Article: 11 Employee engagement ideas to motivate employees through your workplace culture

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11 Employee engagement ideas to motivate employees through your workplace culture

O.C. Tanner’s research shows that thriving cultures with great employee experiences are 13 times more likely to have highly engaged employees
11 Employee engagement ideas to motivate employees through your workplace culture


Keeping employees motivated is a challenge that keeps many employers up at night—and who can blame them? Motivated employees work harder, require less management, and produce better results.  

Unfortunately, few employees are entirely self-motivated. This is where your workplace culture works its magic. O.C. Tanner’s research1 shows that thriving cultures with great employee experiences are 13x more likely to have highly engaged employees—and engaged employees quickly become motivated employees. 

We’ve put together a list of 11 employee engagement ideas that will build an inspiring workplace culture and motivate your people for years to come. 

#1. Personalize your motivation tactics

There’s no single thing that motivates all people, which is why managers need to learn what drives each employee individually. Take this opportunity to connect with your employees on a personal level—bond with them as their leader, mentor, and friend. When you get to know team members as people, you’ll discover how to personalise your motivational tactics to each employee. 

#2. Mentor instead of micromanagement

Speaking of leadership, let’s talk about the dreaded “M” word. Nothing shows your employees you don’t think they’re capable quite like micromanaging. Instead of being a helicopter boss, you need to be a mentor. When a leader is an active mentor, employees report a 102% increase in feeling motivated2. Mentors give their people the tools they need to succeed—then trust them to get the job done.

#3. Show trust through transparency

The importance of trust in the workplace really can’t be overstated. Don’t keep significant company information from your team. Instead, treat your people like adults with the emotional intelligence to handle both good and bad news. Share your challenges to give them something to overcome and your successes to give them something to celebrate.

#4. Introduce flexible work schedules

Few things are more demotivating than feeling confined by your job. If your business allows it, try giving your employees more freedom through flexible work schedules. A little flexibility can lead to more employee happiness in the long run3 . Not sure where or how to start? TAFEP has some resources to help Singapore-based employers implement a successful Work-Life Strategy.

#5. Empower your people with special projects

Most employees don’t have the chance to experience big successes in their daily routines, so you’ve got to provide the opportunity. Employees who participate in special projects and excel are 20% more likely to have an increased sense of success4. And once your people get a taste of success, they’ll be motivated to get more. 

#6. Support strong team bonds

It’s often difficult for a person to emotionally connect with an entire company, but a small group of people—their team—can inspire unshakable loyalty. And the more an employee cares about their team, the more likely they are to work towards its success. These working relationships often develop naturally, but you can help them grow by giving your people time and opportunities to bond with each other.  

#7. Ask for your people’s unique insight

No one wants to feel like their ideas don’t matter—especially in the workplace. When leaders dismiss employee opinions and ideas, 38% of employees become unmotivated5. To combat this, encourage your employees to share their ideas. This gives you insider solutions for company problems and a chance to empower your people.

#8. Equip employees with the right resources

It almost seems too simple, but many employees are unmotivated purely because they haven’t been given what they need to do their jobs well. Often, companies spend thousands of hours searching for highly motivated people without realising they’ve already hired them—they just don’t have the tools or resources they require to succeed.

#9. Give your work meaning 

When people do work that feels meaningful, there is a 49% increase in employees feeling highly motivated to contribute to their company’s success6. You can improve employee engagement by building your company culture around a higher purpose, and then showing your people how their work helps you achieve it. 

#10. Provide clear goals and immediate rewards 

Once your people have a larger purpose, they’re going to need manageable ways to reach it. Set clear, attainable goals for your employees and give out recognition rewards when they achieve them. This will motivate your team by providing a step-by-step path to success. 

#11. Infuse gratitude into your culture

Every healthy relationship is based on reciprocity—even professional ones. The more you care about your people (and show it through recognition), the more they’ll care about you (and show it through their work). It doesn’t have to be a lot—little things like providing healthy snacks and writing the occasional heartfelt letter go a long way. 

Remember, you can’t force motivation. There’s no secret key that unlocks the motivation vault hidden in all employees. But you can make day-to-day choices to create a motivational culture that helps your people to feel inspired, driven, and fulfilled.

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For more insights on what companies can do to cultivate a thriving workplace culture, reserve a limited slot to hear Meghan Stettler, Director of the O.C. Tanner Institute speak live in her keynote session ‘Culture And The Employee Experience’  at Avvanz’s Techstival Hybrid Conference on April 7, 2021. Register your details here.

The article originally appeared here

Article references:

[1]Employee Experience, 2020 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner

[2] Leadership, 2019 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner

[3] What makes employees happy at work?, O.C. Tanner

[4] Success, 2019 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner

[5] Listening, 2019 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner

[6] Purpose, 2019 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Talent Management

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