Motivation at the workplace helps increase employee productivity and reduce absenteeism and employee turnover. Besides, it also helps to create a strong employer brand that attracts talented individuals to the organization.

Even as workplace motivation initiatives are constantly evolving and vary for organizations, there are 20 simple ways that HR can use to keep employees motivated.

  • Define employee work purpose

Employee purpose drives engagement, and a highly engaged team leads to better output, customer relationships, and increased revenues. According to a Gallup survey, a highly engaged business unit leads to a 21% increase in profitability.

The best way to create a sense of purpose at work for employees is to make them realize the importance of the work that they do and how it contributes to the organization’s mission. Once the employees understand the impact of their work on clients, companies and the complete ecosystem, they will feel motivated to make a difference.  

  • Provide clarity about roles and responsibilities

It is the role of HR to ensure that employees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the company.  This clarity is essential for employees to focus their efforts on high priority tasks and aligned with the company’s objectives. When roles and responsibilities are unclear, employees may waste time and energy on activities that are not productive, or worse, end up working against the company’s goals. By providing clear expectations and guidelines, HR can help employees use their skills and talents more effectively, boosting productivity and morale. In turn, this will lead to better business results for the company.

  • Set small, manageable goals

You should not overwhelm your employees with one huge goal. Instead, break it down into small and measurable goals. This way, your employees can focus on one thing at a time and they’ll be more likely to achieve the overall goal. Plus, you can measure their progress along the way and give them feedback so they know what they need to improve. 

It would be best to make your team aware of the importance of small, consistent improvements every day, which may not yield immediate results but will help them persevere to reach their goals comfortably.

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If an employee makes a 1% improvement every day, they will be almost 40% better than at the beginning as minor improvements get compounded over a longer period.

  • Celebrate milestones achievements

Setting micro-goals results in creating multiple milestones. Such milestones are also opportunities to applaud the team and individual performances. It may not be a formal celebration but a simple congratulatory message to the respective employee and the team. It will make them feel valued in the organization’s scheme of things and motivate them to do their best. 

  • Recognize and reward employees for good work

The employee work recognition program is important because 39% of employees feel underappreciated at work, which can lead to them being less productive. Besides HR-instituted awards to recognise good work done by the employee, suck work should also be periodically acknowledged by providing certificates and gift vouchers at the team level. 

Managers can also follow the practice of giving shout-outs to exceptional employees during team meetings. 

The recognition of employees should not be limited to their job-oriented performance but should also cover areas that contribute to the organization ‘s value system and brand.

These recognitions go a long way in boosting their morale to keep up the good work.

  • Provide regular feedback

Employee feedback is one of the most important tools that can be leveraged to increase motivation in the workplace. Feedback enables managers to perform the role of mentor to their subordinates and increases employee engagement. According to a survey, 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week.

Periodic feedback helps keep individuals on track and focused and enables them to identify and address potential areas for improvement ahead of time.

Positive feedback lets them know they’re doing a good job and encourages them to keep up the good work. Constructive feedback gives them specific areas to focus on for improvement. Both these types of feedback helps build trust between employees and their managers. When employees feel like their managers are invested in their development, they’re more likely to be motivated to do their best work.

  • Enable employees to do self-assessment

Organizations should enable their employees to self evaluate their performance. When they are able to see how their performance measures up to the company’s expectations, they are more likely to be motivated to improve. Also, when employees value their positive contribution, intrinsic employee motivation is bound to increase. 

  • Empower employees through autonomy 

Autonomy empowers employees and instills accountability for the results of their work. It gives employees the flexibility to plan their work schedule, leading to enhanced efficiency. Additionally, the freedom to make decisions and solve problems on their own enables employees to develop a sense of ownership over their work which can lead to higher productivity. 

By giving more control over their work, you eliminate workplace micromanagement, one of the most significant inhibitors of motivation. Being in control of their work-life makes employees feel motivated.

  • Job rotation

When employees perform repetitive tasks for a considerable period, complacency and boredom result in a lack of motivation. HR needs to provide opportunities for them to move across roles or tasks as needed. This will allow them to stay relevant in the workplace by constantly acquiring new skills as well as discovering new challenges. By giving employees the chance to learn new things, HR is ensuring that they are able to maintain high levels of engagement with their work no matter how long they have been doing it. With opportunities for new challenges and experiences on a regular basis, even the most repetitive tasks can remain motivating over time.

  • Career roadmap for employees

Along with job rotation, it is important for HR to create a career roadmap for different roles to give employees visibility about their future career paths. This helps in giving employees a sense of where they are heading and provides them with valuable insight into the skills and experience needed for future promotion opportunities. In addition, maintaining clear career tracks allows HR to track employee progress over time and identify any emerging skill gaps that may need to be addressed. Overall, building a strong framework for career paths is key to helping employees achieve their professional goals and ensuring that the right people are in the right roles at all times. 

  • Provide a sense of security instead of using fear as a motivating tool

There are misconceptions about using fear as a motivating tool for employees, and it is fraught with a lot of risks. A hyper-critical manager assumes that reprimanding workers in front of others and instilling fear will make employees perform better. HR should create awareness among managers and senior leadership about the negative fallout of using fear tactics such as yelling at employees in front of others or creating fear about losing their job.

In contrast, instilling confidence among employees and creating a greater sense of security will boost employee morale and motivation to learn from failures and grow.

  • Promote teamwork

Teamwork encourages employee bonding and collaboration that results in better quality outcomes and improved client relationships. Teamwork isn’t just about the feel-good factor; it’s also about practicalities. When team members are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, they can play to each other’s strengths and cover their weaknesses, resulting in a more effective overall performance.

  • Team offsite and events

HR should plan the team offsite to build on the team spirit and enhance collaboration among the members. It will also offer the employees an opportunity to work in a new environment which is fresh and invigorating. The change of environment and coming together of a team in a new setting will increase employee motivation. 

Along with the team offsites, HR should plan events internally with an objective to promote communication and collaboration among employees. 

  • Aesthetically designed workplace for a positive work environment

Humans are greatly impacted by aesthetic design, determining their comfort level and productivity. As the office is where employees spend most of their waking hours, it is important to have aesthetically designed workplaces with proper natural light and fresh air. This makes employees motivated to come to the office every day and perform at their best.

  • Digital workplace and workspace tools

In a remote work environment, you need to provide appropriate tools to enable your employees to perform their work diligently. It is important for HR to work collaboratively with the IT team to ensure employees have access to requisite digital tools for better communication and collaboration. The employee’s motivation increases when they feel empowered to fulfill their professional obligations without any friction.

Also HR should organize virtual fun activities and recognition program to keep employees motivated which has assumed greater important in a remote work environment that has restricted the social interactions.

  • Enable the best communication practices

In a digitally connected world, communication and collaboration are essential for teamwork. It is important for organizations to provide modern communication tools and technologies to facilitate seamless communication internally as well as externally with clients. Besides tools, HR should ensure employees are trained to follow best practices in written and verbal communication, which helps to avoid misunderstandings and stress while improving motivation. 

  • Encourage efficiency for better work-life balance

HR should ensure that employees are not overworked and there is good work-life balance.  Employees should be encouraged to work efficiently by avoiding distractions and focussing on completing work in the allocated time to prevent their workday stretching beyond requisite hours. HR should collaborate with team leaders and managers to frame policy to ensure that work related communication is restricted to stipulated work hours. It will help employees to strike the right balance between professional and personal life, and keep the motivation level high

  • Regular work breaks to prevent mental exhaustion and burnout

Employees should inculcate the practice of taking regular breaks in between work to avoid burnouts. According to a Gallup survey, 44% of employees reported feeling burned out sometimes.

Taking regular breaks gives employees opportunities to de-stress and give the mind much-needed rest. It helps employees improve their decision-making abilities and incredibly increases their focus and attention span.

  • Employee health programs

A healthy employee is crucial to ensure the fiscal health of your company. HR should create awareness among employees for maintaining their health through proper dietary habits and exercises. They should organize health programs to help employees maintain their physical and mental health. When employees feel good about themselves, their workplace motivation improves. 

  • Counseling sessions

Employees need guidance to manage work stress and upheaval in personal life which has assumed greater importance, specifically important after the Covid-19 pandemic. HR should facilitate counseling sessions through trained professionals to ensure emotional wellbeing of employees and increase their motivation. 

As the workplace evolves in response to changes in the external environment, there can be no better time than now to initiate employee motivation activities. You can decide on the ways to increase employee motivation depending on the needs of your organization.