Employee-Motivation-for-Retention

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By Felecia Brasfield

Employers need to focus on employee motivation for retention in order to succeed in the modern business world. Focusing on long-lasting motivation instead of just keeping turnover down, creates a more productive work environment for everyone.  

As employers it would be wonderful if all employees showed up every single day, on time, motivated, and ready to produce the best work possible. While this may sound like an unrealistic situation, knowing how to appropriately motivate and support employees will bring this ideal situation closer to reality. 

Sometimes even the best managers have to think outside the box to find creative and reliable ways to motivate their employees. Gallop reports that only 36 percent of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their work and their workforce. However, utilizing some of these employee motivation techniques can generate a higher percentage of engagement at your company. 

To increase employee motivation and productivity, company leaders need to be cautious of over-focusing on extrinsic motivation. Studies show that if you want long-lasting motivation then company management must go beyond, tapping into intrinsic motivation. When a company focuses on influencing the environment versus influencing people, the real secret to enabling motivation is unlocked.  

Here are 10 Ways to Improve Employee Motivation For Retention 

1.Improve Corporate Culture (and team culture

Effective company culture starts at the top and filters down. It is important to create an environment where everyone feels valued and is able to contribute their skills and ideas. Thus, when team members feel valued productivity improves. 

2. Clear communication and transparency are key  

Communicating clearly, regardless of the situation, leads to positive outcomes. If employees understand their roles, responsibilities, and expectations, they will feel motivated. Establishing a company intranet or easy to use internal communication channels are great ways to accomplish this goal.  


“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.”  

Zig Ziglar

3. Lead Others by Setting a Good Example 

Positivity is contagious! Maintaining motivation and positivity will rub off on employees across all company departments. Focus on keeping up a good mood, even in the face of difficulty. The age-old saying of ‘work hard, play hard’ holds some validity. Finding ways for employees to have fun while connecting with each other and company management helps with employee motivation and retention.

4. Encourage Creativity and Innovation

The silent killer of motivation is boredom. Try to allow employees to express their talents and skills that may be outside of their assigned job responsibilities. Just because an employee works in receiving doesn’t mean they don’t have other vital skills to contribute to the organization. For example, consider bringing them in on special projects throughout the year or ask them to brainstorm ideas during new product launches.  

5. Recognize a Job Well Done

Employees at all levels and in all departments appreciate hearing “good job”! Sometimes the simplest words can go a long way in making the staff feel valued. It doesn’t matter if the task is small or large, they always celebrate their achievements. If the company has the ability to take recognition a step further, consider extra vacation time, gift cards, or a special parking spot. 

6. Express Goals & Expectations Clearly 

By expressing goals and expectations clearly each employee will understand what is going on with the company and how they fit into the big picture. An employee who understands their objectives will be more confident in their position and will work more proficiently, improving overall employee motivation and retention.

One Gallup survey uncovered that only 50% of employees clearly know what is expected of them at work. 

7. Include Them in Decision Making 

Listening to employee opinions increases intrinsic motivation and provides accountability. By letting them lead it shows them that they make a difference in the company and execute their responsibilities energetically. 

8. Develop Employee Career Paths

If an employee can see their potential for career advancement they become more motivated. Promotion equals productivity! Try assigning smaller tasks outside of their department to see how they respond. Changing up a monotonous day-to-day routine can improve employee motivation and retention.


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9. Provide Regular Training

Providing regular employee training activities communicates that the company is dedicated to those who work there. One option may be to train employees for roles within other departments. Things like customer service training, computer workshops, or even first-aid certifications.  

10. Provide Autonomy

Allowing an employee to be left alone while they do their job communicates that they are trusted. In addition, it communicates that they are capable and able to handle their job responsibilities. Mutual trust and respect increase employee motivation and retention.


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