How do I Increase Workplace Motivation?

Article Details
  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Most people spend more waking hours at work than they do with family, so the way they perceive the working environment can affect performance, longevity, and overall demeanor. Besides financial compensation, positive reinforcement is often the key to achieving a higher level of morale among employees. To increase workplace motivation, many times, it is simple gestures that make the most significant impact. Include employees in decisions that affect the company, and listen to their points of view. This encourages them to feel less like hired labor and more like integral parts of a productive team. Most of all, when staff members feel respected, they are more likely to exert more effort to benefit the company’s success.

Underpaid, overly-stressed staff members usually do not work at peak performance. If the employees are important to you, make sure they know this, and compensate them accordingly. A bonus for a job well done lets them know they are appreciated. It can also increase feelings of self-worth at a job site, thereby encouraging continued desired behaviors and increase workplace motivation. Catch employees doing something right, and then offer a reward or unexpected bonus. Even a small token of appreciation, such as a coupon for free ice cream, may be just enough recognition to illicit the positive mind-set that inspires staff to put forth a little extra effort.


Team members who socialize together often contribute to each other’s success. Office parties are a popular and fun way to increase workplace motivation. These gatherings can be simple, casual, and do not need to be expensive in order to have a meaningful impact on the staff. Some employers choose to buy lunch for the office once a month as a gesture of appreciation, while others may provide bagels and coffee during morning meetings. Sometimes, it is little things, such as this, that make a big difference in morale.

While positive reinforcement and compensation is important to employees, benefits such as health insurance, vacation pay, and paid personal days-off can affect the way staff members feel about their employers. Companies who do not offer these types of benefits may end up with workers who are frightened about the possibility of becoming ill. Some can be downright exhausted, because they cannot afford to take time off when they need to rest and rejuvenate. When people feel that their employers do not understand or care about them, they tend to resent it and work performance can diminish over time.

Sometimes, the cause of limited enthusiasm at work results from employees who do not get along with one another. As a manager or business owner, you can discourage animosity among coworkers by maintaining a professional environment. Avoid gossiping with subordinates and do not allow anyone else to engage in activities that infringe on the rights of others. Workplace motivation is usually elevated in office settings where employees feel that they are valued and treated with respect.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

My boss is very innovative when it comes to motivating the workplace. She recently got the whole office free admission to yoga classes that we can go to during lunch-time or after work. I think it's a wonderful idea.

Post 2

@ddljohn-- I agree that such gestures are important but they only improve work motivation if the working environment is a positive one.

When I was an intern at a political organization many years ago, I was treated very badly and never appreciated for my work which I was doing for free. I was working forty hours a week and sometimes more, giving it my all and it did not make a difference. Before the annual conference that this organization put together, our boss took all the interns to dinner at a very nice and expensive restaurant.

That was a nice gesture too but it did not motivate me at all because of my negative experiences at the organization. So perhaps, it's important to pay attention to more important things like communication, respect and appreciation.

Post 1

I completely agree that when it comes to motivation in the workplace, even small gestures can make a difference.

Last week, my office required us to work on a Saturday for an important project. Most of us were not happy about working on the weekend, a few even felt resentful. At the end of the day however, our boss gave each of us gift cards for a favorite coffee shop. This was unexpected and a very pleasant surprise. Our boss knew that we buy coffee daily and it was a nice gesture that increased our motivation. Now if he asked us to come in one more Saturday, I'm sure that no one would refuse.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?