Employee motivation: what works best for your team?

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Employee motivation is the fuel that ignites the fire within your team, pushing them to achieve their goals and contribute to business success.  


But apparently, only 13% of Europe’s employees are actually engaged in their jobs in 2023. Yikes.  


If you want your business to thrive with productive, loyal and motivated staff, you’ll need to get creative about keeping your team engaged. But where to start? 


Every employee will have a unique mindset and approach to their job role and a different idea of what they want from it. So, the first thing you’ll need to do to keep your team motivated is understand that our behaviour is influenced by two distinct types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. 


Let’s take a deeper dive… 


What is extrinsic motivation in the workplace?


Rather than being driven purely by a love for the job at hand, extrinsically motivated people are incentivised by the idea of a reward — whether that’s a nice bonus or a promotion from their manager. 


So, to effectively capture the attention of rewards-driven employees, you may have to do a little better than competitive salaries to keep them engaged long-term… 


Offer additional benefits


As the recruitment landscape gets more competitive, companies are now reimbursing gym memberships, providing childcare options and offering relocation bonuses to keep their teams engaged. 


What can you offer to retain your workforce and improve their productivity? By understanding the incentives your team feels they’re missing out on, you can boost engagement across your company and maximise staff well-being.  


Wondering how you’ll cover these costs? There are loads of affordable rewards schemes like Perkbox and Zhoosh that can help to organise and streamline your spending. 


Set expectations and be consistent


For your employees to exceed your expectations and gain a reward, they’ll need to know and understand the parameters of their work. What’s the level of performance that would elicit a ​monthly bonus, for instance?  


To prevent the line of expectations from being blurred, have regular check-ins with staff — assessing their progress and how they can reach their next goal. 


Create financial incentives


It’s the most obvious reward for a reason, after all.  


High salaries, pay rises and promotions are great ways to extrinsically motivate employees. From cash prizes for hitting weekly targets to monthly goals that rack up an end-of-year bonus, financial incentives can reward top performers who consistently exceed expectations — and ensure everyone feels they’ve got something to work towards. 


Material perks also help employees feel they’ve got something to work towards — but what if not everyone’s interested in cash? From event tickets and gift cards to retailer discounts, there are plenty of ways to personalise your employee incentivises to make your team feel appreciated. 



That’s the extrinsic motivators sorted. Now, let’s uncover the practices you can implement for employees less influenced by material rewards… 


How are employees motivated intrinsically?


Intrinsic motivation is when employees gain satisfaction and enjoyment from what they do — and are motivated by progression, encouragement and work-related challenges. 


So, how can you build intrinsic drivers into your company’s job roles or team culture to boost employee motivation? 


Create a sense of autonomy 


In the workplace, autonomy means your employees are empowered to have their say, pursue their goals and get their work done — without being micromanaged. 


To achieve this, you might allow your staff more freedom over where they work (at home, in the office, at a coffee shop…) or work together to agree on deadlines and assign tasks.  


Consistent feedback and coaching are also great intrinsic motivators and help to reinforce a sense of autonomy. 


Holding regular check-ins with your team to discuss their progress, constructive feedback and how they can reach their next goal puts them in the driver’s seat of their career. Plus, by asking questions that guide them to their own solutions, you can empower and engage them in their position. 


Invest in your employees


Offering professional development and learning opportunities shows your staff that you value them, which can keep them more motivated in their role. 


If you have in-house training, make it available to every employee. If not, use online training platforms, such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera and SharePoint, which allow employees to advance in their careers with various courses. 


Stay connected


Building a connection through communication can help you get to know your staff and what they want from their job role. After all, most employees have one thing in common: they want to feel valued and motivated. And if they’re not feeling engaged at your company, they’ll find another business that suits their needs… 


So, it’s important to create an environment where employees can chat, collaborate and feel safe to ask questions, share opinions and lean on each other for support. But how? 


A fun and engaging day of group activities is a great opportunity to get your staff to think outside the box — improving decision-making and problem-solving skills, keeping the team motivated and enhancing communication. Planning social get-togethers like after-work activities or group lunches (virtual or in-person) can also help boost collaboration and employee motivation. 


Learning what effectively incentivises your team will give you a much better chance of retaining your staff — and reaping the rewards of a successful business. 


At The Brew, we do our best to deliver workplace tips and tricks so you can stay one step ahead and focus on what makes your business great. Check out our other blog posts for insightful advice — and if you’re looking for a creative space to base your business, visit our savvy coworking spaces in Shoreditch!