Top 10 Ways to Motivate Employees and Increase Productivity

By hrlineup | 21.03.2022

Employees are every organization’s important asset, and it is essential to motivate them to maximize performance. You see, work motivation pushes us to give our best in various tasks since we feel valued and appreciated. As an HR professional, you need to know how to motivate employees without bias. Luckily, this article lists the top 10 ways to motivate employees and increase productivity. These employee motivation tips aren’t specific to any industry or size of an organization. However, keep in mind that some of these tips will require you to invest some money while either are absolutely free to implement. In this regard, consider employee motivation strategies that will work best for your organizational needs.

What is Meant by Employee Motivation?

Employee motivation is whereby an employer or HR manager encourages workers to perform their best. You can do so through praises or setting incentives for best performers. Note that there are two types of motivation in the workplace, including intrinsic and extrinsic

Intrinsic motivation is whereby employees are driven to perform organizational tasks because they are passionate about their jobs. This type of motivation comes from within, and employees will feel proud of themselves once they meet specific goals.

The best element about an intrinsic type of employee motivation is that it is more powerful and can be implemented long term. Additionally, it is sustainable are organizations implementing it are less likely to experience negative consequences such as competition and employee resentments.

Regarding extrinsic motivation, employees are only driven by external elements such as money or getting praised for their input. Although these external factors are key elements in improving your workers’ performances, extrinsic motivation is not sustainable and only works in the short term. In this regard, employers should consider capitalizing on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for better results. 

Benefits of Motivating Employees in an Organization

Motivating employees encourages them to put in more effort to improve performance and productivity. Additionally, job motivation builds a happy workforce that is dynamic, engaged, creative, and dependable in what it does. Other employee motivation benefits include:

  • More Innovation

Job motivation can easily contribute to a culture of innovation. This means that your workers will go out of their ways to challenge themselves even with complex tasks. As a result, it will stimulate growth, especially if you understand the benefits that motivate your workers.

  • Reduced Absenteeism

When workers feel valued, seen, and comfortable in the workplace, they will enjoy being part of your organization. The last thing they will want is to disappoint you, meaning that they will always be at your beck and call when needed. This also means that you should have excellent leadership skills to get the best out of your teams. They should feel less stressed and overwhelmed, resulting in reduced absenteeism. 

  • Reduced Turnover

High turnover rates can be a huge setback for your business. This is because instead of focusing on maximizing productivity, you will concentrate more on hiring. This can cost your business a lot of money and quality talent. In this regard, employee motivation helps reduce turnover rates, especially if you reward workers for their efforts using incentives and perks. 

  • High Reputation

Every business strives to be reputable in the industry to attract the best clients and talent. Employee motivation helps in employer branding. When your workers are satisfied, they automatically become your brand ambassadors. As a result, everyone will be curious about your tricks for staying on top of the competition. Also, the best talent will want to be part of your organization, giving you a solid talent pool to choose from. 

10 Best Ways to Motivate Your Employees

Now that you know the importance and types of motivation in the workplace, it is also important to understand employee motivation tips. Below, we list the top 10 ways to have a work-driven workforce dedicated to going above and beyond to increase performance and productivity. 

1. Offer Merit-Based Raises

Although employees should be passionate about their work, compensating them for their input is a good motivation. To motivate them even further, let them know that the best performers will be rewarded. Then, of course, you should execute your end part of the bargain by increasing their paycheck. This will make them feel like they genuinely earned the increase and drive them even more to be the best performers. 

2. Consider Bonuses

Bonuses are among the employee benefits to consider. By offering this, not only will it contribute to employee retention, but they will stay motivated to give their best. You can pay them extra cash for being more productive, either after a specified sale is complete or surprise them in the middle and at the end of the year. 

3. Invest in Career Development Programs

Every employee would love to advance their career, and investing in them shows that you really care about their personal growth. This will also benefit you, especially if you have senior positions to fill. There will be no need to source a candidate from outside, which can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, you will promote workers from within, making them even more dedicated to achieving set goals.

4. Set Rewards Based on Team Work

Team motivation helps you identify each workers’ strengths and weaknesses. As a result, it will be easier for you to assign tasks and be guaranteed excellent results. For this reason, reward teams that excel in specific tasks either through a lunch treat, money, or any preferred reward. Although it is an extrinsic type of employee motivation, it definitely brings the best out of your workers, especially regarding collaboration. 

5. Set Rewards Based on Individual Performance

Although it is essential to reward your teams for collaboration and more productivity, consider recognizing individual performers. This will create a healthy and competitive workforce since every staff member will want to please you and be recognized. You can offer the best performer money, time-off, lunch date, etc., based on what the business can afford. A simple thank you also goes a long way or praising them as employees of the month. 

6. Throw a Party

You do not always have to be serious and focus on achieving business goals. Sometimes it is good to relax and enjoy a milestone. You can do so with your workers so that they feel like their input to achieve that milestone is appreciated. You can also consider yearly parties to appreciate your workers for staying healthy and going above and beyond for the company. 

7. Give Regular Feedback

While it is essential to let your workers know about the business progress, it is also crucial to give them performance-based motivation and feedback. For instance, if you feel like they are improving on their inputs, let them know and have them share with others the tricks behind their high performance. Encourage the low performers to also be work-driven and reward them whenever they improve, even if they are not the best. You will see that each worker will want to be part of the winning team, bringing about better results for the company.

8. Allow Work Flexibility

This is an intrinsic method of motivating employees in the workplace that is popular in winning companies. You see, your workers do not need to feel like they are forced to work due to the tight time schedules you set. Instead, allow them to work whichever shifts they prefer and have options on how they will execute various tasks. It is also crucial that you consider paid time off so they can focus on their personal lives and return fully motivated to get the pending work done. Simply put, let your workers conjure their own motivation by having their own plan for as long as they get the job done on time and effectively. 

9. Help Employees Set Workplace Goals

Being a dictating employer or HR manager will demotivate your workers, leading to adverse effects. Therefore, help your workers set business goals rather than doing it for them. For instance, during annual reviews, ask your workers about their objectives. If they have an idea of where they want to be or what they want to achieve within a specified period, ensure you follow up and provide an environment and tools for them to realize those objectives. In contrast, if an employee doesn’t have an idea of what they want to achieve, help them come up with a few by asking various work-related questions. 

10. Apply Different Methods of Inspiration

Employee motivation in organizational behavior also contributes to improved performance and a good reputation. You can inspire your workers to become better performers using various quotes that encourage productivity. If you can afford to hire a motivational speaker, do so so that they may understand the benefits of giving your best in the workplace. Moreover, through motivational speakers’ experiences, they will also strive to grow career-wise.


Employee motivation in HRM is never easy, considering that different workers have different personalities, goals, etc. In this regard, identify the type of motivation that works best for your workers. Start by understanding what drives them to give their best at work and use your findings as a weapon to motivate them. Keep in mind that one on one questions can make some employees lie. Therefore, create a platform where they can anonymously display their reasons to work harder. By understanding them, it is easy to offer the best motivation and see results. Lastly, remember that rewards for employees to motivate them are often the best since employees will have something to look forward to once they deliver to your expectations.