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Employee Motivation Strategies for Managers

Employee motivation is the key to any successful business. It’s a manager’s job to keep employees energized, engaged, and eager to come into work every day. When done correctly, motivation can lead to increased productivity and greater job satisfaction among your team. But what strategies should you use? Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to motivate your employees.

1. Celebrate successes

Give recognition for a job well done and celebrate successes, big or small. Whether it’s a team-wide high five or throwing an office party when goals are met, affirming hard work gives employees something to strive for and makes them feel appreciated. 

2. Give autonomy

Letting employees take control of their own projects not only allows them to learn more but can also boost their confidence and motivation. If you trust your team to make decisions and give them the freedom to do so, it will help create an environment of collaboration and innovation.

3. Foster positive competition

There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition between employees! Set up reward systems for tasks completed or goals achieved and let people compete positively. One of my favorites is when an event books, the salesperson rings a large bell. Seeing others around succeed can be inspiring, especially if there are tangible rewards involved! 

4. Get creative

Motivation doesn’t always have to come from within—try out fun team-building activities or introduce new ideas into the workplace that can keep employees engaged and excited about their work. From brainstorming sessions to taking breaks outdoors together, get creative with ways to keep motivation high in the workplace. 

5. Listen and learn

It’s essential to listen to your employees and find out what motivates them. Ask them questions and get feedback on how you can create an atmosphere that encourages motivation every day.
In this way, you can tailor strategies according to your team’s needs. 

6. Offer feedback

Regularly share your feedback with employees. Take the time to provide positive reinforcement and constructive criticism as needed—both will help keep team morale up and encourage employees to stay motivated on their work. 

7. Set clear goals

Goals are a great way to motivate employees, but they need to be realistic and attainable. Give each employee specific objectives and the resources they need to complete those tasks. When they reach those goals, reward them with something meaningful that shows you appreciate their hard work! 

8. Have fun in the workplace

It’s no secret that having fun can boost motivation levels! Encourage your employees to take part in activities such as lunchtime trivia games or team-building exercises throughout the year. 

9. Show recognition

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and acknowledging employees’ successes is a great way to keep them motivated. A simple “thank you” or pat on the back can go a long way in encouraging your team to stay focused and driven. 

10. Offer incentives

Incentives are an effective motivation tool, whether they come in the form of financial rewards or something else like time off work or additional training opportunities. Different people are motivated by different things, so make sure that your incentive is tailored to everyone. 

11. Be flexible

Flexible working arrangements allow employees to balance their personal lives with their professional commitments more easily, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation at work. Consider offering flexible working hours, remote work options, and alternative leave arrangements to your team. 

12. Lead by example

As a manager, you set the tone for employee motivation and productivity so make sure you lead by example! Show up early, take the initiative on projects, and stay positive even when things don’t go as planned. This kind of attitude will trickle down through your team and help keep morale high throughout the workday.  

Meryl Snow

Owner, Feastivities Events, Philadelphia, PA and Senior Consultant, Certified Catering Consultants

With nearly 30 years in the special event and catering industry, Meryl Snow is the co-founder of Feastivities Events and the creator of The Triangle Method.  As a Senior Consultant for Certified Catering Consultants, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design and branding to help businesses get on their own path to success.She is the author of Booked It! and Cha-CHING!

Meryl Snow

Catersource Advisory Council Member

Founder of