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Motivation For Employees

A warm welcome to the motivation for employees section of the website.

If you’re in a situation where one of your employees isn’t performing as well as the others in your team then this can look bad on you and it’s something you need to rectify. First thoughts towards resolving might be to informally discipline the employee in the format of a good “telling off”. Many managers resort to this tactic believing that it will effectively motivate the employee into action.

A “telling off” rarely works

Unfortunately a good “telling off” rarely works. More often it simply results in the employee feeling angry and unhappy and with a feeling that he or she has been treated unfairly or without enough respect.

telling off

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

When considering motivation for employees first get to the root of the problem

What performance area needs addressing?

A better tactic is to systematically analyze the underperformance. First – note which area of performance needs addressing. Is the employee constantly late? Does he/she have a bad attitude? Or is it more general performance issue such as missing deadlines or producing work of an inferior quality to the rest of the team?

Can it be explained?

Your next action should be to question why this might be happening. Does this individual normally perform to a high standard? If so is there anything to explain this recent change in performance? The individual may have had a change in their personal circumstances that are affecting their ability to perform.

Is the employee capable?

Is the employee capable of performing? Do they have the appropriate skills and knowledge to do what is expected of them? If not you need to look at what can be done to get them up-to-speed. Perhaps arrange for some training, onsite, offsite or there are often many good online-based courses that are available these days. Also, consider partnering the employee with a more senior employee who can act as a coach and mentor.

Do they have the right tools for the job?

Does your underperforming employee have the right tools, equipment, and resources to get the job done?

Are they aware of expectations?

You should also make sure that the employee is fully aware of what is expected of them. Have you clearly communicated targets and or performance standards? Are you sure these were fully understood by the employee?

What else?

Can you think of anything else that might be a factor towards your employee’s underperformance?

Question Yourself?

Have you done everything that you can think of to help them achieve? Have you provided regular and constructive feedback? Most employees come to work with the intention of doing a good job. Have you actively attempted to make all of your employees feel valued and appreciated? Has your behavior been acceptable over the period in which you have noted this individual’s performance issue? How you behave can often have a direct effect on your team’s motivation. Have you been positive?

Motivation Actions

Every manager’s challenge is to create an environment where workers want to work and do the best possible job. Some areas that you can look at to assist this include…

motivation for employees

(Photo Credit: Eversheds International)


Studies show that one of the main reasons that employees leave an organization is lack of recognition. A 2013 survey of staff working in the UK’s National Health Service found that 70% of staff felt unappreciated and 27% were actively looking to change jobs.

When considering motivation for employees one of your best motivation tools is to simply recognize your people with praise. Telling someone that you fully appreciate what they are doing makes them feel valued, renews their energy levels and in turn drives productivity from that employee. Make sure that you give praise in a way that really shows that you mean what you are saying. Give praise only for one particular thing at a time otherwise it may appear weak and diluted to your employee.

It’s an old phrase I know but so true… A simple thank you can go a long way.

Be Likeable

Employees are unlikely to perform their best for you if there isn’t that two-way respect. You need to gain respect so be personable, likable and approachable. Don’t command anything or shout out orders. Remember the small things such as remembering someone’s Birthday or asking about an employee’s children or grandchildren.

Understand your employees

The best form of motivation for employees is often that which is tailored specifically to the individual concerned. To do this you need to have a close working relationship with each of your team members. You need to know what they like, what they don’t like and what makes them tick. What gets them excited, what work tasks do they love doing? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Often you can use this knowledge to help you get the most out of your people.

Smart delegation

Don’t leave all the biggest and best projects for yourself. Give them to team members who will appreciate them and enjoy the challenge.

Lead by Example

Leading by example is an excellent method for increasing the motivation levels of the team. If you’re negative, miserable and moody then you can hardly expect your team to be all positive and happy. So come in early and leave late. Be proactive. Resolve problems quickly and effectively. Where possible let your team do what you do rather than what you say.

Team Motivation Tips

You might also be interested in reading about some team motivation tips. Trying one or more of the tips explained in this section of the site might just be the ticket that you need to get your employees motivated again!


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