What can managers do to give workers the jolt of motivation they need, when they need it most?
Better yet, how do you create a workforce that self-motivates and doesn’t need 24/7 supervision?
We asked some real-world business leaders how best to motivate employees while maintaining strong, positive company culture.
Flexibility, freedom, and creative control – these things matter most to intelligent employees. Give them the power to solve problems on their own and motivation will take care of itself.
“For many leaders, the act of micromanaging employees is never even considered. They believe that providing employees with assistance in every step of their project and constantly asking for updates is structurally normal. By taking a step back from the project to recognize all of the hard work your employees have done on their own is important in recognizing their abilities.” – Tyler Boyd, CEO, and Co-Founder of Squeeze
“Help your employees gain new skills! Growing and evolving as a team is such an important aspect of a growing business. Providing your team with the resources to gain useful skills and knowledge will provoke new levels of creativity and break out natural skills for their future within your company. You value these employees, and you want them to grow as your business grows, they will see this as an opportunity to prosper.” – Lo Bosworth, CEO, and Founder of Love Wellness
“Cultivate a collaborative environment that empowers employees by involving them in decision-making, delegation, and providing feedback. Putting them at the helm of projects will motivate them to work harder because they know that accountability is fully placed onto them. Including everyone makes your employees feel like a valuable member of the team and can strengthen their commitment to the organization.” – Rym Selmi, Founder of MiiRO
“You may need to be more transparent with performance metrics if you notice your workforce lagging in the motivation department. Share relevant data with employees and they may be motivated to up the ante.” – Kelli Lane, CMO of Genexa
“Loosen the reins a bit and let your people do what they do best. Allow them to work uninterrupted and provide feedback after their tasks are completed. Employees will have more confidence in their work and look forward to meeting with you when it’s done.” – Dylan Trussell, CMO of Culprit Underwear
A motivated workforce starts with strong leadership from the top down. What can you do as a leader to improve morale and keep everyone engaged from day today?
“Showing a well-rounded personality of trustworthiness and self-awareness is likely going to establish a positive workplace environment. This is the largest discrepancy in leadership - taking on characteristics of great leaders within the workplace but completely disregarding these characteristics the moment you walk out that door. Being a good human is more than a 9 to 5 job, it is a constant state.” – Chris Vaughn, CEO of Founder of Saucey
“Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that involves making positive changes regularly to improve productivity gradually and methodically. The five elements of the Kaizen method are teamwork, personal discipline, improved morals, quality circles, and suggestions for improvement. In essence, it involves the individual and collective teamwork within a company creating a powerful and positive force for improvement.” – Eric Kaye, Founder and Chief Evangelist of Kayezen
“Understanding the root of what leadership means to you, helps you define your own leadership characteristics. Redefining your leadership characteristics to dismiss prideful traits will help build a relevant and trustworthy leader. Always be the leader you would look up to, provide that sense of trust and support to your team so that they can prosper.” – Danielle Calabrese, COO of De La Calle
“The entrepreneurs that can focus on their craft and their business, without intrusive and selfish thinking, will provide a company culture far more inviting and supportive than many businesses out there. Leaders with this type of mentality do not have time for negativity, they are here to focus on their job and keep their business running. Employees understand their goals and adapt to the drive of a high performing company.” – Tirzah Shirai, CEO, and Founder of The Blink Bar
“Constantly upholding my values within the workplace is incredibly important. Incorporate your values into how you run your business. When leaders show respect towards their employees, that same respect is reciprocated back towards the leaders. Put in the time to show how much you value and respect your employees, your business will excel in response.” – Michael Waxman, CEO and Co-Founder of Sundays for Dogs
In the world of remote work, authentic connections are few and far between. Reach out and connect with your employees to make a positive impression and keep them working hard.
“One-on-one meetings give you the chance to connect with your employees on a personal level. Use this time to get feedback, address issues, and discuss their goals. When you build relationships with your employees, they feel valued and motivated to excel at their job.” – Chris Vaughn, CEO of Emjay
“Acknowledging and rewarding your employees for their accomplishments motivates them to work harder. Frequently giving praise when warranted actually promotes productivity, improves performance, and helps keep retention rates high. Publicly recognizing your employees also motivates their colleagues to increase their efforts and boosts office morale.” – Haim Medine, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Mark Henry Jewelry
“A lack of employee motivation or engagement is usually nothing more than a communication issue. Step up the frequency or the quality of your communication and get everyone on the same page. Motivation will happen naturally as a result.” – Lucas Nudel, CEO of Pride Palace
“When you communicate effectively, your employees will also communicate with you. Inviting this level of acceptance in the workplace is critical for optimizing your employees potential. You are promoting an open atmosphere for your employees to voice their opinions and ideas, listen to them and provide feedback!” – Joe Parenteau, Co-Founder of Fable
“When it comes to creating a self-motivated workforce, it’s a good idea to start by making sure you communicate well with your employees. Meet one-on-one with them and find out what motivates them. I like to build things and solve problems, but I also realize different employees are motivated by different things. After you spend time with your employees to find out what inspires them, provide them with the necessary resources to help them succeed.” – Dennis Hegstad, Co-Founder of LiveRecover
Tap into the Passion
Discover what really motivates employees to succeed, and you’ve got the golden ticket for a productive, positive workforce.
“Speak with employees regularly and learn about their vision for the future. Figure out if they’re ready to advance or possibly change roles. There are so many ways to make an impact as an employee, and you can help them blaze their own trail.” – Luke Hotchin, Co-Founder of Kenzzi
“The first thing that has to be recognized is that one cannot train someone to be passionate–it’s either in their DNA or it’s not.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
“There is no all-encompassing blueprint to motivate employees, since everyone is an individual. It’s your job as a leader to find out what motivates each person on your team and work with them directly to get the best outcomes for everyone.” – Ashwin Sokke, Co-Founder of WOW Skin Science
“Allow employees to have more autonomy and creativity in open-ended projects and daily tasks. This will spark a renewed interest and passion that may be dormant after being spoon-fed instructions for so long.” – James Sun, Founder of BeautyTap
“What excites you about your job and your role within the company? Are you truly passionate about the mission of the organization and what the future holds? If you’re leading a team, you can bring this positive energy and passion to the table each day and be a highly motivating presence for others.” – Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder of Miracle Brand
Motivating employees is a tough balancing act with many variables, but the rewards are great if you discover the right formula. Apply these tips to unlock the best performances from your employees and see what you can accomplish.