Motivating others requires a keen understanding of structure, communication, and incentives. Strong leaders and managers recognize that there are strategies for motivating employees. The list below provides a sample of ten things that can be used to motivate employees.


People seek pleasure. Offering pleasurable rewards provides a natural motivator for employees to be productive. Whether its time off, recognition, money or another incentive, make sure it is tied to a goal that employees believe they can achieve.


People either move toward pleasure or away from pain. Making people aware of the consequences of not performing can be a motivating factor. But tread lightly here. The threat of too much pain can also motivate people to find a job elsewhere.


Detailed Expectations

Be specific when setting expectations. People rise to meet expectations but seldom higher without another motivator.


Never underestimate the power of goal setting. Establish short and long term goals and tie those goals to rewards. Encourage employees to review goals daily and take ownership of their objectives.


Procrastination is part of life. The reality is that most people operate at peak levels right before a major deadline. Too many deadlines or setting them too close together can have the opposite effect so be careful here. Create a series of milestones before the big deadline and watch the result.


Pitting employees against each other is a poor strategy. People like to feel as though they are part of a team. Set team goals then reward the group for their efforts.


Incentives and other motivators work best when the recipients receive their rewards publicly. Often it is the public recognition, not the actual reward, that makes all the difference. Praise progress. Encourage employees to work to their full potential by highlighting their success for all to see.

Kindness and Respect

Trust employees to rise to the occasion and they typically won’t disappoint. When people feel respected and appreciated they are much more likely to go a step beyond to help.

Encourage Creativity

When a goal is established empower people to determine the best way to achieve it without micromanaging their behaviors.


Perception is reality. What people believe is based on what they are told and how it is told to them. Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage employees to talk through difficulties. Don’t let problems fester. Open communication is the ultimate key to success and motivation.

Master these ten points and put them to work. Motivation levels will soar as will productivity and efficiency.