The Best Ways to Motivate Employees

by Jan Archer, Demand Media
    Satisfied employees will feel more inclined to give their best work to the company.

    Satisfied employees will feel more inclined to give their best work to the company.

    Motivating employees takes more than just a pat on the back. In order for employees to feel inspired to work toward personal and company goals, good leadership must be in place to encourage growth and progress. A few strategies in communicating with employees can help you foster a motivated environment and a satisfied staff.

    Lead By Example

    Lead employees toward self-direction and positive attitudes by demonstrating those skills in your leadership. Show employees that you are just as invested in company outcomes as they are, and that your success depends on their hard work and satisfaction. Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, suggested in an interview with "Inc." magazine that communication is the key to encouraging employees to feel accountable for the major decisions of the company. This scenario makes their actions and work production more than just a daily task attached to a paycheck. When employees feel accountable for the company as a whole, they take pride in their work and contribute more to the company.

    Focus on Satisfaction

    Employee satisfaction can make or break the outcome of employee work. According to "Forbes," good company leaders supply emotional energy, workplace guidance, and supportive relationships with the people they manage. Employees should feel comfortable and confident in their roles, and they should feel welcome in expressing grievances to managers and supervisors when problems arise.

    Encourage Self-Direction

    Autonomy is one of the most important aspects of a work culture, and it can only be facilitated through effective management. Rather than motivating employees with money, create a culture where they can find joy in their jobs each day. Create ongoing employee social activities, company-wide goals and ways to disseminate good news and share company successes with employees. These features will encourage each employee to take his job into his own hands rather than waiting for a manager to direct his every activity.

    Be a Good Listener

    At the end of the day, listening is the most vital skill to employee motivation. When employees feel heard, they will feel more confident and productive in working toward the common goals of the company. As a manager or supervisor, it is your job to lead through experience and skill, not through your title. Therefore, take your position as a sign of extra responsibility, rather than extra privilege. Show your employees that you are ready to listen by holding regular meetings, creating an open-door policy in the office during set times each week, and responding to grievances and inquiries in a prompt manner. These actions will ensure that employees are housed in a productive environment where their opinions are heard and valued.

    About the Author

    Jan Archer began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in creative writing. Archer has researched and co-written trade books for Books-a-Million and has written numerous articles on green living, health and nutrition, education and a variety of other topics. She teaches business writing and composition, and offers private web consulting and editing for small businesses.

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