Employee Motivation Tactics that Work

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Methods of motivation come in many shapes, forms, colors, creeds– perhaps not creeds, necessarily, but by the end of any motivational speech, ideally your team will be spirited enough that they’re prepared to enter into a group blood-pact to achieve it.

Breach of HR conduct and safety aside, there’s nothing more fortified than a group of people enthusiastically working toward a common goal, the same as there is nothing as disheartening as a group whose members feel as though they have better things to do.

One primary concern which rears its ugly head in the quest to motivate a party is, every human in the group is an individual, with different needs and interests–not to mention work and interpersonal habits. So, how would the architect of prosperity (see: you, the manager) go about meeting each individual’s needs, as well as afterward keeping them motivated and enticed?

There are basics to general human interaction that exist between even the most conflicting of people, and it’s those basics that must be nurtured in order to create a go-getting, enthusiastic, turn-and-burn kind of team.

Today, we’ll focus on three important bullet points: The what, the why, and the how.

1. The What: Passion for the end product

First and foremost, a person must feel passionate about the project for their own particular reasons, versus being intellectually informed (see: coerced) into why they should care.

The goal can range between a number of things, such as making a specific client happy, creating a happy office environment, donating a certain amount of money to a charity, or the increasingly popular weight-loss contest as obesity continues on the rise in the United States.

Something about the final product, the journey, the goals, should resonate in their minds and drive employees to work for it, like an Audi challenging a winter storm, desperate to feel the sweet embrace of a late-night caffeine fix before Starbucks closes.

How do we climb into this metaphorical Audi and step on the gas?

By making the goals relatable, by catering to the people in the group, and by inciting curiosity or any kind of emotion that leads to craving more.

2. The Why: Reasons for employees to put their best foot forward

On the topic of something humans constantly crave more of: incentives and recognition for their hard work. What is more inspirational than the prospect of a bonus, a free lunch, a trip to Hawaii? Nothing combats the wintertime blues and an individual’s office moral more than sun on the beach.

Perhaps even consider somewhere more exotic than the preconceived “destination vacation” spots. Would your employees really prefer sitting on the beach with other tourists, over a unique trip to Japan? Turkey? Scotland?

Competition naturally pairs hand-in-hand with incentives and recognition, and there are few things more satisfying than knowing you won out over the office bully who once disposed of the four-cheese ziti you had waiting in the breakroom fridge. Justice is sweet, all is right again with the universe, and peace has been restored to the production floor.

3. The How: Keeping an eye on the prize

With your team inspirited, the ceremonial bloodletting knives returned to the floorboards and accompanying ghoulish moans from the rafters having stopped, now what? What keeps employees fighting toward the end goal?

How do you make sure their attention remains on the task at hand, rather than the geese fighting on the lawn outside the window?

Naturally, you have to keep their focus on the finish line. Don’t give them the chance to drift, to even notice the waterfowl melee on the grass. Visual reminders in the form of posters, emails, or leaderboards; oral reminders such as announcements and recognition, anything that will keep them fixated on the prize.

Reminders of progress made and that which remains, impressing the potential for petting sea turtles in Hawaii, exacting revenge on the coworker who starved you that one afternoon.

A happy team is a working team, and a working team is a successful team. There are a multitude of ways to ensure your team is happy and healthy, contributing to their positive work ethic, and pushing them toward accomplishing their goal.

While one person alone definitely has the potential to create something great, they cannot compete against an entire faction of working minds and hands. Whether it only takes a few strong, resounding words of encouragement or promises of Mai Tais on the beach, a group of people working toward a specific cause is quite the enviable braintank, so long as the tank is receiving equal doses from every inlet.

Written By
Danny Kovack is a blogger from the Pacific Northwest. He loves the power of people, and while he recognizes the tenacity produced by indomitable individual spirit, there is no greater testament to human accomplishment than the fruits of teamwork. Simon Sinek fanboy, Malcolm Gladwell admirer, Admiral Ackbar impersonator—dream to be all that you can be.

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