5 Unique Ways to Motivate Employees

A recent study showed that only 23% of non-managerial employees were fully engaged at work. This can have disastrous consequences for your business. Luckily, there are some easy ways to motivate your employees.

MAKE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT A PRIORITY. Employees who see a clear ladder of opportunity are much more likely to fully engage with their work.

ACTUALLY PROMOTE WORK-LIFE BALANCE. Many companies pay lip service to work-life balance, but still encourage or even coerce their employees into working unhealthy long hours. Create an employee wellness policy with teeth. Kick people out of the office after hours. Consider a flexible work schedule. Confront workaholics who are setting a bad example for others. You'll get more (and higher quality) work out of rested, focused employees who work 8 hours a day than stressed, sleep-deprived employee working 14 hours a day.

LISTEN. Listen to your employees. They are the ones talking to your customers. They are the ones building your products. Your employees are your early warning system: they are going to spot problems before they show up on your quarterly earnings report.

IMPLEMENT PEER-TO-PEER EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION. Research shows that tenure-based and top-down employee recognition have little to no effect on employee motivation, retention, or productivity. On the other hand, a well-designed peer-to-peer employee recognition program can dramatically improve your employee engagement. Research by Bersin & Associates describes the 5 characteristics that make an effective employee recognition program.

REDUCE HIERARCHY. How many layers of management are there between your front-line employees and company leadership? Command-and-control corporate hierarchies are no longer necessary thanks to emerging communication and collaboration technology. Empowered employees are engaged employees - and each layer of management tends to demotivate and frustrate employees.

Read the Guide to Modern Employee Recognition

Originally published on July 18, 2014 → Last updated August 24, 2019

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Raphael Crawford-Marks

Raphael is co-founder and CEO of Bonusly, where his focus is on creating a work environment that enables the Bonusly team to thrive.


Bonusly is a fun, personal employee recognition and rewards program that helps people feel engaged and successful at work. ✨