How to motivate employees

How to motivate employees

Motivation ability – tips how to motivate employees and yourself

How to motivate employees
How to motivate employees

It is in any vacancy at the top of the list of requirements that companies to new employees: the ability to motivate.

Especially managers therefore have to face, to stop future employees to top performances. How to motivate employees? And what use is a company that?


A term that many definitions

Motivation ability belongs to the group of soft skills . These are skills that are barely detectable, but which are of vital importance when a team successfully cooperate wants.

In the same category includes keywords such as emotional and social intelligence, empathy, leadership, resilience and assertiveness.

You all the same, that they can prove difficult as a candidate. Ideally, you make reference to specific descriptions in theresume or job interview clearly how to motivate yourself and your team.

For indeed true ability to motivate themselves and others.

how to motivate employees

The basis for successful companies

The most important asset of the known top companies are outstanding new technologies, market leadership, value for money, premium quality and a number of other characteristics that allow them to gain an advantage over the competition and stand out from the competition.

But the basis of this based on hard numbers detectable characteristics are the employees:

Without qualified and motivated staff no company stays long at the top, they provide but the actual services that are the basis for sales and profits.

As a company we therefore always benefits from motivated employees. Good employees motivate themselves to a certain part himself, but a big plus is if the management team about the gift of the ability to motivate features – and yourself and your team can motivate again.

A high ability to motivate the leadership is therefore one of the core competencies of any successful business.

Self-motivation can be as simple

On the question of her own motivation, many executives have once no answer – because thus motivated myself self-motivation . Requires self-reflection, that is, we need to know who you are and what you want

  • What motivates me?
  • What are my goals?
  • The achievement in the profession?
  • A completed personal life?
  • How do I find that?
  • A high salary, a big car, the villa in the countryside?

If one has gained clarity, we also know how to keep yourself motivated, because basically it all comes down to actually achieve a goal and to attract it.

The fine art of employee motivation

Yourself to motivate yourself is one thing – a team of employees to motivate another.

Employee motivation is ideally the employees themselves, and they should take into account, so it is best to motivate.

This may the prospect of professional development or even a brilliant career to be, it may be a hot-awaited course as a reward for a point of arrival, it may be more money or more responsibility.

The ways to motivate an employee, are as varied and individual as the employees themselves. If you make it as a manager, his staff to move to a statement, which they were the easiest to attract that makes half the battle from, but unfortunately remains exactly the hectic professional life like on the track.

But how motivated you your team now best? .

1 Ask your employees

A really good leader may well wonder which one could motivate most their employees.

2. Common Objectives

Do we know how an employee is to motivate most likely, it is true, the corresponding targets with the potential reward – because nothing else makes the motivation from – to formulate concrete.

The goals must be so placed that they are indeed challenging, but achievable. They should be objectively measurable.

3. Control of objectives

it is on the way to achieve these goals, to monitor the success achieved and the targets continuously. Turns out the road that originally set goals do not fit, they may be adjusted by mutual agreement.

4. helps Feedback

The nuts and bolts on the route to the destination is regular feedback, so that the employee knows where he is at and what it can do better in the future or what he has already done very well.

Straight feedback is something like lost in everyday life, but for a precise goal achievement it is vital.

5. Jingle

So important is the feedback on the way to the goal, as important as it is the promised reward to the successful achievement grant.

There is actually no excuse: If an employee has reached his goal, he must obtain the in turn what was originally promised him as motivation. Without this, one must be sure to turn a formerly very motivated staff someone who will settle for the company hardly the stuff.


How to motivate employees: 31 Tips and Examples

How to motivate employees: 31 Tips and Examples
One can motivate employees by drives them to perform well. However, this is tiring and makes sometimes for frustration on both sides.

A second way of employee motivation is to manipulate them – with money, bonuses, promotions, status, promise. In short, using the proverbial carrot before the nose.

This works in the short term, as numerous studies have repeatedly confirmed , but is unethical and also reveals a questionable attitude towards their own colleagues: Who leads to its employees holds obviously for donkeys. . Also proverbially

The third way to motivate employees , it is – quite concretely – to encourage and recognize achievements …

Motivating employees: Everything manipulation?

Employee motivation tipsGranted, that could be a form of manipulation be. But only when the praise is insincere. With the good will, the best most out of the people, but while leaving them a choice, however, makes it both fun and usually has the major and lasting effects .

Even Albert Bandura, professor of psychology at Stanford University, could prove the positive effect of encouragement: such acclaimed are motivated to put higher goals , feel this more committed, partly they are subject to even greater capabilities, which in turn improves their efficacy ,

Motivation Research: What people really motivated

Similar conclusions reached David McClelland. According to his studies , there are three main needs that we (and of course also an employee) motivate:

  1. People want to achieve their goals.
    And they want them noticing. In short, they want to be proud of what they do. According to avoid situations where no prospect of success or this is only slight.
  2. People looking for social relationships and belonging.
    Success can finally enjoy only when it is confirmed by others. Because usually on recognition also follows affiliation. Because not apply universally, we are looking to connect to different (interest) groups.
  3. Also power motivated.
    The first two points will automatically lead to a certain influence on the respective group: respect, status and influence rise. And this is also a huge incentive. Psychological studies show time and again: The permanent feeling of powerlessness, however demotivated and makes people even sick.

Also the author Richard Conniff has with the issue of employee motivation intensively and found: Regular feedback can increase motivation and performance of employees by 10 percent.

These appreciating for reaching goals and good performances and recognize this sincere motivation improved by as much as 17 percent. Besides, it improved relations with each other and to the boss.

Praise and recognition are not the same

Many put praise alike with recognition , often both terms are even synonymously used. But that is not true. There is a crucial difference :

  • Lob

    is a form of spontaneous appreciation. It must be as specific as possible, so that it acts and the Promised know why he or she will get it. Give praise to the boss as well as the colleagues or clients. Compares this form of appreciation with an occasional pat on the back.

  • recognition

    however, is more attitude than spontaneous appreciation: Someone recognizes the regular quality or performance of a person – and respects and values the person for it. Recognition does not have to be specific, on the contrary: It assesses the big picture.

    And it must also not necessarily express verbally, but if she does, then usually by a qualified feedback , more detailed than a spontaneous pat. Most feel whether they are recognized or not.

Regular praise the job is an important motivator, not a question. But that employees remain permanently motivated, they need the recognition behind feel.

Mythos Motivation: Can one motivate employees?

About the issue of motivation is much for years researched and debated . Here is a question always the focus of the debate:

Is it possible to motivate other people?

Reinhard Sprenger, author of the bestseller “Mythos Motivation” says that’s impossible. Although there will of companies through all sorts of incentives, such as company car, bonuses and gifts tried repeatedly, but the efforts come to nothing.

Instead, a vicious cycle is set in motion, in which ultimately the reward and no longer work in the foreground stands. As with any drug, the reward should increase steadily, so the motivation is maintained.

Even Dieter Frey, a social psychologist at the University of Munich, is convinced that continuous motivation and enjoyment of work are privileges enjoyed only a few. This applies to chefs and their staff:

Many people are motivated because they need to work in order to survive. You need money to live, and therefore go to work. But the satisfaction of this existential need is an extrinsic, ie of externally reason to go to work every day.

But in the long run only intrinsically so motivated from the inside, are the least. Therefore, leaders need the different aspirations and interests of their colleagues questioning anew every day – so find an answer to how performance and fairness are compatible. Good humor helps, but it is not enough.

On the other hand include praise and recognition from the boss often more than the own life partners. At least, results from surveys, such as the most recently for the Happiness Institute (a Coca-Cola subsidiary) among more than 2,000 people carried about Forsa Institute in Germany.

Result: For more than one in two (54 percent) is the highest praise in the job from the boss . Only then follows the uplifting effect by a kind word, a thank you or a pat on by the partner (47 percent) or by acquaintances (43 percent).

And it is true indeed: Everybody wants to be appreciated, managers as well as employees. Even if it appears, we would own independence, we need other to strengthen our self-esteem .

And the motivation is greater, the more enthusiasm and self esteem evokes recognition and might adopt even the form of a story that still can tell the staff after many years his family, his friends and colleagues. It is the reward of our work and performance – a kind of value-enhancing feedback .

Most rewards corresponding to two categories:

  • formal rewards

    are usually planned, structured programs that are repeated over time and carried out over the years, for example, awards such as employee of the month or Service of the Year .

  • Informal rewards

    done more immediately, are spontaneous forms of sincere gratitude and appreciation of good work. They are often personalized, humorous and paint a special behavior from how special customer service, cost reducing ideas and excellent teamwork, or they are granted for special services such as the completion of an interim report or a project or the completion of an important sale.

The decisive thing is one thing: This motivation ever function can, they must personally and situational turn. When it comes to recognition, there is no one size fits all.

Therefore, therefore and therefore:

  • Adjust reward the person. Start with the personal preferences of the person concerned and reward those in a way that he or she finds rewarding. In order to prevent the effect of recognition is based on speculation, you need your employees to ask what value this most. You might even put on index cards, on which all species are listed by recognition that estimates of the respective employees.
  • Adjust the reward performance. Rewards should be tailored to take account of the importance of power. Of course, an employee who completes a two-year project should be rewarded handsome than anyone you just done a favor has. And of course, the reward should reflect the amount of time you have spent on the planning and execution and the amount that you had to invest.
  • Be timely and specific. In order to be effective, rewards must be made as soon as possible after the desired behavior or result. If this happens weeks or months later, so the reward the employee will hardly motivate them to repeat his actions. You should always say why the reward is presented, that is, make a connection to the power.

How to keep employees motivated: Over 30 ideas and examples

Employee MotivationSome of the described here ideas and examples taken from the book by Bob Nelson “1001 Ideas, attract reward employees &”, but many are also gain experience and took examples from other, model business, which of course you can emulate …

General ways how to keep employees motivated

    1. Show interest.

      From all these examples is that the simplest and also most effective way to encourage others: Show that you are really interested in what the other person does or wants to achieve.Ask questions, admire. Nothing is stronger.

    2. Cherish you.

      Literally: So not only pat, but you will appreciate the value of the item and confirm the importance of this contribution. People hate the feeling, only an insignificant cog in the machine – or (even worse) the spare wheel – to be. Conversely, if your plans and projects attach great value – best public – if the immediately on the self-confidence through, builds and awakens new enthusiasm.

    3. Ask for advice.

      It is the most subtle form of praise – and hardly anyone can resist this request, his skills and knowledge to pass because he is asked. First, because you elevated him (He of the master – you the student); secondly, because it can perpetuate that. Finally put his profound knowledge so on. And in the end it’s just a very edifying feeling in the world to have made something good out of it.

    4. Show gratitude.

      There are people who like to help. Once they see problems they tackle or do the things that need to be done, without being asked, as if it were self-evident. But it is not. And lack ofgratitude can make these people very quickly bitter. Then they feel only exploited. Sad and Momentous – because often they are the good souls that enrich a business or a family enormously.

    5. Reciprocation yourself.

      The pop icon Madonna sings in her hit “Sorry” the line Do not explain yourself cause talk is cheap . She’s right! Although a thank you, occasional applause and appreciation do well – in the long run but you can not replace action. Talk is cheap. Reciprocation yourself now and then – and point it how valuable the previous favor or the performance shown was in fact for you.

    6. Surprise.

      Most people who contribute beyond or engage outstanding, have a good sense that this is true. That’s why you usually expect any reaction to their environment on it. The least are praise or recognition. Much bigger but the encouraging effect when you go beyond those expectations. Like when you give to the person concerned because of its performance a day off. Or he and his partner spendieren a romantic weekend in a posh hotel – after the two have barely seen in recent weeks because of the important project … No matter how, be creative, spontaneous and you go with your appreciation on Average addition ,

    7. Looking for a common goal.

      You have a specific goal in mind and want your team mitträgt this. Then it must be with the ideas and wishes of each team member match. Ask yourself: What are the goals of the employees? Where there is a common denominator?

    8. Be true to yourself.

      Take up a clear position. Nothing confuses employees as much as jerkiness. Opt for a clear line and keep this true. Emphasize that you pay attention to the results of the work and do not know how long someone is sitting in the office.

    9. Use a positive language.

      Want to inspire your team, “not” waive prohibitions, restrictions, negative formulations and phrases with. Rather than address the increasingly frequent customer complaints, try: “We would like more satisfied customers again So we can do that ….” In order to focus on the positive aspects and involve your employees with. Better still the question to the team: How do we do that?

    10. Condemn anyone for errors.

      To grow beyond itself, it is one of them to enter new territory and try new things. Sometimes you will be rewarded with success, sometimes not. Clear, to bosses angry about the mistakes of their employees – especially if they have consequences. But never give the employees still feel to be a dud. Because he or she can (and should) learn from it. But more important was that he or she thinks and acts entrepreneurially.

    11. Get the fun.

      It is best to work in a relaxed and informal working atmosphere. With all efforts of fun on the job should not be lost but. Let funny moments, shared laughter connects. Likewise celebration of successes.

As some companies keep their employees motivated

  1. If one of the employees of Marty Stowe worked particularly hard in the New England Regional Office of Paychex, Stowe sends a handwritten note at the spouse. If this also surpasses these employees still own, Stowe presents a gift certificate for a dinner for two.
  2. At SeaWorld San Diego, the team leaders present called Spotlight cards to employees if they see that make this good work. You write down what they have observed and what they like it. Then they bring at least two other team leaders or supervisors to sign the card, and hand them over to the employee. A copy is on the information board posted its employees.
  3. In Marietta, Georgia, led WellStar Health System is a simple recognition program for managers at the same level one, called “The seven characteristics of Stars”. Manager will receive pre-printed notes. Then they can properties tick, embodied by colleagues, and explain why you think he should be honored for it. Every manager who will be granted five or more characteristics is publicly acknowledged at the next management meeting and may be one of five books search.
  4. A more informal way, as we recognize the power of teammates at EMC Mortgage Corporation in Irving, Texas, is the “message to my great teammates.” These messages are written on colored paper and pass it to the wall in the room mounted the teammates. This is done in the absence of the person concerned, so that the fan mail is a pleasant surprise.
  5. The New England Aquarium allows employees, colleagues with a “Thank Cod” (a card in the form of cod) to pay tribute. One half of the card gets the staff and the other half ends up in the quarterly draw for gift certificates for paid time off.
  6. Angela Gann of Kaiser Permanente sends everyone she interviewed for a job, a few personal lines. However, for new hires it holds a special greeting ritual ready: On the morning of the first day she decorates the work of the new employee with glitter stars or banners.
  7. Don Eggleston, director of organization development at SSM Health Care in St. Louis, says: “I make a note in my calendar and send staff cards or flowers on the anniversary of important events in their lives For example I have cards on the anniversary of the death of a parent or of. university degree or a child’s birthday sent. So I can let the employees a subtle that they are not indifferent to me, without stuck my nose into their affairs. “
  8. For BusinessFirst in Louisville, Kentucky, sends the advertising department daily to all amotivating voice message – which may be a joke or a story of success or whatever the team helps to keep a good mood during the workday.
  9. A division of Hewlett Packard held in San Diego a day of appreciation for an exceptional employee from that computer scientist Jennifer Wallick. Colleagues reserved a 10-minute blocks of time to visit her to present her with flowers and to thank her for what she had done for the company. Throughout the day, she was honored every 15 minutes.
  10. When she worked at Time Warner in Milwaukee, used Noelle sment an effective anti-stress strategy: The ” Evil Day panel “. On this panel the names of all employees were attached with a magnet and could be moved. This was shown, who was under severe stress, had personal problems, struggling with difficult customers and the like. Originally the board was intended as a warning to others. But soon the group to cheer anyone who had a “bad day” began – and with great enthusiasm.
  11. Chris Giangrasso, head of management and organizational development at the Aramark Corporation in Philadelphia (Event Management) recommends an Appreciation Day to organize. Aramark is planning a day in honor of this person (for example, the Bob Jones Day) and sends it to all employees a notification, mentioning the date and the reason for the ceremony are called. The Esteemed benefits from various extras, such as computer graphic and a free lunch .
  12. The Wells Fargo Bank has developed some unusual rewards that do not cause costs. For example, one is court in the cafeteria named after a deserving employee.
  13. As Southwest Airlines in a row in terms of the fifth year punctuality and baggage handling came to the first place and had to be charged to the fewest complaints per customer, devotedto its 25,000 employees a plane by installed whose names appear on the overhead compartments above the seats.
  14. Federal Express in Memphis wrote on the nose of each aircraft, which bought it, the name of a child of an employee. The company introduced a raffle through to select the name, and flew the child’s family to be baptized in the manufacturing plant.
  15. For Xerox, a customer service center has the decision on the work schedule left to the employees themselves. By the staff team took responsibility for planning, morale increased, the customer service and improved absenteeism fell by 30 percent.
  16. At Chaparral Steel in Midlothian, Texas, the employees enjoy many freedoms and trust , money and resources of the company for the improvement of work processes to use.Through this freedom were two maintenance employees able to buy the parts needed to invent a machine for joining steel bars at a cost of 60,000 dollars and build – nearly 200,000 dollars less than the cost of the old equipment.
  17. The branch manager from store Crate and Barrel in Houston have a program called for their employees in life, which also includes an ” unexpected hour off ” belongs. Once a week, each store manager is looking for a sales representative from, takes over the film for an hour and says: “. You work hard, which I appreciate – take thee rested one hour free and come back to sell more”
  18. Jeff White, manager at Chick-fil-A at the Renaissance Tower in Detroit rewarded his team members for outstanding performance with an additional paid vacation day .
  19. The work of employees at Northrop Grumman, an air and space company, as well as other government contractors in San Diego includes nine hours a day – for they have every other Friday off . Employee surveys have pointed out that this organization of working time is highly valued by many as benefits in the health sector, and that this is a key factor in employee retention.
  20. Workman Publishing in New York offers so-called “May Days”, which means that the staff of May to September, take time each month with the approval of their superiors either a Monday or a Friday again. In this way they can during the summer long weekends enjoying.