12 Scientifically Proven Ways to Motivate Employees



It is often said that your company is only as good as its best employees. And to succeed in business goals you need to have motivated employees.

Motivating employees determines if they will stay or jump ship as soon as they get the chance. Learning how to motivate your people is a small price to pay for your business longevity.

Motivated employees show some qualities – happiness, security, comfort, welfare and health. Ask yourself – Do your employees embody these qualities? If not, consider motivating them.

So, what does it take to ensure you motivate your employees?

1. Have a working employee handbook

As an employer, it is good to have a working HR manual, also known as an employee handbook. Employees then have a document of reference on their well-being at the workplace.

They are also able to know company goals and how they apply to them. This gives clarity on workplace dynamics.

The manual should have information on employee expectations. It should also highlight allowances, leave, insurance, promotion, time, dressing and work ethic.

The employees can be able to refer to it for guidance. It also provides a sense of accountability on their part as they can refer to it anytime. Having an employee handbook has many benefits.

2. Be a supportive manager

As an employer, provide supportive leadership to your employees. Ensure respect, honesty, support and clear communication are foundations of your leadership.

Support employees when at the workplace, whether on work-related issues or personal issues. If you are a good employer to work for, your employees will always have the motivation and be loyal.

3. Make your business a warm place

Ensure your working environment is a pleasing, functional, and interesting space to work. This contributes to making work more pleasant.

You can do this by sprucing up your current space. Add plants, let in more natural light and add more comfortable furniture. These are a few affordable ways of warming up an otherwise boring space.

4. Have an employee reward system

People enjoy working in places that motivate them to work harder. One of the ways of encouraging employees is putting in place a reward system.

Consider incentives like the employee of the month, quarterly bonuses and attractive commissions. You can also have profit-sharing in the company or even recognise an Employee of the Year. There are a variety of reward ideas you can put in place.

When people know there is a reward for a job well done, they are more likely to enjoy work and do a good job. They will have a reason to see things through and look forward to a reward.

5. Give employees feedback

Employees need fulfilment to give good work output. One of the ways is through feedback.

If your customers express appreciation, it is important to pass it on to the employees. They feel good when they know their work is of value – that they are adding value.

It is also worthwhile to pass on constructive correction feedback. Address issues that need correction to make work better. Shying away from correction prevents employee growth.

Constructive feedback also helps gives employees a deeper connection to your business.

6. Give room for growth

All employees need to know that you value them as individuals. Giving employees an opportunity to grow is good motivation.

They need to feel like they belong, have the trust of the employer and their work is of value. Give them an opportunity to express themselves and display their skills and aspirations.

Give the best employees growth opportunities by considering them for promotion. You can do this when new roles open up with the company or let them take the lead in new locations or stores.

Also, provide training opportunities and expose them to new knowledge. This motivates employees to work hard as if working on their personal projects.

Effective growth is trusting employees with responsibilities and letting them find their inner drive.

7. Recognise employee achievements

If an employee has put a lot of effort into a project, or they went out of their way to help out a coworker, appreciate them. If people feel appreciated, they will continue working hard.

Appreciation of employees makes them proud of the work they do. If they are not appreciated, they will not put in the effort.
As an employer, note achievements in a meeting, by staff email, or thanking them in person. It’s imperative that you show gratitude to hardworking employees.

Keeping employees motivated is an important part of your business success.

8. Be transparent

When employees know the ongoings of the business, they are more likely to be more invested in its success. Share growth data with them on a regular basis.

You can share daily, weekly, or monthly sales reports. Share information about new customers retained customers and compare the rate of growth.

This information makes employees feel like an important part of the business. They are also able to contribute ideas for your growth.

9. Have flexible scheduling

With the world now being a global village, technology has made it easier for employees to work. It is important that employers include flexibility to employee schedules.

Employees are able to focus on work at their most productive hours and get a lot more done. Findings from the impact of flexible arrangements journal show that 98% like flexible scheduling. as it means more quality family time.

Flexible scheduling enables employees to work and still take care of their responsibilities. It reduces stress levels for parents and caregivers. Flexible scheduling needs employee discipline.

As an employer, you can consider having flexibility by:

  • Having fewer more structured meetings
  • Encouraging employees to take breaks
  • Reducing email overload
  • Creating a flexible schedule for all employees

10. Offer food at the workplace

Employees are the least productive when hungry. The best way to keep them motivated is to feed them.

In a survey by Seamless 57 per cent of employees see food-based perks as a motivating factor. The study is US-based but relevant to New Zealanders as it affects employees across the globe.

Caring about such a need makes employees feel cared for and that the work they do is appreciated. 38 per cent of respondents said food perks would make them appreciate their employer.

Food and snacks can help you keep your employees, and can also help you attract new employees. Provide food today.

11. Set up an ergonomic workspace

Employees work for long periods of time in a day. Some of them sit for long hours while others stand for long hours like in the case of restaurants.

It is important to have a conducive environment. You can achieve this by setting up an ergonomic workplace.

As a start, buy ergonomic chairs. These contribute to the wellbeing of employees through proper postures and back support.

Also, allow employees to take breaks in-between their assignments. They can stretch, do yoga, have breathing exercises and take a short walk.

You can also create a recreation room for employees to unwind. Encourage employees to always take good care of their health.

It’s an investment with visible results through better employee productivity and morale. It will make your workplace culture the envy of your competitors.

It’s also a strong magnet for good talent to seek you out.

12. Ensure your employees have good uniforms

Want your company to project success in every way? One easy win is to ensure your employees have the most stylish uniforms in the country.

Remember, perception is everything.

And ALSCO is a specialist in managed uniform rental services. Your employees will ALWAYS be well-dressed in smart, laundered uniforms.

Their confidence levels will get a boost and they will represent your brand with pride. Proud employees are far more likely to be productive and motivated at what they do.

Bonus tip: Celebrate employee life events

Make an effort to celebrate employee life events. Consider showing employees appreciation by giving them exclusive access to events or services.

For a few hours – let them enjoy the workplace on their terms, have some fun without the pressure of customers. Let employees be a part of each others’ important events. This could be weddings, graduations, baby births and other key events.

Let all staff take part and avoid leaving some at work in the restaurant while the rest celebrate. Allow employees to close early for holidays and other major events.

They will be able to spend time with their families. This creates a work-life balance and leads to motivated employees. There are so many ways to motivate employees.

Read about employee-related issues that affect motivation like fatigue. The success of your business relies on the well-being of your employees.


Photo courtesy of Freepik by @yanalya



Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.