Motivating Employees: Unlocking the Secrets to Employee Engagement

In the workplace, there’s a need for a balanced ecosystem— one that’s creative yet productive, comfortable yet professional, and so on. But lately, corporate leaders have started noticing an imbalance in one particular area: employee engagement.

Today’s workplace revolution has seen the rise of benefits like in-house game rooms, puppy play days, and backyard barbecues — all of which are great ways to motivate employees. Yet some companies have taken these perks to an extreme in which the workplace is more distracting than productive. (If you’re hosting office beer pong tourneys on Friday afternoons, we’re talking to you.)

Other (read, most) companies are still stuck in the stone ages of employee motivation. They’re so afraid of overwhelming or distracting workers, they decide not to offer any motivation at all. Instead, they cling to the traditional idea that the company provides the work, and the employee motivates him or herself to provide the labor.

Both of these scenarios make false assumptions. Some believe that employees can motivate themselves 100% of the time no matter how mundane their work (not true), while others believe employees need to be bribed to have fun at work (also not true).

The real solution to the problem of employee engagement starts with understanding that motivated employees are engaged employees — and that disengaged employees lose their motivation because their work isn’t meeting their needs. This field guide to motivating employees reveals what those needs are and how you can motivate your team to engage with their work.