Careers Succeeding at Work Top Ideas About What Employees Want From Their Workplace You Can Create a Workplace That Motivates Employees to Do Their Best Share PINTEREST Email Print Succeeding at Work Human Resources Employee Management Job Search Resources Hiring Best Practices Glossary Employment Law Employee Motivation Management Careers Management & Leadership Employee Benefits By Susan M. Heathfield Susan M. Heathfield Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 04/30/20 Most people work to earn a living, but there may be other reasons people work, especially for those who love their jobs. Their companies likely have engaging and productive workplaces that challenge and motivate them to do their best. To ensure that your work environment is just as engaging, you should determine employee expectations. A great work environment can boost employee morale, encourage motivation, and enhance employees' quality of life. Employers should offer fair compensation and benefits, comprehensive reward and recognition systems, and known and understood strategic frameworks in which employees experience clear expectations and goals. Also, employees should be given feedback, an occasional thank you, and the opportunity to assist co-workers in a team environment. There are many ways to get started on these goals. Demonstrate Respect Respectful Treatment Helps Employees Collaborate. Cavan Images/Iconica/Getty Images Respect is essential in any relationship and is a requirement when dealing with management and staff. Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want at work and they likely will say it is the desire to be treated with dignity and respect. You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. An example of demonstrating respect is trusting employees to do the jobs they were hired to do without micromanaging. If something isn't being done correctly, address it in a straightforward and professional manner that details what needs to be corrected. Provide Feedback Ezra Bailey/Getty Images Feedback is an important communication tool in a healthy work environment. It helps the company by improving processes and shows employees that you care about their career. If phrased correctly, regular feedback can be a useful tool for helping employees and, hence, the company to grow. Feedback can range from detailed and regularly scheduled performance reviews that let employees know where they stand to simply saying "good job" on occasion. It also involves constructive criticism. If employees are doing something wrong, they want to know, and they want to know how to correct the problem. Show Appreciation Cultura/Lilly Bloom/Riser/Getty Images Feel free to tell your colleagues, co-workers, and staff how much you value them and their contributions any day of the year. In fact, small surprises and tokens of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the people in your work life feel valued throughout the year. Letting employees know they are valued is a great motivator that can drive productivity. For example, during team meetings, highlighting the benefits of someone's recent project is a nice way to recognize her publicly and remind her that her work is valued. Develop Trust Caiaimage/Sam Edwards / Getty Images Trust serves as the foundation for healthy relationships, including those at the workplace. It provides for effective communication, employee retention and employee motivation, and contribution of discretionary energy, the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in their work. Do this by giving an employee added responsibility if you think he can handle it. Even if it might be a challenging task, he might rise to the occasion simply because he appreciates the trust you put in him and wants to show you he can handle the work. Recognize Great Work kristian sekulic/E+/Getty Images Employee recognition is a powerful motivational tool that, if used correctly, can spur employee development and company growth. It is important to recognize all employees for their hard work, especially if they all meet the same criteria. Singling out just a few employees when others also deserve recognition can create low morale. In addition, you do not want to seek votes from employees or other personalized, subjective criteria to determine winners. This can be done in simple ways. For example, if communicating to your staff about the success of a recent project, take the time to name the team members who oversaw the project and thank them for their work. Retain Top Talent Getty Images Employee retention is critical to the long-term health and success of a business. Retaining your best employees should be a top priority for ensuring continued growth. This means making sure your employees feel valued for their contributions as part of a team that drives the company forward. When top talent is allowed to walk out the door without a fight to keep them, the message that gets sent to the rest of the staff is that the company does not value quality work. Build a Mentoring Culture LJM Photo / Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images Create a mentoring culture where employees share their skills and knowledge to help one another to learn and grow. Set up a training system that includes someone who has more experience and knowledge to act as an adviser or mentor to other employees. This also encompasses several other tips for improving the workplace. By asking an employee to serve as a mentor, you are showing trust in that employee and re-enforcing your appreciation for her work. Those being mentored see this as a means of recognition to which they can aspire.