Section 3.3: What Drives Employee Motivation?

Amarjot Uppal; Gab Sandhu; and Gurneet Kaler

Methods to Improve Employee Motivation

Employee motivation has been discussed throughout this chapter. Now that you know and understand what it is and why it is so important to an organization, let’s help you understand some methods an employer can use if he or she finds that motivation levels are low in the workplace.

There are several ways to keep an employee motivated. Some key methods of employee motivation include:

  1. Improve communication
  2. Value individual contributions
  3. Ensure the workplace is a positive environment
  4. Implement effective job design that is in alignment with employees’ skills and organizational objectives

Improve Communication

Instead of sending an employee a “well done” email, going in-person and actually talking to them makes a big difference. Although the email may have a positive intention behind it, talking in-person ensures that positive communication really happens  and is felt by both parties (Heryati, 2019). Even joining employees on coffee breaks makes them feel as though the employer is a part of the team. Inviting employee feedback and ideas is another tool organizations can use to help employees feel valued and heard.

Value Individual Contributions

Valuing individual contributions of employees helps to improve communication. Simple words of encouragement and appreciation can go a long way in this (Heryati, 2019). This is something that can be done to value individual contributions. Management should keep on top of this, as it leads to employees taking pride in their work and further engages and motivates them to do better. Meaningful words help build loyalty and encourage people to work harder (Heryati, 2019). Employees making these kinds of efforts is what leads to the most impactful results for the organization.

Ensure the Workplace is a Positive Environment

No one wants to be part of a negative organizational culture. Management must ensure the workplace is a positive environment. If it does not seem like one, something needs to change. Management can send out feedback surveys to gather more information on what is wrong and what can be improved (Heryati, 2019). They can even do simple things such as add plants to create a more serene workplace.

Implement Effective Job Design

How jobs are designed can significantly impact employee motivation, job satisfaction and commitment to achieving the organization’s goals. Job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment are all important methods managers and HR practitioners can implement. Together with providing employees with the skills they need to be successful and the autonomy necessary to perform their job, effective job design is an important factor in employee motivation.


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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Amarjot Uppal; Gab Sandhu; and Gurneet Kaler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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