9 Ways to Inspire Motivation in the Workplace

Factors That Inspire Motivation in the Workplace Are Explored

Motivation is a powerful energy that drives and excites employees, which results in their maximum contribution. Setting and achieving goals, clear expectations, recognition, feedback, as well as encouraging management all contribute to an increase in workplace motivation. It flourishes in a positive work environment, which is why so many leaders want to learn new ways to motivate their workforce.  

Learn What People Want

businesswoman counting money, using calculator
For many employees, work is about the money. Joos Mind / Getty Images

Motivation is different for each of your employees. Every employee has a different motivation for why they work. But we all work because we obtain something that we need from work. The something that we need that we obtain from work has an impact on our morale and motivation.

Learning what employees want will help you formulate the next step when building motivation in the workplace. 

Set Realistic Goals

Smiling businesswoman leading project meeting
Employees Are Motivated by Achieving Goals. Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

How can you help a co-worker or reporting staff member find motivation at work? You can create a work environment that provides the greatest possibility for employees to achieve individual or group goals. 

A motivating work environment provides clear direction so that employees know what is expected of them. Hand-in-hand with clear direction, employees should have goals that fit within the company's strategic framework

Promote Positive Employee Self Esteem

Employees who have high self esteem are willing to take risks and achieve in a workplace that encourages motivation.
Sonntag/Getty Images

People who have high self-esteem are more likely to continuously improve the work environment. They are willing to take intelligent risks because they have confidence in their ideas and their competence to take on new challenges while performing capably. They shine with motivation in your workplace.

They work willingly on teams because they are confident about their ability to contribute. Nathaniel Branden, the author of "The Psychology of Self Esteem and "Self-Esteem@Work," says, “Self-esteem has two essential components:

  • "Self-efficacy: Confidence in the ability to cope with life's challenges. Self-efficacy leads to a sense of control over one's life.
  • "Self-respect: Experience oneself as deserving of happiness, achievement, and love. Self-respect makes possible a sense of community with others."

Self-esteem is a self-reinforcing characteristic. When you have confidence in your ability to think and act effectively, you can persevere when faced with difficult challenges. Result: You succeed more often than you fail. You form more nourishing relationships. You expect more of life and of yourself.

A motivating work environment enhances staff self-esteem. People feel like they are more, not less—more competent, more capable, more appreciated, more contributing.

Provide Employee Recognition

man raising a toast to his colleagues
Employee recognition can increase motivation or leave the recipient feeling demoralized. Michael Blann / Getty Images

Employee recognition can increase motivation when it is offered and implemented effectively. It is one of the keys to successful employee motivation. Employee recognition follows trust as a factor in employee satisfaction with their supervisor and their workplace. In this instance, the stick should yield to the carrot. 

Use Training and Development for Motivation

Group of people at a business conference
Ongoing Training and Development Are Positive for Motivation. Brand New Images / Getty Images

Want to keep your staff motivated about learning and work? The quality and the variety of training options that you supply for employees are key for motivation.

You can provide training including new employee onboarding, management development, new concepts for a workgroup, team building, and how to operate a new computer system. They all add to a working environment that employees would be proud to call home. 

Provide Autonomy to High-Performing Employees

Businessman people discussing in creative office
Employees Who Find Motivation Factors at Work Are Happy. Portra Images / Getty Images

The challenge in any work environment is to create a culture in which people are motivated by their work. Too often, organizations fail to pay attention to the issues that are most important to employees: relationships, communication, recognition, and involvement.

Workers who perform well should not be rewarded by having a manager who is always looking over their shoulders.

If an employee is performing well, you should have no need to watch every little thing they do—in fact, your micromanagement is likely to destroy their intrinsic motivation in the workplace. 

Celebrate Holidays and Create Traditions

Group of workers celebrating at charismas table in warehouse
Celebrate Holidays at Work for Motivation. Ulrik Tofte / Getty Images

Traditions are as important in organizations as they are in families. Nothing is more important for employee motivation than the annual traditions workplaces create for seasonal holidays.

A holiday celebration builds positive morale, which results in increased motivation. High morale and motivation contribute to team building and productivity. Try some holiday and traditional celebrations to build positive morale and motivation in your workplace.

Tap Into Employee Discretionary Energy

Exuberant business people high-fiving over computers in office
Tap into employee discretionary energy. Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

Employees choose how much discretionary energy to exert for their employers in the workplace. Discretionary energy is the extra drive that an employee exerts in service to coworkers and customers at work—or not. An employer pays for the fundamental tasks that he hires an employee to perform.

Discretionary energy is a symptom of motivation—only motivated employees contribute their discretionary energy at work. That isn't necessarily the case.

The work environment that encourages employee discretionary energy contribution and motivation places emphasis on factors such as these.

Promote Your Personal Growth and Motivation

Businesswoman doing biceps curls with dumbbell and talking on telephone at computer in office
You have the starring role in promoting your personal growth and motivation. Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

No matter how positive your workplace culture and environment are, you have the starring role in promoting your personal growth and motivation. You can promote your own personal growth, motivation, and career development to overcome boredom, inertia, and staleness.

Your employer can contribute to your growth and motivation, too. These are the best workplaces for all employees.