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How to motivate your employees

8/9/17 5:36 PM

Do you feel that your employees seem motivated when they first begin working, then begin to falter as time goes on? Here are six ways to motivate employees: 

Research from the Harvard Business School as well as others has found that the following tips can help motivate employees. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs should also be considered, which proposed that motivation is the result of a person's attempt at fulfilling five basic needs.

  1. Purpose: give work meaning. Having purpose at work ties back to self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Using problem solving and creativity will help employees feel as though their purpose at the workplace is important.                                                                   Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 5.04.19 PM.png    
  2. Mastery: Everyone can agree that it feels good to learn something new/ get better at something. Mastery of one’s work ties back to esteem in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Having a high self-esteem, confidence in their work, and respect from others through mastering a skill will help improve employee motivation/
  3. Lack of repetition: Employees will be more motivated to continue their work if they are able to mix up their work responsibilities

“We found that adding variety to the tasks workers completed from day to day, by having them working on different distinct tasks rather than focusing on the same one, improved their motivation and productivity.” -Francesca Gino

Download: Six Ways You Can Get to Know Your Employees 

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  1. Social aspect of work: Having a social aspect at work ties back to the love and belonging, and safety layer of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Having an aspect of friendship and family at work can help employees to feel more motivated as well as an increased sense of belonging.

Another example of social aspects working to motivate employees is, when chefs see those who will be eating their food, they feel more motivated and work harder, Harvard Business School’s Ryan Buell and colleagues found.

  1. Team spirit: allow the team to get to know each other outside of the work environment such as going out to lunch or participating in team activities. Allowing them to invite their families occasionally will also help team members feel like they have a better understand of their coworker’s life outside work.
  2. Keep team training up to date to ensure each worker feels confident in their work responsibilities and continue to learn.

As a manager, what opportunities does your business have create such connections to motivate your employees? 


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