Motivate and Inspire Employees

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How to Motivate and Inspire Employees to Achieve Results

23 Sep, 2019

If you’re looking to inspire your current roster of employees to do their best, or if you hope to reinvigorate your current workforce because the “spark” has gone out, the good news is this is totally possible. Motivating your employees and inspiring employees to greatness can be achieved as long as you have the right strategies in place. 


Aside from time and effort, most employee motivation strategies highlighted in this article are completely free! Learn how to motivate employees with our strategies below.


Why is employee motivation important?

As an employer or manager, you want to build a space for employees that motivates them to become a better version of themselves. Happy, motivated employees are more likely to work harder, stay with their company, enthusiastically do what their manager needs from them, and they also take better care of customers.


Many businesses make the mistake of placing more of their focus on acquiring the right candidates without giving much consideration toward how they are competing for and retaining the best talent. This is why employee motivation is so important.


Companies like Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft are able to maintain high functioning teams because their leadership consistently strives to motivate and inspire their employees. 


Employee motivation strategies

Here are some key employee motivation strategies you can implement into your organization:

Positive work environment and culture

According to a study conducted by Ohio State University and the National Institute of Mental Health, the office space (decor, furniture, lighting, etc.) has a significant impact on employee mood and health. Creating a comfortable environment will help employees concentrate better and have good energy levels. It’s a good idea to try investing in your company’s work environment.


Beyond aesthetics, culture also has a monumental impact on how to motivate employees. In a study conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, organizational culture was shown to have an effect on the bottom line. Executives surveyed in the study overwhelmingly agreed that a healthy organizational culture is essential for driving profitability. 


Clear company vision 

If you want your employees to go above and beyond, starting with a clear company vision and mission is essential for inspiring employees to greatness. When you communicate the bigger picture to your staff and provide a way for them to feel involved in that purpose, employees will feel more connected to the organization. 


Extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation (money, title, benefits, stock options, etc.) only helps motivate employees to a certain point. To keep employees motivated, the focus needs to be on intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation places emphasis on purpose, values, relationships, and autonomy for individual employees. It is the key to making employee motivation last for the long haul.


Being open about the company mission can provide employees with a greater sense of meaning and feeling of belonging, which is key to getting them engaged and motivated. Have managers speak with employees individually on how they contribute to the overall company. It’s hard for employees to stay motivated and focused when they don’t have a long-term vision in sight, but as soon as you have aligned incentives, it is a surefire way to get teams working toward the same goal.


Give employee recognition

Recognition shouldn’t only be given when it’s time for an employee performance review. In fact, many companies institute a policy of having every meeting starting off with department/team leads recognizing someone for their hard work. 


When you instill a culture of regularly recognizing achievements and rewards, it creates a cycle of positive feedback which makes employees feel that they are making a difference. Furthermore, recognition fosters an emotional connection between an employer/manager and an employee, which fulfills a basic human need for a sense of belonging within a group.


If you want to learn more about how to appreciate employees, get strategies in our blog post here.


Regular communication and feedback

Good company leaders and managers regularly communicate with their employees. There are many ways to gather feedback and communicate, such as:


  • Getting employees involved in the goal-setting process
  • Reviewing progress regularly (daily, weekly, monthly)
  • Sharing positive customer feedback
  • Holding regular 1 to 1 talks with individual employees
  • Implementing a 360 feedback system.


Regular methods of communication help employees see leaders as people who are in the thick of it with them instead of a distant figure who occasionally checks in on the team. Listening and growing relationships with individual employees help managers learn what their individual needs are so they can be met. 


Opportunities for professional development

The biggest motivator you can give employees is a purpose within the organization. When individuals understand the greater vision, it helps them see how they fit into the larger picture.


Professional development is a large part of creating purpose. Every employee, whether they are introverted or extroverted, young in their career or more experienced, will each have unique professional goals and desires. 


Work with your employees to create a clear path forward that fulfills both the needs of the organization and their personal aspirations. Remember, the growth of your business will only prosper if individuals at the company are able to grow in their roles. This space for growth is a huge motivator for employees, but also gives them the reward of feeling they are appreciated and trusted for their work.


Offer transparency and autonomy

Transparency refers to being open with employees about what is happening at the company and making them feel included in the conversation about the direction the company should take. That way, everyone has an opportunity to ask important questions and give feedback. This also helps increase loyalty and pride in the organization.


Autonomy means avoiding micro-management and trusting employees to do their job efficiently and to the best of their ability. Give individuals control over how their time is spent, their schedules, what projects they want to help with, and the freedom to make important decisions. Doing this demonstrates trust, which contributes to higher employee motivation. 

Goal Setting

Finally, goal-setting is an essential strategy for motivating employees. Giving workers purpose is largely tied with goals, and without a clear-set goal strategy, the company's purpose cannot be achieved.

OKR goal-setting

A while ago, we wrote a series of articles on OKRs (objectives and key results) for goal-setting. OKRs are incredibly important for giving employees stretch goals that they can reach toward, motivating them to push past their perceived abilities and achieve more than they normally would have.

Break big goals into manageable chunks

While stretch goals can be lofty, at the end of the day, it's important to break down those large goals into smaller goals to make them more achievable. For example, instead of having employees focus on a big goal of reaching 1 billion in revenue, break that down into trying to get 100 new customers a week. This is a small yet achievable goal that contributes to larger company goals.


It doesn’t take a bag of magic dust you sprinkle on employees to keep them motivated. Rather, it is through constant change and evolution, celebrating successes, and giving tailored attention that will inspire employees to do their best work.


At Heartpace, we offer success management software to help serve your employees better and help in how to motivate employees to do a great job. Use our free survey to gauge how motivated your employees are. Find out about our solution today.


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