The Carrot, Not The Stick: Best Employee Motivation Tips

As a business owner, when you’re expanding your startup the goal is to find employees who are as passionate about your products and services as you are. While all employees start their new job with seemingly endless enthusiasm and energy, their passion can slowly die down if their motivation starts to fade. It’s your job to keep them keen on the task, because otherwise productivity and efficiency slow down and affect business. If you’ve noticed that some previously exceptional employees have started to lose their enthusiasm for the job, here are a few ways you can reignite their fire.

Provide real-time feedback

Employees often cease to be productive if they’re constantly told they’re doing something wrong, but given no feedback on how they can do better. Without feedback, they’ll likely repeat the same mistake multiple times because they don’t know what they did wrong to begin with, or they will make new mistakes trying to compensate for what they perceived to be the original error. As a result, they will be frustrated and unproductive, and you will have extra work to do. Provide them with constructive feedback; don’t berate them for their mistakes, make suggestions for improvement, and highlight their successes as well as their shortcomings. In turn, ask them how you could help them achieve their goals more efficiently. Perhaps they need clearer instructions, smaller weekly goals, or they don’t yet feel confident doing certain aspects of the job.

Train your employees

It’s getting harder to hire people who meet all your criteria, so you compromise with someone who is willing to learn certain skills on the job. However, expecting them to instantly know things can be overwhelming. Set aside to teach them what they need to know, and make it clear that they don’t have to present themselves as an expert. Forcing employees to learn on the job can be extremely inefficient and overwhelming for your new worker. If it doesn’t encourage them to quit, you may eventually have to make that decision for them. By taking the time to teach them the necessary skills to complete their tasks, you will have an employee who knows how to do their job well.


People work better if they’re rewarded with more than just a paycheck. Recognizing their efforts and contributions will make them feel appreciated and they will continue to be productive workers. Make sure you take into account their individual needs or preferences when thinking of a suitable reward. One employee might appreciate public recognition, while another would prefer a private “thank you.” The rewards don’t have to be expensive – personalised trophies and awards plaques are available new from Name Badges Australia, gift certificates or tickets to the movies are always appreciated, and even an extra day off at a time to suit them would go down a treat. Mostly, a reward for hard work will demonstrate that you value your employees, which will always motivate them to work harder for you.

Allow some flexibility

The biggest motivation-killer is the daily commute to work. Commuters are among the unhappiest people in the world; most complain that they feel stressed, fat, sore, and tired from the daily journey that can sometimes last an hour each way. It’s no wonder most employees are miserable before they even set foot in the office. Studies suggest that telecommuting allowances and other types of flexible work arrangements have positive implications for employee morale and job satisfaction, both of which are positively correlated with productivity. Therefore, you’re actually benefitting your business by giving your employees to flexibility.

Thanks to technology, you can always check in on your homeworkers to make sure they’re meeting all their targets without any problems. Once that’s done, your employees can structure their daily schedule to fit in with their families and personal lives. If they find they get more work done at night because they spend the afternoon running around after small children, that’s their business. All you need to be concerned about is whether the deadlines are being met. Chances are, you could see an increase in productivity because they’ve all achieved a good work/life balance.

Telecommuting could also benefit your business by increasing your talent pool; there are probably hundreds of people who would be happy to work for you, but they live too far away for commuting to be practical. If they have the option of working from home, they are more likely to apply for a job with your company, providing you with more talent to drive your business forward.


You might be at your desired state in your career, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is content to stay where they are. If your employees don’t see an opportunity for advancement, then they’ll have no reason to do well once their passion for the job starts to wane. They’ll either start looking for other, better paid, positions with another company, or they’ll stay and become a mediocre worker. Either way, you’re losing the enthusiastic employee that you first hired. Motivate your employees by offering training that gives them the skills they need to climb their career ladder. Grooming young employees to move on to better opportunities is valuable to you as well because it enables you to build your company’s reputation as a great place to work.

Open door policy

Despite their best efforts to keep their work and personal lives separate, some things will inevitably leak through and affect their job performance. If your employees know they can come to you with a personal problem, or for help with a task they find difficult, the quicker these issues get resolved and the sooner they can go back to their happy and productive self. The way to achieve this is by prioritizing employee communications. Speak with your employees frequently, and face-to-face. When employees feel that their voice matters, they in turn feel confident about their positions in the company and that they have more at stake than just a paycheck.

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