How do I Motivate my Employees?

Assess your Motivational Climate

Why is Motivation Important?

Studies have shown clear links between motivation and the bottom line:

What is Motivation?

Motivation is internal. As a manager, you are responsible for creating an environment in which people can motivate themselves. Factors such as good wages, positive working conditions and strong interpersonal relationships do not motivate staff, but their absence leads to dissatisfaction. True motivation comes from having a sense of achievement, recognition and responsibility.

Kenneth Kovach of George Mason University undertook a study of 1,000 employees and asked them what motivated them most. The top ten factors in order of importance are listed below:

  1. Interesting work
  2. Appreciation of work
  3. Feeling “in on things”
  4. Job Security
  5. Good wages
  6. Promotion/growth
  7. Good working conditions
  8. Personal loyalty
  9. Tactful discipline
  10. Sympathetic help with problems
Different Things Motivate Different People

Myths About Motivation

How do I Create a Motivational Environment?

Lead by Example

Attitude is contagious. If you approach the workplace with a positive, upbeat attitude about the projects being worked on, that enthusiasm will transfer to other staff, making for a more comfortable work environment all around.

Talk to Your People

If you are serious about maintaining a productive environment and motivating staff to do their best you need to talk with each person to find out what is important to them. Shy people, for example, may not appreciate public forms of recognition, while others might be boosted by an e-mail recognizing their efforts that is sent to all their colleagues.

Attend to the Hygiene Issues

Herzberg found that while the hygiene issues do not actually motivate staff, they are necessary to prevent dissatisfaction and are a launch pad for motivation. Therefore, employers cannot afford to ignore hygiene factors but should not mistake them for true motivators.

To provide a truly motivational climate for your employees, begin with the hygiene issues and take steps to secure them. Ask each employee individually - "Which of the hygiene factors cause you irritation or frustration if you don't have them?" Make sure you have eliminated any issues associated with the following hygiene factors:

Determine what Motivates your Individuals

Attending to the hygiene factors will create a decent work environment, but your staff will never be inspired to improve their level of performance unless adequate motivators are in place. A business that aspires to a well-run, high-performing business must be mindful of both.

Motivators are the internal elements that impact staff, such as the following:

Don’t assume that what motivates you will motivate others. There are a MIX of three motivational needs that characterises a person's style and behaviour in terms of being motivated.

Need for Achievement

Motivators are the attainment of realistic but challenging goals, and advancement in the job. There is a strong need for feedback as to achievement and progress, and a need for a sense of accomplishment.

Need for Authority and Power

Motivators are the need to be influential, effective and to make an impact. There is a strong need to lead and for their ideas to prevail. There is also motivation and need towards increasing personal status and prestige.

Need for Affiliation

This person is motivated by friendly relationships and is towards interaction with other people. The affiliation driver produces motivation and need to be liked and held in popular regard. These people are team players.

Plan to Motivate

Once you have identified what is needed, develop a motivational plan for your team and individuals.


After having made your changes and embedded them in. Check how you are going. Ask your people "What has changed for the better?" "What has changed for the worse?" "How can we improve?"

Get in Touch with Jump

If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.