, or being overly complimentary. Your team knows when you don’t mean it, and then your word has less effect.

But you may find that some incentives really can celebrate great work and help your staff actually bond. Click here to see how travel incentives are becoming the new norm (especially as the post-Covid world opens up again).

An additional benefit for you: It offers staff a fantastic, learning experience that develops key staff outside of the office.

Never Patronize To Motivate Staff

Never Patronize To Motivate Staff

Don’t patronize those you work with. It’s vital to treat them as capable, interested, attentive individuals.

It is demotivating when a manager comes to take the reigns in order to ‘do the job properly.’ People want to be functional, and they wanted to be respected and appreciated for their capabilities.

Interestingly enough, this also means they will respect you more if you can objectively, honestly and confidentiality talk to them about any issues you have noticed, and what can be done to resolve them.

Prioritize Employee Motivation – Help Them Feel Part Of The Family

Your staff and workplace culture comprise a family. It might not feel like this, but either way, happy or toxic, this kind of familiarity will develop. It’s important to measure and understand this. Should you fail, just like an untended garden, things can get out of hand.

Sometimes, motivating staff means more than simply giving them a new training seminar.

It might mean attentively and confidentially caring for their harassment claim against another staff member, getting to the bottom of it, and finding the facts of the matter without embarrassing either party.

If they’re necessary, disciplinary actions or firings must be applicable to everyone, regardless of their status in the company. Harassment is harassment, and never tolerable.

A workplace curated in this way, will, like the best relationships, reward the best behavior. Immediately talk through concerns, and always act in the interest of mutual teamwork. If you can achieve that, you’ll be moving forward with care and consistency.

Of course, you can get a little silly and endearing with your efforts:

  • Staff award shows
  • Employee of the ‘x’ awards
  • Team-building activities

Invest in promoting teamwork and bring people together.

Something to consider … Taking your team to a popular bar or pub after your last day of working for the year and enjoying a few drinks can be worthwhile (provided there are guidelines, and everyone knows their limits and acts respectfully).

Final Thoughts

With this advice, you should be able to more easily motivate staff without the ‘carrot and stick’ approach.