10 Effective Ways To Engage And Motivate Employees

10 Effective Ways To Engage And Motivate Employees

Did you know that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability?

Low engagement in the workplace can kill not only a company’s profits, but customer satisfaction, safety,  output, employee turnover, and much more. Engagement and motivation in the workplace are essential to a strong work culture and a successful organization carried by strong, passionate, and dedicated team members.

Engaged and motivated employees experience benefits beyond personal satisfaction - their company improves, their team prospers, and their career grows.

Why Employee Engagement Matters

According to the CDC Workplace Health Resource Center, employees are adequately engaged when three psychological needs are met: feeling valued and appreciated (feelings of meaningfulness), psychological safety, and availability (having mental and physical resources to engage at work). When these needs are met, employees’ work experiences are unmatched. Team members experience less burnout, higher productivity, higher job and life satisfaction, better mental well-being, and a greater sense of belonging. When consistently engaged at work, employees also grow professionally and personally, which fuels a continuous sense of achievement and improvement.

The power of engagement reaches beyond employees as it serves as confirmation and presents learning opportunities for leaders and managers. Low engagement is often caused by a lack of communication or miscommunication between management and employees, or poor communication throughout the entire team. A leader of a highly engaged team is affirmed knowing that they are recognizing employees, rewarding outstanding team members, and communicating praise, expectations, and feedback. Employees who trust leadership and have healthy, respectful relationships with leadership are more engaged than those who have a weak and reluctant relationship with leaders.

Managers and leaders can suffer and grow insecure in their position at work when their team members are disengaged and communication fails. Poor relationships can create a pattern that fails employees and disgruntled leaders - keeping an open line of communication and recognizing employees and their successes is imperative to a successful organization and happy, productive team members.

Engaged employees not only enjoy benefits and validate leaders, but they also have the power to take an organization to new heights. Employees who are engaged have a strong understanding of the company’s mission and work hard to bring it to fruition via their daily tasks. Prideful employees are born from engaged ones, who boost morale, decrease turnover, and vitalize the reputation of their organization. Customer satisfaction is also boosted by engaged employees, as when employee ratings go up by 1 point, customer satisfaction increases by 1.3 points.

Teams that are engaged work harder and with more purpose, which leads to a safer workplace, retained talent, higher productivity, and less absenteeism. The evidence that engaged employees boost company success is almost endless - they are the equation for lasting growth and continued positive outcomes.

What causes low engagement?

To pinpoint the cause of low engagement in the workplace can be difficult as the issue can stem from almost anywhere. However, listed below are some common causes employees experience, including some previously discussed. Consider thinking about the following points in terms of your place of work to determine if they are possible causes for low engagement. Later, we will discuss how managers, employees, and leaders can combat these issues.

  • Lack of communication and recognition by managers
  • Inadequate training/development
  • Limited understanding of the company’s mission or goals
  • Broken lines of communication or a culture of minimal communication
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Lack of trust in leaders
  • Poor relationships between employees and leadership
  • Little to no employee pride
  • Not feeling valued at work
  • Unchallenging work
  • Lack of psychological safety 
  • Low availability

The Role of Motivation In The Workplace

Motivation is one of the most important aspects of work culture that can only exist with engagement. Within a disengaged team, motivation suffers, which causes issues of its own, such as stress, poor performance, and lack of confidence.

Work motivation can be defined as “a set of energetic forces that originate both within a beyond an individual’s being, to initiate work-related behavior.” It can be viewed as positive energy that leads to self-fulfillment. Employees need to be motivated at work to feel happy and satisfied, long-term, in their roles.

There are many types of employee motivation including extrinsic (external factors), intrinsic (internal), social, monetary, recognition, and responsibility. Depending on the employee, different factors will be driving motivators, although all are essential to an engaged, happy, and passionate team.

Motivation can carry a company to unprecedented success as motivated employees help businesses with human capital management, employee efficiency, company goals, workforce stability, team relationships, and more. As employees become motivated, they create a better work experience for themselves. Teams become more innovative and productive, they experience higher morale, they build stronger work ethics, and, of course, they enhance job satisfaction.

10 Techniques to Engage & Motivate Your Employees

Understanding what motivates and engages employees (and the workplace factors that inhibit motivation and engagement) helps managers help their teams, and in turn, their companies.

Consider implementing some of the following techniques and routines to empower your employees, boost productivity, and inspire motivation.

  1. Recognize efforts and offer more incentives. Because employees need reassurance and a positive relationship with leadership to be engaged at work, managers can recognize employees’ successes by offering incentives, promotions, rewards, and even disincentives for disengaged employees.
  2. Develop better lines of communication. To improve employee communication, leaders should establish a culture of transparency. Encourage employees to consult each other (and yourself) to constantly work together to solve miscommunication, efficiently solve challenges together, and work towards more clearly defined goals and expectations.
  3. Encourage boundaries and limit distractions. We know that employees cannot properly engage at work when they are distracted. Encourage employees to schedule time for focus, communicate their time and communication boundaries to coworkers and clients, and minimize personal interruptions.
  4. Provide professional development opportunities. Did you know that highly competent people can grow unmotivated when they are not challenged? They need challenging tasks and skill development or education. Providing opportunities for professional and personal growth is essential for any and every workplace. Consider GettaMeeting’s comprehensive meeting modules to instantly download and utilize in a meeting.From team building to creating healthy habits and empowering employees, GettaMeeting has many topics that your team can learn, all instantly downloadable and simple to facilitate. Check out our meeting modules hereAlong with skill development, managers can implement job enlargement and job rotation so that highly competent employees can expand their roles, learn different skills, and experience a change of pace and responsibility to spark employee motivation.
  5. Include employees in decision-making processes. It is proven that employees are more motivated to work when they have a say in making decisions. Include employees during decision-making meetings, send a survey to understand employee input, or simply ask employees what they believe should be done. Employees then become engaged and have higher stakes in the company’s future.
  6. Schedule quick one-on-ones to understand what motivates your employees. Because there are many different types motivation, an entire team can not be motivated in one way. Therefore, having occasional one-on-one meetings with employees can help managers understand what motivates individuals and how to tailor incentives and communication to best motivate everyone.
  7. Seek timely feedback and apply it. Just as employees like to be involved in decision-making, they also need to know that their voices are heard and taken into consideration. Managers should seek feedback from employees often and truly apply their feedback whenever possible and necessary. By doing this, employees feel considered and a valuable member of the team, which motivates them to continue their work and stay engaged in important matters. Need help giving or receiving feedback at work? Check out this blog post.
  8. Grant more autonomy & responsibility. Job enrichment is essential to maintaining and forstering top talent at work. For teams to become confident and more motivated to work, employees need to be allowed more responsibility in making their own decisions, having more control over their tasks, and structuring how they do their work.
  9. Offer more flexibility. Just as autonomy is important to employees, flexibility is a growing need of professionals and one that unemployed folks are are looking for in a job. Older workers in particular are more motivated by flexibility, so it's important to offer to everyone in some capacity. 
  10. Make time for team bonding and building. Feeling a sense of belonging at work is a necessity for employees that often is overlooked. Managers must encourage solidarity and support at work, and beyond that, genuine care and concern. Feeling connected at work promotes communal benefits, which motivates employees to work harder not only for themselves and their colleagues, but for their organization. Be sure to host casual events or team building activities often so that your team can get to know each other better and find camaraderie.


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