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Importance of Employee Motivation, Encouragement, and Appreciation

At one point in time, employees were simply a means to get necessary work done. No thought was given as to what motivated them or how a business could be more successful based on the level of motivation or encouragement an employee experienced.

The topic of motivation in the workplace has been researched by many and entire books have been written on the subject. Research has shown that the more motivated an individual is, the happier he or she tends to be and the more productive he or she becomes. This outcome has benefits to both the business and the employee.

When employees feel motivated and encouraged by an employer, several things happen: they feel satisfied, achieve personal goals, feel empowered and find better ways to complete tasks. They are also more adaptable, optimistic and a better team member.

The impact of these things on a business can mean quite a bit, including, but not limited to: more efficient operations, increased profits, new ideas for future growth, less conflict and turnover and a desirable environment for job seekers.

A motivated workforce means a highly productive staff, all of which will help achieve business goals. Not every employee will be motivated by the same thing however, so it can be tricky to figure out how to get started.

To begin building a motivational strategy, first understand what motivates employees. This will help in developing programs and initiatives tailored to motivate and retain the best people for the business.

Gary Chapman and Paul White wrote a book titled, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. In it, five languages of appreciation are identified as follows:

  • Words of Affirmation – using words to communicate a positive message
  • Quality Time – giving undivided attention
  • Acts of Service – offering and/or providing assistance to others
  • Tangible Gifts – giving a gift that the person values
  • Physical Touch – appropriate touch such as a handshake, high five or pat on the back, etc.

Understanding these languages can make approaching a new motivational strategy easier. The concepts, and other ones beyond these, are not hard to understand. It has been found that the hard part is simply applying the ideas and being committed to them for the long haul – making tweaks when necessary and continuing on from there.

Some successful strategies that EctoHR has seen implemented include:

  • Using food as incentive – keep an kitchen stocked with drinks and snacks, encouraging employees to interact in the office rather than leaving to get these items
  • Instituting casual dress days – start ‘Jean Friday’ or ask everyone to wear a particular themed attire (Super Bowl, March Madness, Halloween, etc)
  • Creating social events – having a monthly luncheon, going bowling as a team, or even volunteering together

Remember that there is not one correct approach to motivation, so be creative and choose a strategy that best fits your organization. By motivating, encouraging and appreciating staff members, everyone benefits.

The EctoHR Team is here to help our clients build strategies that will positively motivate employees, encourage continued growth and show appreciation for the part they play in a successful business. For more information on how we can help your company, please contact a member of the team at or 810.534.0170.


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