Do you agree with the corporate saying: happy employees are productive employees? Even if we set aside the productivity criterion, a happy employee definitely performs better. When individuals are satisfied with their role and the workplace culture, they will go the extra mile to get things done. Anybody who enjoys working with their team and looks forward to a new day of work every morning is a happy employee.

Those who are excited about their work will put in a lot more effort than those who are merely doing their job. They’ll pay more attention to their tasks, actively seek feedback when things aren’t working out, and be willing to accept different points of view. Happy employees serve their consumers better, get along with peers and add to the overall well-being of their organization.

If you’re a manager or a team leader, you need to prioritize employee engagement, motivation and happiness. A well-motivated workforce is committed to meeting the organization’s objectives. Read on to see how to motivate employees and why motivating in business is essential in current times.


  1. What Does It Mean To Motivate Employees?

  2. The Need For Work Motivation For Employees

  3. What Are The Various Ways To Motivate Employees?

  4. How To Motivate Employees

  5. Understand Your Team Better 

What Does It Mean To Motivate Employees?


Motivating in business has a critical role to play in organizational growth and success. The process of motivation in management begins with having faith in your employees’ abilities. If you believe they can do well, you’re more likely to guide them to success. It can be understood through the concept of positive reinforcement. Most of our performances or desires are driven by the rewards or positive feedback we hope to receive. The cycle of incentivizing and recognition changes the way we progress in the professional sphere.

To motivate employees is to create willingness as well as encourage individuals to fully utilize their abilities. Team motivation refers to the positive state of mind that drives people to achieve common objectives. Unless employees are happy, motivated and incentivized, businesses are unlikely to perform well. Management has to recognize what motivates their employees to achieve results. For example, if job motivation comes from a healthy work-life balance, then workplaces need to find ways to ensure that. 

The Need For Work Motivation For Employees


Employee engagement and job satisfaction, among others, are the cornerstones of business growth and profitability. Over the years, these central tenets have become an integral part of both human resources and standard management strategies. Efforts to boost employee engagement are prioritized because modern-day workplaces demand more than just the nine-to-five routine. Organizations want their people to be involved in a more holistic way. In addition to staying committed to their roles, businesses want people to contribute to the overall development of the organization.

When team motivation is present, it leads to several advantages for businesses:

1. Rise In Productivity

The process of motivation begins with understanding someone’s needs and helping them find the best way to reach their true potential; a motivated employee will be willing to put more effort into their work.

2. A More Loyal Workforce

Different types of work motivation help boost morale, reducing absenteeism and turnover rates; people are not only loyal but punctual and regular with work schedules.  

3. Boost In Organizational Efficiency

When individuals remain engaged in their professional roles and are happy about the outcomes, they’re more likely to fulfill targets with greater enthusiasm. 

4. More Open To Change

Changes are inevitable in fast-paced organizations yet nobody likes changes. Work motivation improves the chances of accepting and growing with positive changes among people.

5. Better Navigation Of Conflicts

Increased job motivation and satisfaction make people proactive. As a result, they’re likely to change their negative or indifferent attitudes, which further reduces the possibility of conflicts. 

What Are The Various Ways To Motivate Employees?


If you wish to keep your team engaged, you need to prioritize various kinds of motivation in management. The four main types that can help motivate employees are:

1. Competence Motivation

In this type of job motivation, you help someone feel competent or capable. By helping them seek new opportunities such as learning and developing new skills and knowledge, they remain engaged. For example, if there are new industry demands that need people to upskill or reskill, you can invest in your team’s training and knowledge-building through online courses or offline employee development programs.

2. Achievement Motivation

Achievement motivation is the process of rewarding people for fulfilling their responsibilities, that is, meeting their targets or goals. Many get motivated only when they earn a certain level of recognition as it gives them the satisfaction of achieving something. This type of positive reinforcement is instrumental in making employees more goal-oriented. Some examples of achievement motivation in business include celebrating success publicly or through the organization’s newsletter and having an ‘employee of the month’ recognition system. 

3. Incentive Motivation

As the name suggests, this type of motivation uses incentives to encourage someone. Team members are expected to complete a certain project and meet all deadlines to be able to receive a particular reward. One of the most widely used tools, incentive motivation often prompts individuals to exceed expectations. There are two types of incentives: monetary and non-monetary that are common tools of motivation in the workplace. A monetary example would be weekly bonuses to those who worked for longer hours. A non-monetary example would be allowing your team to clock out early for meeting their targets on time.

4. Affiliation Motivation

Affiliation motivation refers to the desire to belong to a group or a circle in an organization. People tend to perform better when they build strong interpersonal relationships. A positive and thriving workplace culture acts as a powerful motivator. Such individuals enjoy healthy interaction and mutual support. You can identify such employees by checking if they enjoy being in social settings, they can collaborate well with others and can navigate conflicts in an emotionally mature manner.

How To Motivate Employees


As we’ve established, motivating in business takes various forms. Not everyone will be motivated the same way as every individual is unique and has various kinds of interests and needs. As a manager, you need to keep an open mind and be accepting of all kinds of expectations from different team members. If in doubt, here are several strategies that’ll teach you how to motivate employees successfully: 

1. Set Small Goals

Some projects tend to drag on forever! It can get demotivating for employees and they may get sidetracked or distracted. To keep them focused and keep the work exciting, it’s crucial to guide them in the process. Setting small and measurable goals for big projects is a good way of going about it. Clear goals, timelines and milestones can help your team stay on track and enjoy the work too.

2. Celebrate Everyone’s Achievements

We often focus on the big wins but even the smallest contributions matter. If you want your team to feel valued and respected, you should be vocal about their efforts as well. In addition to celebrating results, celebrate all the hard work that went behind it. For example, two of your team members may have led a project but everyone involved has done their fair share as well. Take time to show appreciation toward them as well.

3. Take Healthy Breaks

While team projects are greatly motivating, they can also be draining. Moreover, everyone’s working style and pace may not be the same. It’s important to take time off and encourage everyone to recharge. It will not only help employees feel better but also appreciate their hard work that went into projects. Even a one-day leave or letting people off early can help your team feel refreshed. 

4. Prioritize Everyone’s Health

Mental and emotional well-being is as important as physical health. Whether it’s working from an office or working remotely, employees are likely to burn out if not cared for. Several organizations have employee wellness programs and retreats. By overcoming work-related stress and anxiety, people not only feel better but also perform better as productivity and efficiency increase.

5. Share The Big Picture

To effectively motivate employees and get everyone on the same page, understanding the larger purpose is essential. You can help boost team motivation by helping them find meaning in their work and getting a deeper understanding of the organization’s mission and vision. By encouraging people to align personal goals with overall business goals, you can kill two birds with one stone and motivate everyone to pursue common objectives.

Understand Your Team Better


Team leaders and managers not only shoulder the responsibility of leading their team but also guiding and supporting them in the process. If you want to inspire your team to learn and grow with you, try Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course. It’s designed to help you foster team culture and work towards building effective teams. You’ll learn everything from navigating different working styles to things that motivate and push individuals. Different frameworks will enable you to empower your team and lead them to success. Start your free trial to help your team grow. Try Harappa today!

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as What Is Employee Engagement, Importance Of Employee Rewards And Recognition, Employee Feedback and Employee Value Proposition to build strong professional networks.