Integrating effective employee motivation strategies is a great way to increase productivity and employee retention. There are many methods you can use to help your employees thrive and enjoy their work, for example, employee development programs. Whether you’re an entrepreneur in the process of building a business or the CEO of a large-scale company, motivating your employees will help you implement a work culture that has unique employee benefits for those who go the extra mile. In this article, we describe some of the best motivation strategies and explain why motivation is a multifaceted concept that you need to understand.

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Article Contents
5 min read

What Is Motivation? Why Does Motivation Matter? The Most Effective Employee Motivation Strategies Conclusion FAQs

What Is Motivation?

There are two types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. The former refers to a drive that comes from within, from your own sense of purpose or fulfillment; the latter refers to a drive inspired by external rewards, such as money, success, or fame. Intrinsic motivation is more sustainable and related to task persistence, which, in the workplace, correlates with better problem-solving strategies and more tenacious employees.

Motivation can be difficult to measure because it isn’t something you can quantify or necessarily see. Most companies will introduce an external means of motivating their employees, such as deadlines, performance targets, or learning resources. There are, however, creative ways to attract employees and increase their engagement, energy, and commitment.

Motivation has a direct impact on production value. This means that unmotivated employees can have drastic consequences on the carrying capacity of your company, which can harm your reputation and undermine your brand value.

No two employees are the same, meaning that what motivates one person might not motivate the other. To navigate this potential conflict, you need to get to know your employees very well and provide them with employee reward systems that make them excited to go above and beyond. Performance is the product of ability and motivation – without either of these variables, the result is skewed. The best employee benefits should appeal to the needs and wants of your employees and protect their investment in the company.

Broadly speaking, there are about 10 major categories affecting motivation:

Why Does Motivation Matter?

Motivated employees are more creative, better problem-solvers, and more consistent. Motivation is difficult to stimulate and maintain, so employers need to be prepared to adapt to fluctuations and challenges that can spontaneously arise when dealing with this complex issue. Here are some of the reasons motivation is so important:

The Most Effective Employee Motivation Strategies

1. Scaling Responsibilities and Increasing Specialization

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualization, which refers to the fulfillment of one’s potential, is at the top of the pyramid. Every employee should be given the opportunity to expand their skills and take on more responsibility if they so desire. For example, many employees occupy a spot in the production chain, where each person contributes one part to a whole project. One way to scale the responsibilities for someone working on this project would be to have them complete more of the project than they normally would. This would also require ongoing training and continued performance evaluation to make sure quality isn’t sacrificed. There are typically three ways to do this:

2. Better Benefits and Rewards

In today’s market, the incentive to pursue higher education is exceedingly high. Employers want to hire people who possess a certain combination of hard and soft skills related to their field, and one predictable way to find candidates that meet this criterion is to list educational requirements for certain positions. Because many employees are students, and others are planning to return to apply to schools in the future, offering educational family-friendly employee benefits can motivate employees to perform. Relieving the financial burden related to the pursuit of higher education can also show your employers that you care about their personal and professional goals and that you support them in their endeavors outside their contributions to your company.

3. Set Goals as a Company

The goals that you set as a company should influence the goals that employees make for themselves. To get your employees on board with your objectives, you need to advertise your company mission and keep it visible. Most of your tasks and output should benefit the company mission in some way, so it’s important to align your employees. A great way to get everyone on the same page is to share stories about how your company is making a positive impact. For example, you should have a public directory of success stories from clients in the form of reviews or recorded videos to show proof that your company is doing something valuable.

Encourage goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based (SMART). Employees can apply this system to anything from specific tasks to broader, more integrated company objectives. Here is a breakdown of what the acronym represents:

4. Offer Competitive Compensation and Unique Benefits

While monetary gains are a form of extrinsic motivation, you can’t downplay the importance of fair compensatory benefits for your employees. Plenty of employees choose positions and even careers based on how much they will get paid. This means that you can’t forfeit reasonable pay if you want to attract new employees and retain your best employees. While some people are money-motivated, others might also expect remuneration in the form of recognition or praise. To be fair to both of these motivation styles, you should be prepared to offer a balance of both with innovative employee perks. For example, you might offer a monthly bonus for employees who reach a certain milestone or exceed the standard capacity expectations. These rewards can take several forms:

5. Empower Your Employees to Take Control

Another great way to motivate your employees is to increase the level of control they have over certain tasks and functions – in other words, empowering them to be their own managers. When you entrust employees with more responsibility, you need to verify that they can complete tasks with little or no provision.

Plenty of remote companies find success with this “employees as managers” model. Because employees who work from home generally aren’t supervised, employees should maintain an open and trusting relationship with their managers. The payoff is that when you give employees an opportunity to be independent, they become better at creative thinking, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Also, because the reward of this model is greater freedom, this can lead to increased motivation because employees will not want to abdicate their independence. There are a few reliable ways you can give your employees more autonomy in the workplace:


Effective employee motivation strategies are a key component of company growth. The interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be challenging to navigate, but if you understand how employees differ in terms of what motivates them, you will begin to see the benefits of a good strategy. Start by introducing a comprehensive reward system that motivates employees who are driven by either money or praise. In any case, you will need to get to know your employees well before you consider making any changes to your organizational structure. You should already have a basic benefits package, but consider adding some unique employee benefits, such as MBA admissions consulting or services for employees who are still in school or who might be interested in pursuing higher education in the future.


1. Why is employee motivation important?

Motivating your employees has lots of benefits for your company and for your team, including greater employee satisfaction, higher retention rates, increased employee efficiency, greater likelihood of meeting company objectives, and better teamwork.

2. What types of motivation are there?

There are two types of motivation, generally speaking: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The former refers to when people feel internally driven to perform. The latter refers to a drive to perform based on external factors, such as money or status.

3. How do I know what motivates my employees?

You will need to communicate with your employees regularly to find out what motivates them. Most of your employees will differ in this respect, so make sure you have plenty of incentives tailored to each specific person.

4.What are some strategies I can use to help motivate my employees?

There are a few strategies you can implement that are almost universally applicable: offer good benefits and competitive compensation; develop goals as a unit or department; empower your employees with more control and responsibility; and scale the responsibilities for each employee.

5. What is the best kind of compensation-based reward I can offer?

There are a few good options as far as monetary rewards you can offer. The idea behind them is that you’re encouraging employees who are motivated by money to perform at a higher level. Some of these rewards include cash bonuses, spot bonuses, discounts on products or services, and paid-for gym memberships or education perks.

6. What are education perks and how do they motivate employees?

Many employees are in school or planning to pursue higher education; if you offer education benefits such as academic consulting, you can motivate them to perform so they can make use of those benefits, especially if they have a family.

7. What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Individual and company goals should satisfy each of these contingencies.

8. How do I scale responsibility for my employees?

There are three ways you can do this. The first is job enlargement. This refers to a gradual process of giving more tasks over to employees. The second is job enrichment. This is when you give employees more responsibility and control over tasks. Finally, there’s job rotation. This is when employees are trained to complete different but related tasks so they can “rotate” through each over a set period of time.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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