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Employee Motivation Programs

Julie Thompson

Keep your workers inspired by implementing employee motivational programs.

Your company can benefit from employee motivational programs. It's essential to reward your staff for their hard work through recognition, special privileges or gifts. Employee motivational programs show your team that your company cares about their success. Motivate your staff, and their production will exceed expectations.

Employee motivation techniques create the foundation that keeps your workforce happy and productive. A supportive work atmosphere leads to positive motivation for employees and improves morale. Further, workers who have a great attitude serve as an example for new staff members. Motivating employees can take many forms. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Share motivational articles and other materials to inspire your workers.
  2. Give your employees gifts as incentives.
  3. Implement a training program to increase employees' motivation.

Training programs use employee motivation theories to offer the best classes and training tools for your company. Some of the most successful companies in the world use training programs for worker motivation.

What are employee motivational programs?

Employee motivational programs motivate workers by incentivizing them with rewards. Each company decides what programs to offer based on the business's values and the needs of the staff, but most use a form of flexibility in the workplace, additional time off, or even tuition reimbursement. These benefit programs can help you engage and retain current employees and attract new talent.

5 types of employee motivational programs to consider

1. Raises and bonuses

There is no better way to incentivize your employee than offering a bonus when they need to go above and beyond or providing an annual raise after a glowing review. However, it's essential to have a clear plan on how employees will be financially rewarded when the time comes. Stick with the program and set clear expectations for all employees.

2. Profit-sharing plans

Profit-sharing can be an excellent alternative or addition to a 401(k) plan. Employees can receive cash or stock to boost their retirement accounts or even a direct payment. Profit-sharing is also a great way to incentivize marketing and sales teams, and you can increase or reduce it depending on your yearly expenses.

Although profit-sharing can be a financial sacrifice, it does more than help your employees financially. It can also boost their confidence by fostering a sense of ownership in the company, encourage company loyalty, and inspire them to excel at their jobs to increase their shares.

If profit-sharing isn't an option for your company, consider matching part or all of your employees' 401(k) contributions. The match signifies your employees' importance to the company and provides a better nest egg for your staff.

3. Tuition reimbursement

The cost of a college education has skyrocketed in recent years, and many people have to weigh their career choice largely based on whether they can pay off their student loans. Companies that offer tuition reimbursement take the financial burden of education off the employees' shoulders.

Offering to reimburse your employees for classes or degree programs keeps your team learning new strategies to streamline processes and bring fresh ideas. Plus, it will be easier to promote from within, saving you time and money.

4. Referrals

Even with a recruitment team, it can be difficult to keep a steady stream of potential employees ready when you need to fill a spot quickly. Providing a monetary incentive for current employees to refer friends and colleagues can help make sure you have enough staff on hand to keep your business running smoothly.

5. Wellness

While financial perks are always appreciated, offering wellness incentives that promote physical and mental health can prevent burnout among your employees. Consider providing your employees with healthy lunch options, onsite medical screenings, or standing desks. You could also reward your employees who quit smoking, for example, or complete health challenges.

Bottom LineBottom line: Employee motivational programs use financial and wellness incentives to inspire team members to do their best work consistently and help businesses recruit top talent.

7 tips to motivate employees during training

A study by the Global Journal of Commerce & Management Perspective found that training is an essential component of a business's productivity. In the study, training programs improved not only employees' performance but also the productivity of the organization as a whole.

Training is an invaluable strategy that every business should utilize, and it should be an ongoing process to continue growth within the company. Here are a few tips for creating an employee training program that will show results.

1. Make it engaging.

Training isn't effective if no one pays attention. Subjecting your employees to dry, uninspired educational materials or speakers is unlikely to produce the results you want. Your training program should seek to sell your team on the mission statement and culture of your company. It should clearly articulate your business's ultimate goal and explain why the training is vital to this goal.

2. Create high-quality training content.

Invest in high-quality content if you're doing video training or printing pamphlets. Of course, this doesn't mean you need to hire Steven Spielberg to direct your training videos, but putting in the extra effort and investing in production values can go a long way in keeping your employees interested and engaged in conjunction with the personal coaching you provide. 

3. Tell your story.

Another way to engage your audience is to tell your story and what drove you to start the business in the first place. Your existing employees already understand the broad strokes of what the company does and what problems it solves, but they may not know your motivation for developing the business.

Your story is an excellent opportunity to communicate with your team and explain your personal goals. It's easy to be indifferent if you feel like you're not personally connected to the company's objectives. However, explaining your backstory or the circumstances that led to the development of your business can build that personal connection employees need to truly value their roles and appreciate the impact their work has on the company and your customers.

4. Encourage feedback and participation.

Communication is vital to the employee-management relationship. Although communication should be part of your daily work life, employee training is an excellent opportunity to find any unaddressed issues.

If you do in-person training, ask your employees about their jobs and how the company could help them feel more engaged and supported. If it's online training, include a feedback section somewhere in the curriculum and encourage employees to submit their concerns. It also helps to get feedback on the training activity itself to improve and develop your materials continually.

5. Make it interactive.

If you force your employees to watch an educational video, it may help them learn some technical information, but it's unlikely to affect their overall sense of engagement. If the training is more of an interactive experience, it's more likely to impact employee morale positively.

If you have web development skills (or access to someone who does), creating interactive videos and online media could be a great way to do training. If you are not quite that tech savvy, you could offer incentives for completing specific training. For example, employees who complete a particular training program get to work on special projects or accounts – or even something less formal, like free pizza on Fridays for those who participate in a program.

How to incentivize your employees is up to you, but if you want to increase their motivation, you have to give them more than just bland educational content.

6. Inspire your crew with motivational articles and posters.

We've all seen the motivational posters and articles, but these can be more beneficial than you might think. The use of visual aids around the office can give an optimistic view for employee success.

7. Give them incentives to work toward.

Employees love rewards for hard work, and a fantastic motivational tool is gift incentives. Your staff will strive to do their best, and it challenges them to improve productivity through friendly competition and recognition for a job well done.

Bottom LineBottom line: Employee motivational training can prevent unnecessary pinch points and stimulate growth in the business. To engage employees successfully, invest in high-quality content, make it relatable, encourage interaction, provide positive visual reminders, and offer incentives.

Final thoughts on employee motivation

Employees need to feel encouraged, and the above techniques can achieve the goal of motivating your employees daily. Before you put them into practice, use an employee motivation survey to gauge the morale of your workforce. Ask your staff what motivates them – be it recognition, monetary rewards, or special privileges.

Image Credit: Chaay_Tee / Getty Images
Julie Thompson
business.com Contributing Writer
Julie Thompson is a professional content writer who has worked with a diverse group of professional clients, including online agencies, tech startups and global entrepreneurs. Julie has also written articles covering current business trends, compliance, and finance.