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Seven Employee Motivation Ideas
to Make your Team Fly

Employee Motivation Ideas can be no-cost or low-cost, but can make the difference in accomplishing your goals or not. Survey after survey indicate that your team would rather be recognized and appreciated than receive more money. You can use these seven ideas to energize your workplace:

Seven Employee Motivation  Ideas to
Kickstart your Team

Employee Motivation Idea #1

Have your team members design a contest and administer it. Have a minimum of three people poll the group for criteria and measurements for a contest. Have them vote on it and the committee can oversee the process. If there are judgments to be made, appoint yourself or another manager as the judge so the committee can also participate.

Employee Motivation Idea #2

Plan an annual holiday party. Hold the party every year, without exception in a nice venue with entertainment and semi-formal attire. Don’t let the company ax this part of the budget as it is critical to the employee’s perception of the company. Make sure that all managers support the idea and attend the party. Include spouses and significant others.

Employee Motivation Idea #3

Plan an annual summer picnic in a nice venue with great food. Include the entire family and make sure the event is family-friendly. The idea of including family so that they can meet and get to know colleagues in a relaxed environment is very stimulating. Make sure that management attends and spends time mingling and eating with their departments. If they cluster at one group of picnic tables, this event will have the opposite effect--employees will resent the separation.

Employee Motivation Idea #4

Have a program of “surprise” awards. This is sometimes called “catch someone doing something right”. This is given out randomly when the good deed occurs. Give the group the ability to nominate someone as well (with your approval), or you will risk missing a good deed and you don’t want that to happen. Make it clear that this is something above and beyond the regular job description.

Employee Motivation Idea #5

Share the company and department goals with everyone in a meeting at the beginning of the year. Have quarterly updates to track your progress. Invite questions and give feedback. It would be great if your CEO did this for the entire company like our Chief Executive at Mattel did when I worked there. He did this every quarter starting in February after our annual Toy Fair. Everyone knew what our goals were, they knew how our line was received and were charged up for the rest of the year.

Employee Motivation Idea #6

Consider intangible rewards such as a coveted parking place for winners or time off. The greatest incentive I know occurred when I worked for Mattel. After a particularly good year, it was announced that we would go to a 4 ½ day work week with Friday afternoons off (9 hours for 4 days, 4 on Friday). This would continue as long as the company achieved its annual goal. This was so successful that at the end of the first year, he announced a further reward. We would receive additional paid days off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This would also be awarded each year that we made our goals. Everyone was enthused and excited and made it work.

Employee Motivation Idea #7

Don’t overdo the small rewards like the “catch someone doing something right”. The rewards must be meaningful or they risk becoming mundane and the butt of employee jokes. This is the issue I have with the “golden stars” that some companies let anyone and everyone issue on the spot to any employee without being vetted by a third party. This soon becomes a system of friends rewarding friends and encourages company cliques.

Do you have other workplace ideas? I would love to hear them. You can contact me here.

Click on these other articles about team motivation:

Employee Motivation and a
Sense of Belonging

Seven Employee Motivation
Techniques to Improve Your Team

Leadership and Management 
are Different

Five Keys to Effective Leadership

Motivating Employees –Three Simple Ways to Become a Great Leader

Positive Thinking can Change 
Your Life Overnight

Return to Home Page: Motivation and Self Improvement Guide 

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About the Author of this Website

My name is Carolyn Jolly. My professional life has been in sales, marketing and IT management. Along the way I’ve been studying and experimenting with self improvement and personal development techniques for the past 20 years. I have had more than a few mind-blowing experiences and I’ve made some discoveries that have shaped my ideas. I’m now using this website to pass those ideas along.

Our world is changing very rapidly. Many of the constants and institutions we thought to be permanent are now crumbling or changing drastically. This website is dedicated to those interested in how to manage their lives in light of these changes or in just becoming a better person. I hope the information you find here will stimulate you to embark on your own voyage of motivation and self improvement.

I hope that you will find something here that interests you. If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me here.

Employee Motivation and a Sense of Belonging

Seven Employee Motivation
Techniques to Improve Your Team

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