Employee motivation strategies – What makes them successful, and what causes them to fail?


Competition. Rewards. Incentives. Camaraderie. There are countless ways to motivate a person and promote team motivation. This has given rise to numerous psychological techniques and employee motivation strategies to increase motivation and performance teams and boost productivity in the workplace. It is a very well-documented area with thousands of guides and instructions supported by empirical data that you can read and learn from. Even so, certain employee motivation strategies will still fail to yield any result for some companies.

Why is that?

What is motivation and job satisfaction? 

Motivation is the desire to undertake the process to get what you want. Job satisfaction is a feeling of fulfillment or enjoyment that a person derives from their job. 

Motivation and job satisfaction are linked to one another. Feeling satisfied with the job and workplace leads to increased motivation among employees. Being motivated, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily lead to job satisfaction ー at least not when motivation is driven by fear such as fear for retaliation.

Why employee motivation is important

Your employees are your most important asset. With engaged staff, the sky’s the limit for what you can accomplish. Employees engaged in their work are more productive, more motivated to make decisions and to find creative solutions to problems.

Demotivated team members, on the other hand, can do great harm to the company. A Gallup report concluded that disengaged employees are estimated to cost the U.S. nearly 550 billion dollars a year in lost productivity. Apart from being less productive, demotivated employees are also more likely to steal from the company, have a negative influence on their colleagues, and drive customers away.

That’s why having a few well reliable employee motivation strategies up your sleeve is crucial for leading a company into the future.

5 Employee Motivation strategies

One of the most famous motivation strategies is the carrot and stick approach for improving motivation and performance. The carrot is a reward for good behavior and the stick is a negative consequence for poor behavior. This motivation strategy can improve motivation and performance if the reward is attractive enough and the consequence is undesirable.

  1. Involve employees in the goal-setting process. Setting goals creates meaning and clarifies what is expected of the employee. Being able to take part in the goal-setting process makes the staff member 3.6 times more likely to be engaged in the work than colleagues who are not. When creating goals, make sure to establish what is expected of the employee to increase motivation and job satisfaction.
  2. Give the staff a purpose. Most people want to feel that they are doing a meaningful job. To improve motivation and job satisfaction among the employees, explain how their contribution makes a difference to the company. If people feel that what they are doing is meaningful, they are more likely to take pride in their work and will be willing to put in some extra hours to get the work done.
  3. Celebrate every milestone. Take every chance to celebrate both small victories and big wins. The milestones don’t necessarily have to be performance-driven, instead, they can be social like celebrating a colleague’s birthday or focused on personal development ー for example rewarding an employee who went outside their comfort zone. Celebrating together improves the team spirit and contributes to a positive atmosphere. 
  4. Give meaningful feedback to your employees. Always hearing “you did a great job” might be nice, but it’s more meaningful for your staff if the feedback is tied to concrete examples. If you are giving specific feedback, your employees will know that you recognize what they are doing which will improve motivation and job satisfaction. When giving feedback on areas of improvement, remember the golden ratio of 5:1 ー five positive comments to one negative piece of feedback to avoid the employees from feeling criticized.
  5. Provide your employees with the opportunity to grow. If you give your staff a chance to lead with their solutions and ideas, they will gain confidence and feel that their skills are valuable. Be there for guidance and create a safe space where failure is seen as a learning opportunity. To offer your employees the possibility to take courses to broaden their field of expertise is another way to increase motivation and job satisfaction. 

3 reasons why employee motivation strategies fail

1. The human error

Some attempts at applying employee motivation strategies will inevitably fail as a result of human error. Whether the manager misunderstood something during the implementation or didn’t have the competence to properly put it into practice doesn’t really matter. In the end, “To err is human”.

Take a step back and analyze your situation, why did it fail? Learn from your mistakes and try and try again until it works.

2. No long-term commitment

Motivation is cultivated. It needs sunlight and water to keep growing. Without care and comfort it will come to dwindle. Employee motivation strategies need to be long-term to keep your employees motivated throughout every day, of every hour throughout the year.

3. It’s the wrong strategy!

Yes, it can be as simple as that. You can do everything right and still fail miserably. As mentioned before, we’re all motivated by different things. Not everyone is motivated by money, instead, they prefer a sense of accomplishment and positive reinforcement. Not everyone can perform their best in a competitive environment, instead, they thrive in a team.

Much has been written about Employee Motivation Strategies. And there is no such thing as a universal approach. Find out what makes your employees tick and match with the right employee motivation strategy.

Motivate your employees with the Remente App

Motivation and job satisfaction are linked just like employee wellbeing and employee productivity. Remente offers you tools to give you insight into what motivates your employees, as well as motivational tools for your employees, enabling them to influence their own productivity and wellbeing.
Want to boost team motivation and productivity? Sign up for a free demo of Remente today!

FAQ


Setting clear expectations, recognizing their hard work, showing a caring company attitude, and being transparent are a few examples of how to motivate a team. Do you want to know more about motivating your team? Contact Remente.


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