How to motivate employees

One of the requirements in the human resources class I am currently enrolled in is that I have to teach for one day. The topics that I chose to teach about are organizational culture and employee motivation. This post is about my most important findings.

Scholars Arie Halachmi and Theo van der Krog recommend the following:

What managers should do:

  • Develop challenging but attainable goals
  • Give honest feedback regarding performance, emphasize learning
  • Create and instill a vision of your employees’ careers in the organization
  • Encourage participation and a team atmosphere
  • Realize the solution to poor performance is not micromanaging; employees need autonomy
  • Ensure and communicate a sense of justice
  • Care about your employees
  • Defend your employees
  • Fight for good working conditions and a friendly work environment
  • Let your employees have say and show trust and respect
  • Be a role model, lead by example

What managers should not do:

  • Demotivate

This may seem obvious, but often the biggest challenge to motivation is a manager’s tendency to demotivate. The biggest way they do this is by violating an employee’s sense of fairness, justice, or equity. When this happens the most important thing to do is to just listen.

Also, do not let your ego get to you. Sometimes managers do. They do things like forbid a flexible schedule or micromanage because they feel they have to have direct contact with their employees or their job doesn’t matter.


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