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Motivating Employees for Best Business Results

It is said that human capital is the most important asset for a company. Motivating employees for better performance should be a major concern for any commercial organisation. In a highly competitive market, unique talent is sought after. Ensuring retention of your skilled workforce will keep your business on track.

There’s no disputing that happy workers produce the best results. This, in turn, satisfies clients, increases profits and generally benefits the business all round. Factors such as a high turn-over rate, low productivity and falling client business can signal that staff members are disenchanted and not performing to their optimum capabilities.

So how can managers make sure their workers are happy and highly productive ones? Below are four ways which can help employers take care of their employees… and ultimately their business.

1. Recognise job satisfaction

Whilst salary is indeed a very important motivational factor, not all employees work solely for financial gain. It may be something of a cliché, but some people really do work for other non-tangible reasons, such as job satisfaction. This can come from the simple act of being appreciated. Managers should ensure that those employees performing well are adequately encouraged through praise, thanks and a pat on the back. It all serves to keep up morale and promote job satisfaction.

2. Look out for warning signs

Absenteeism, inflated sick leave and unjustified excuses for absences are all factors hinting at employee dissatisfaction. When an organisation starts losing business and losing it quickly, the problem could lie with reduced employee esteem, not operational or servicing issues. Management should have mechanisms in place to flag up such issues. They should familiarise themselves with how overall employee morale links to client servicing and the financial fitness of the company.

3. Adopt a flexible approach

Flexibility in working hours, holidays and part-time employment are aspects of working life that employers often tend to overlook. If applied properly, flexible working schedules suit parents with young children, expecting or recently delivered mothers, students, or indeed any employee with special circumstances. Sometimes the nature of work dictates flexibility, so applying it may not just be a job perk, but an important facet of your healthy business operations.

4. Remunerate your employees adequately

Employers should constantly ensure that their salary bands are aligned with averages in the market and slightly higher than the competition. A highly qualified employee will remain satisfied for a while, but in a constantly changing market, the good ones will either be headhunted or will simply leave on their own accord when they find better remuneration elsewhere. Adequate rewarding is only fair. If an employee excels at his or her performance, they’ve earned their compensation. Employers must pay active attention to those factors that affect their very staff force, implement change where necessary and observe industry trends to make for an ultimately successful business.

A principal role of managers is to achieve company objectives through an engaged and motivated workforce. Comprehending human nature is the key to successfully motivating employees. A great body of research shows that well-motivated employees are more productive and creative, and it is also notable that the opposite holds true.

Motivation is the key to performance improvement

People are driven by their needs and wants, and it is essential to drive them either from within themselves or through external stimulus. There are several overarching approaches to motivation:

• Positive reinforcement/high expectations
• Effective discipline and punishment
• Treating people fairly
• Satisfying employee needs
• Setting work-related goals
• Restructuring jobs
• Performance-related rewards

These strategies are used to move the employee further along the desired path to achieving the performance level desired.

Key Motivation Approaches

‘Carrot’ and ‘Stick’

A well-known phrase, with ‘stick’ (punishment) often producing negative results and a critical attitude to management, with ‘carrot’ (reward) proven to lead to greater happiness with work.

Motivation ‘Toolkit’

This comprises of a number of options at the manager’s disposal which are applied both to teams and to individuals:

• Appreciation, acclaim and recognition
• Trust, admiration and faith in ability
• Loyalty, which is reciprocal
• Removing obstacles to individual and team performance
• Job enhancement
• Good communication
• Financial incentives

These are listed in order of the most effective and it may be surprising to note that financial rewards are further down.

Use encouragement instead of pressure

Encouragement is a far superior tool to coercion. It builds morale, encourages creativity and draws inspiration, with a negative approach damaging these qualities.

Encouragement comprises of:

• Suggestion
• Employing positive emotion
• Appealing to logic

An individual once convinced through this approach becomes motivated to raise the standard of work, all achieved through a softly-softly approach, without any over-exertion required.


Motivation of personnel is absolutely crucial to achieve any goal an organisation sets out to accomplish, but with each individual distinct and complex in their own right, motivation is by no means simple and straightforward. To do so requires careful and tailored management, which is realised through employing different sets of tools uniquely tailored person by person, as well as collectively to a team.