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Updated May 01, 2024

How to Encourage Employees to Take Pride in the Workplace

If you take time to motivate and inspire your employees, they’ll be more invested in their work — and your productivity, profits and morale will increase.

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Jennifer Dublino, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Operations
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An environment that fuels productivity is essential to your company’s success, and yet employee engagement levels are currently at their lowest in more than a decade, Gallup reported. The company’s State of the Global Workplace report found that disengaged employees cost the global economy $8.8 trillion in lost productivity. To avoid contributing to this statistic, create an environment where your employees take pride in their workplace. 

Consider what it takes to motivate and inspire employees. Then, break your approach into actionable steps. By doing so, you will increase employee morale, productivity and profits.

How to get employees to take pride in their workplace

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to increasing employee pride and productivity. Instead, here are several steps you can mix and match to get the best results for your business.

Encourage employees to explore beyond their department.

In large and midsize corporations, employees who work in one department may lack an understanding of what occurs outside their own cubicle walls. Even if they are exceptional at their job, they can’t provide optimal results without an understanding of how their work affects others. Allow employees to visit or shadow employees in other departments, speak with customers if they don’t already do so, and test the product or service your company provides.

Educating your employees and giving them the opportunity to understand the complete picture of your business will help them be mindful of how the quality of their work affects other departments and the company’s goals. As a bonus, when your employees understand the other positions in the company, you will have a greater chance to fill job openings with internal candidates. [Follow these tips for setting better business goals.]

Don’t stifle employee feedback.

Ensure that employees have the opportunity to receive frequent formal and informal feedback from their management team and co-workers. Regular feedback allows everyone to make improvements in real time. Many companies offer feedback sessions only annually or biannually, which may allow poor habits to linger too long and the motivating effects of positive feedback to wear off. Taking time once a month to review performance, set expectations and offer encouraging words will keep employee motivation high.

Find creative ways to reward the high achievers.

In an ideal world, receiving a paycheck would be enough to motivate all employees. However, in most cases, they will need something extra to stay content and actualized. This could be as simple as sending a positive email or a handwritten congratulatory note when an employee exceeds expectations. For a more formal approach, try offering financial bonuses or recognition ceremonies that show your employees you appreciate their efforts.

If possible, create a fun challenge between departments based on goal achievement. When you develop a reward system that’s tied to the company’s goals for the department, you create an environment where your employees feel rewarded for their part in the company’s success.

Make time for continuing education.

Employee education shouldn’t take place only during the onboarding process or when employees are underperforming. Continuing education is key to expanding employees’ knowledge of their current job functions and keeping them current on trends within your industry. In some industries, like banking, continuing education helps keep employees up to date with new regulations.

Internal education programs use experienced team members to instill valuable information about best practices for efficiency and customer satisfaction. They also provide an opportunity for employees to learn advanced techniques and to roll out updates to internal computer software. External education allows your employees to take advantage of experts outside your company to learn about industry trends. 

When your employees feel you have invested in their development, they will be more devoted to the company’s success.

>> Learn more: How the Best Companies Develop Better Employees

Foster camaraderie among team members.

When employees get to know their colleagues better, they will want to do their best for one another and the company as a whole. Team-building activities are a great way to foster these relationships. Activities could include silly questions to get to know each other or a custom team development program administered offsite. One great way to create camaraderie is to have a company service day in which your employees volunteer their time in the community. They will feel a sense of pride in what they worked together to accomplish, all while getting to know one another.

Clear the clutter.

Your office environment affects productivity and stress levels. Encourage a culture of cleanliness, and establish an employee-driven system of cleaning and organizing workstations and common spaces. Not only will the reduced mess allow everyone to work as efficiently as possible, but you will keep cleaning costs down. Another perk is that cleaning can serve as a team-building activity when employees do it together. 

Ask employees what inspires them.

Instead of guessing what will motivate or instill pride in your employees, ask them. Oftentimes, the things the management team thinks will motivate and inspire their employees is different from what actually motivates them. Allow employees to speak freely about what inspires them or to submit suggestions anonymously so all voices are heard and considered. 

This is a more efficient way to understand your employees’ needs, and it fosters an environment where your employees feel empowered to provide feedback to create a better workplace.

Motivation tends to be a short-term result, while inspiration fuels itself. Combining these motivation techniques to create an inspired workforce will keep employees engaged in their work, focused on how their efforts affect the company as a whole, and invested in the company’s long-term success.

FYIDid you know
Motivation doesn’t automatically equal engagement. In a Leadership IQ study, more than 25 percent of employees said they were motivated but unhappy at work.

How to get remote employees to take pride in their workplace

Remote work can be good for business, but to be successful, you need to remove obstacles, like improper technology and feelings of isolation and disconnection. Here are some effective strategies to encourage remote workers to take pride in their workplace.

Provide remote employees with the proper technology.

“When you support employees in their work by providing them with the technology required to carry out their jobs, learning opportunities and great perks that reward productivity as well as career advancement, then your company will enjoy the rewards of a dedicated and productive workforce,” Struan Baird, co-founder of MV Luxury Travel, told us. 

Andreas Grant, founder of Networks Hardware, said he tries to make sure all of his employees have the necessary equipment, such as a high-speed internet connection or a dual-monitor setup that can increase their productivity

“When [employees] see your effort to fulfill all their necessities, it won’t be too difficult for them to take pride in their employer,” Grant said. 

Reinforce the importance of remote workers.

Remote work trends during the pandemic transformed the business landscape, and companies saw the value of at-home employees. Just make sure your remote employees know how much your company relies on them.

“Employers can get their remote employees to feel pride in their employer by building anticipation for success,” said Isla Sibanda, a cybersecurity specialist and content creator. “They should put focus on the link between every employee’s everyday tasks and the success of all the stakeholders, which includes the person, team and organization.”

TipBottom line
A Great Place to Work survey found that only 58 percent of remote employees feel like they “make a difference,” compared with 65 percent of in-office employees and 60 percent of hybrid workers.

Maintain frequent interaction with remote employees.

Sean O’Neal, chief product officer of Sinch, suggested scheduling check-ins at least biweekly to see how remote employees are doing with their work progress. “This way, you can also see what other support they need from you, and at the same time, they can get the idea that they are valued. It will also boost their morale; hence, it increases productivity and efficiency of their work.”

Streamlined communication is also crucial, according to Jessica Munday, co-founder and head of HR at Custom Neon.

“We have Basecamp, a project management tool that has allowed team members to work simultaneously or asynchronously across various branches of the business without losing track of progress,” she said. “We also have Papyrus and an internal intranet platform where we encourage non-work-related banter. We do include topics such as team members of the quarter, our company newsletter and big wins for the business.”

Give remote employees the same experience as in-office employees.

“There is this idea out there that it’s somehow difficult to make remote employees take pride in their employer compared to in-office employees,” Grant said. “However, the core ideas are the same regardless of the workplace. You have to give your employees a healthy, tension-free workplace where they feel free to be creative.” 

Grant added that focusing on flexibility is helpful. “As long as [employees] get the job done, I don’t care about their working hours or availability. Don’t make them sit through long meetings unless you absolutely have to.”

The benefits of employees who take pride in their workplace

Creating a happy and engaged workplace is good for both your workers and the overall company. Here are some of the business benefits of employees who take pride in their workplace.

Job satisfaction

“When employees feel pride in what they do, they are more satisfied with their work, they are motivated by a sense of achievement and accomplishment, and will work hard and always strive to do more — not because they have to, but because they want to,” Munday said. 

Better recruitment

“Investing in our staff and their development means that they naturally take pride in working for us and are great ambassadors for our company,” said James Parkinson, copywriter and former customer experience manager at Personnel Checks. “This helps us with recruitment, as we are known as a great employer to work for, and it helps keep our retention rates high, as people want to stay with us.”

Employee loyalty

“When employees are proud of their employer, they’re more likely to be loyal, which means they’ll stay with the company longer and help grow it,” said Luke Lee, founder and CEO of Ever Wallpaper. “They’ll also be happier at work, which makes them more productive and creative, leading to better products and services. Finally, proud employees are more likely to recommend the company to others, potentially bringing in new customers who can expand the business even further.”

FYIDid you know
According to our worker satisfaction study, 61 percent of workers are seeking or planning to seek new jobs.

Increased productivity

“You see a direct impact on [employee] productivity when they feel like an actual part of the organization,” Grant said. “When they see how they fit in the big puzzle that is your organization, they know exactly how their output is making a difference. Everyone tends to have one foot out the door for better opportunities. This can have a negative impact on productivity. This is where you can reap the benefits of employees feeling pride in their employer. You don’t have to worry about employee retention or turnover rates.”

Skye Schooley and Bonnie Dewkett contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

author image
Jennifer Dublino, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Operations
Jennifer Dublino is an experienced entrepreneur and astute marketing strategist. With over three decades of industry experience, she has been a guiding force for many businesses, offering invaluable expertise in market research, strategic planning, budget allocation, lead generation and beyond. Earlier in her career, Dublino established, nurtured and successfully sold her own marketing firm. Dublino, who has a bachelor's degree in business administration and an MBA in marketing and finance, also served as the chief operating officer of the Scent Marketing Institute, showcasing her ability to navigate diverse sectors within the marketing landscape. Over the years, Dublino has amassed a comprehensive understanding of business operations across a wide array of areas, ranging from credit card processing to compensation management. Her insights and expertise have earned her recognition, with her contributions quoted in reputable publications such as Reuters, Adweek, AdAge and others.
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