Three Surprising Ways to Motivate Employees | Jobs In NewYork

Three Surprising Ways to Motivate Employees

By: Margaret Hansen

Looking for inexpensive yet meaningful ways to boost your employees' motivation? Save your employees money, boost their brain's level of dopamine naturally, and create an environment where they can get ahead. Then, watch the magic happen.

1. Offer Free Gourmet Coffee

What lifts the mood more than the aroma of gourmet coffee wafting past your desk at about 10am? According to a national survey sponsored by Keurig, a leader in single-serve brewing systems, three out of five American workers feel more motivated to do their best work when provided with free perks in the office. In fact, according to their survey:

  • 37 percent of employees surveyed would prefer free, daily fresh gourmet coffee or tea over a company's annual holiday party
  • 60 percent said they would like to cut back their spending on coffee

Dr. Bob Nelson, a leading authority on workforce motivation and best-selling author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees and Keeping Up in a Down Economy, says simple perks, such as free coffee, can retain and motivate employees, make a difference in the workplace, help employees save money, improve morale and enhance productivity.

2. Get Them Hooked on Praise

"I can live for two months on a good compliment" - Mark Twain

According to Gallup Research, when someone is praised for good work their brain releases a chemical called dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Gallup's findings show that less than one in three American workers can strongly agree that they've received any praise from a supervisor in the last seven days. According to their findings:

  • Those who were praised in the last week show a 10 to 20 percent increase in revenue and productivity.
  • Employees who report that they're not adequately recognized at work are three times more likely to quit in the next year.

Formally or informally, making a habit of praising your employees' good work will keep the good work flowing.

3. Lift the Roadblock, Don't Be It

According to a Harvard Business Review study, the top motivator of high performance is progress. This multi-year study tracked the day-to-day activities, emotions, and motivation levels of hundreds of knowledge workers in a wide variety of settings, resulting in nearly 12,000 diary entries, along with daily ratings of their motivation and emotions. According to the findings, employees experience "progress" when they feel as though:

  • They are making headway in their jobs
  • They are receiving support that helps them overcome obstacles

Even slight progress was more linked to positive emotions and high motivation than any other workday event.

Isn't it good to know that much of what motivates employees is within your control?

Margaret Hansen has been writing professionally since receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine. She has worked for multiple organizations as a weekly newspaper reporter, a weekly newspaper editor, and in a variety of internal/external marketing communications roles. Her freelance career has focused on writing and editing for print, email and web publications in the employment industry, as well as manuscript editing and resume writing.