Motivating Employees

Ways To Motivate Employees Beyond Salary Rise & Get Results

Written by mrafeeq · 7 min read >

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

A happy employee is a productive one. Many HR personnel will attest that employee satisfaction is the key to motivating employees. While salary and benefits are essential in keeping employees motivated, these are not the only reasons workers stay on their jobs.

In a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, among the top reasons why employees stay at their current workplace are:

1. Satisfaction with the work they perform;

2. Their job fits perfectly well with other aspects of their lives;

3. Company Benefits

4. Salary

5. Connection to the company

6. Co-employees

7. Opportunity to make a difference

8. Direct supervisor/manager

Of the eight reasons provided, only two are related to salary and benefits. While these aspects of employment cannot be fed regularly, other work-related reasons can be developed.

As such, employees can focus on three key areas that will keep their people happy, namely:

*Work environment

*Rewards and Recognition

*Inter-office relationship

Conducive and Friendly Work Environment

A work environment is like a home-it fosters creativity, productivity, and a sense of belongingness. It is essential, therefore, that employees look forward to reporting daily by:

Personalized workspace and encouraging work ambience

Providing desks or work tables allows employees to perform their tasks individually. It also gives them their personal space within the office. Also, ensure that the whole office is always clean and clutter-free. Finally, assign a space for storage and filing so that their work desks are not full of paper and other office stuff.

Make the office feel comfortable with cooling, heating, and lighting. Not all offices benefit from windows, but if you have one, make full use of it by allowing natural light to come in. Allot an area within the office where employees can sit around and work to break the monotony of being at their desks.

Provide what they need to work efficiently

Make sure that all office equipment is working correctly. For example, there’s nothing more frustrating to an employee than not using a photocopier when he is expected to produce several copies of a report.

Always maintain a stock of office supplies that employees need to work efficiently. Making materials available when needed lessens the employees’ frustration when they need to be done.

Delegate tasks

Employees appreciate being given tasks in the office, no matter how small. For example, keeping an inventory of office supplies is a trivial task. Still, the one assigned to it will feel that their role is crucial in the overall productivity of the workplace.

Make use of walls

Posting on walls has taken a different meaning now with the popularity of social media. However, you can use the same idea within the office. Assign a wall where employees can share their photos, thoughts, and writings.

Break some office routine now and then

If your employees have office uniforms, you can allot a day in the month when they can come in casual working clothes. You may also try to adjust working hours when suitable. Ordinary office meetings can sometimes be held in the nearest coffee shop. Infusing various everyday office routines will help keep the working environment dynamic.

Rewards and Recognition

All of us have this deep desire to be recognized. This is especially important in the work environment. Recognizing achievement isn’t always about plaques, certificates, and trophies. Other forms of recognition are equally appreciated:

Personalized recognition

Dropping by an employee’s workstation and thanking them for a job well done will make an employee feel appreciated. You can also make it a point to spend five to ten minutes with individual employees to talk about anything. Developing an open line of communication will help make conversations a lot easier, especially regarding company concerns.

Acknowledging the role they played

When discussing company achievements, please mention the name of the people and the work they did in achieving the goal set. By naming those responsible for the success, you make the achievement more personal, and other employees will be challenged to perform their best to contribute to the company’s overall goal.


Requesting employees to become mentors of colleagues or new hires acknowledges their proficiency. You may also ask them to mentor supervisors and managers about their tasks, especially when they are good at them. Let’s face the reality that not all people assigned to supervisory positions know all aspects of the enterprise. Allowing rank-and-file employees to share their thoughts will empower them.


If needed to maintain a harmonious work environment, do not be afraid to fire people. This may be a bit harsh, but you always have to ensure that your productive employees do not develop resentment towards colleagues that drag them down. Removing people who do not contribute to the company’s overall goal is, in a way, giving recognition to those who are productive.

Inter-office relationship

Although employees will come to work thinking they have individual tasks, they are still bound to interact with their colleagues. Fostering a healthy interpersonal relationship encourages individuals to be more open to others. Here are some suggested activities:

Potluck lunch

Sharing is giving, and when everyone is sharing something with everyone, you can build a strong relationship among your employees.

Be sensitive to your empemployees concerns.

Now and then, there are events outside the office that affects almost all your employees. These events sometimes become disruptive in the daily work routine because they sneak behind you to talk about it. Rather than reprimanding them for not working, gather everyone around and discuss the concern openly.

Out-of-office activities

It is suitable for the morale of everyone to be together and not think of work. A weekend barbeque, an outreach program, or a baseball game can do the trick. Not only will it allow you to take a break, but you can foster camaraderie among your employees.

Celebrate their birthday

We have seen the movie “Office Space”, and I’m sure anyone who has worked in an office before may relate to the infamous celebration of Bob’s birthday. Even if it is not someone’s birthday, throwing a celebration is still an occasion to be with your employees outside the office. It will also give you more opportunities to interact with them.

Go for a movie or dinner.

Why take an employee out occasionally when everyone is tired of work and needs time out? A group of three to four people hitting the movies or going to a restaurant for dinner can help boost morale and strengthen relationships.

Holding events together

There are times that employees go to work because they do not have anything better to do, or perhaps, it is their only source of income. For them, the office becomes monotonous. Having regular out-of-office activities will encourage them to stay in the office with less boredom.

Targeting goals

What motivates employees most is their work directly contributes to the company’s goal. Therefore, identifying individual contributions to achieving company goals can boost employee morale significantly. For example, if there was a project that generated $100,000 in sales last month, acknowledge the role of the individual in achieving the target.

Rewards and incentives

The purpose of rewards is to encourage employees to do their work better, but not all managers know that there are different types of bonuses. In addition, the financial incentive is often given randomly without considering an employee’s performance. It may also demoralize others.

Get creative

There are many ways you can motivate your employees without spending money.


You do not even have to spend for recognition; instead, use the power of words. For example, simply saying “thank you” or “great job” can significantly impact employees driven by appreciation.

Promotions and titles

Depending on the title, it can affect the employee’s self-esteem and contribute to their motivation. For instance, calling someone a “team leader” or “executive” has more weight than saying they are an “employee.”

Flexible working hours

If possible, give your employees flexible working hours so they can either come in early or stay up late. This way, they will not feel like they are working the same number of hours every day. It also gives them time to do things that matter most outside work.

Perks and benefits

Some companies give perks to their employees. They can be anything, but as long as they benefit the employee, why not? For example, free medical assistance or free gym membership, particularly for those who do most of their work sitting on a chair all day.

Build a culture of success

Employees will never feel they are a part of a team if there is no camaraderie. They need to be friendly with each other and have the same goals and objectives. Develop a culture where everyone can communicate with one another freely without feeling intimidated or threatened.

Being supportive

It is crucial to be supportive of your employees. Be available for them when they are facing difficulty or have concerns, but at the same time, avoid being overbearing.

Making things interesting

This is where management plays a key role. If you want people to work for you, then be passionate about your work and ensure your employees can see it too. This will encourage them to stay motivated in achieving company goals. HR may be responsible for motivating employees with salary raises (and probably other boosting), but they are not the ones who get things done. The more employees are encouraged, the more difficult tasks get done.

Provide the opportunity to learn new skills

There are many ways that employees can learn new skills. For example, you can organize training sessions, seminars, and workshops to improve your knowledge in specific fields. This way, they will be equipped with the essential tools to perform better at work. You can also give them extra time outside office hours to do what they love or appreciate doing because this will translate to better performance in the workplace.

The key to motivating employees lies in the hands of managers. As they are responsible for directing their employees towards achieving company goals, it is also up to them to inspire their workforce. Encouraging won’t only affect the motivation level of each employee, but it will set a positive working vibe within the office.

Create an environment where people feel safe to take risks and make mistakes without judgement 

Are you tired of the same old routine? Give your employees a break now and then by taking them out for an adventure outside office hours. This can be anything, like hiking or flying, but as long as they feel fulfilled after experiencing it (and maybe even learn something new), you will find that your employees are more motivated at work compared to before.

Give employees greater responsibility.

When employees feel trusted and appreciated, they will want to do more for the company. They will be willing to stay up late or come in early to finish a task on time. It is important to note that giving your people a lot of responsibility does not mean you are dumping your work on

Encourage teamwork and collaboration, not competition.

More people in an organization means more ideas, which is where your employees come into play. Encourage teamwork and collaboration so they can come up with solutions to everyday problems. They will feel like they are part of a team instead of just individuals working on their own in the office, boosting their motivation and productivity.

-Start each day with a morning meeting.

-Celebrate small wins throughout the day.

-Give constructive feedback without fear of judgement.

-Prioritize work according to employee skills and interests rather than their level of seniority in the workplace.

-Let employees take time off when they are sick or need personal time.

-Reward them with a small token of appreciation now and then, like dinner vouchers or movie tickets.

-Be available for your employees when they need you.

-Create an environment where employees are encouraged to be innovative, creative and curious.

-Give greater responsibility to your employees. For example, ask them for their opinions on new business decisions or projects that you are undertaking.

-Encourage collaboration, not competition, among your workers. This will create a harmonious working atmosphere.

-Organize team-building days and activities so your employees can get to know each other better.

-Be transparent with work arrangements, like flexi-time for working moms or dads.

-Be punctual. Punctuality speaks a lot about you as an employer and will most likely be appreciated by your employees as well.

-Set deadlines that are realistic. This way, your employees will feel like they are part of the working process and will be motivated to finish their tasks on time.

-When giving feedback, do not just focus on what went wrong but also emphasize what went right and improve it for future reference. This way, you will be able to encourage your workers even more.

-Encourage teamwork and collaboration so you can produce better results as a team than as individuals.

These are examples of how you can make employees stick to their jobs and perform to the best of their abilities. Giving salary increases and other monetary benefits do not come often, but acting on things that affect their daily performance will significantly impact their motivation. If you want to motivate your employees, try these ideas. What other tactics do you use? Share in the comments below!

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