Employee Motivation and Engagement

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  • Employee motivation and engagementHow to unleash your employees performance and potential

    Daniel Lafreniere

  • disengagementThe state of employee

    in the workplace

  • Employees have needsManagers mostly focus on providing the basic employees needs when they should focus on motivational and relational ones to truly engage people.

    This is not without consequences.



    Clear goals/challenges


    Sense ofprogress



    Salary Benefits Training Evaluation






    Team spirit Effectiveleadership

  • 70% of American workers are not engagedThis disengagement costs between $450billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year in the USA.

    Source: Gallup (2013). State of the American Workplace.


  • Employees dont feel appreciated55% of workers would quit for another company that recognizes their efforts and contributions.

    Source: Globoforce (2012). Revealing Key Practices for Effective Recognition.


  • Employee turnover costs are hugeThe total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2 annual salary.

    How? Simply by adding the cost of hiring, training, lost productivity, customer service and errors, among other things.

    Source: Bersin, J. (2013). Employee Retention Now a Big Issue: Why the Tide has Turned.


  • employeeKeys to unlocking


  • 1. Give employees clear and achievable goalsCommunication is key.Tell them truly what you expect from them.


  • 2. Give them a sense of progressAccording to Teresa Amabile: Of all the things that can trigger emotions, motivation and perceptions during a work day, the most important is progress: moving forward and achieving something.

    Source: Amabile, T. & Kramer, S. (2011). The Progress Principle. HBR Press, Boston, MA.


  • 3. Give employees recognitionEmployees that are appreciated at work not only feel more sure of themselves but also trust their colleagues and managers.

    When employees are thanked for a job well done, they feel as though they have a purpose.

    Recognition can enhance motivation by attaining the upper levels of the Maslow hierarchy of needs, which are a sense of belonging, esteem and self-actualization.

  • Struggling with employee motivation?Get our free guide on the best practices for employee motivation and recognition.

    Read the guide


  • Rinse and repeatPeople often say that motivation doesnt last. Well, neither does bathing. Thats why we recommend it daily.

    Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and motivational speaker


  • Being appreciated increases engagement61% of the employees said that being appreciated by their manager/peers made them feel more positive and increased their engagement.

    Source: Garr, S. (2012). The State of Employee Recognition in 2012. Bersin & Associates.


  • recognizeHow to

    your employees

  • 1. Avoid giving moneyUnless it is critical for employees remuneration, avoid giving money.

    In a recent study carried out among salespeople, Doug Chung from Harvard University demonstrated that they preferred rewards that were not monetary, such as points they can accumulate to take a day off or buy a new TV, rather than money of similar value.

    Source: Chung, D.J. (2015). How to Really Motivate Salespeople. HBR, April 2015.


  • 2. Offer small rewards more oftenIn their study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Carey Morewedge and colleagues came to the conclusion that all else being equal, the majority of people prefer having or experiencing many small pleasures in life, rather than only a few great pleasures. Source: Morewedge C. K. et al. (2007) Mispredicting the Hedonic Benefits of Segregated Gains, Journal of Experimental Psychology, 136, 700-709.

  • 3. Offer timeOffering a day off, letting people take a few hours to take care of time-consuming tasks, or simply giving people time to do something else, has become a reward that employees really crave.

  • 4. Offer an experience57% of Americans surveyed say that receiving an experience (lunch/diner, tickets for the movies, a show, sporting event or trip) made them happier than a simple material good. Only 34% said the contrary.

    Source: Nicolao, L. et al. (2009). Happiness for sale: Do experiential purchases make consumer happier than material purchases? Journal of Consumer Research, 36(2), 188-198.

  • 5. Offer badgesGiving a badge for an achievement or behaviour is a nice way to motivate and reward employees when on a tight budget.

    Once obtained, badges show peers and other managers that an employee has developed a certain skill or performed a remarkable achievement.

    The fact that colleagues are earning badges makes others want to surpass themselves too.

  • 6. Surprise them!Another way to engage people in their work is to offer unexpected prizes. Surprise them!

    Novelty always irresistibly begets employees attention.

    Whats more: people get a heightened sense of pleasure and anticipation when they receive positive surprises.

  • Recognition is important, very important, simply because it is proof of a persons progress and achievements, which attracts the attention of and accolades from others.

    Dan Pink

  • More motivation More engagementWhen managers recognize employees contribution, engagement increases by 60%.

    82% of respondents indicated that appreciation is one of the key factors in improving their motivation.

    78% of employees stated that they would work harder if they had more recognition from their employers.Sources: Garr, S. (2012). The State of Employee Recognition in 2012. Bersin & Associates and Globoforce (2012). Revealing Key Practices for Effective Recognition.

  • Wait a minute!Ive read somewhere that giving awards is bad for motivation

  • Intrinsicvs extrinsicProponents of the self-determination principle believe there are only two types of motivation: intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external).

    According to other academics, this dualism is invalid because human motives are multifaceted and do not divide into just two kinds.

    Source: Reiss, S. (2012). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Teaching of Psychology, March 2012.

  • Idealistsvs realistsRealists argue that in the real world extrinsic rewards are common, expected, and needed to enhance or maintain motivation.

    Idealists, on the other hand, suggest that the real world is merely a human construction, one that might be reconstructed to de-emphasize extrinsic rewards.Source: Urdan, T. (2003). Intrinsic Motivations, Extrinsic Rewards, and Divergent Views of Reality. Book Review in Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 15, No. 3 Septembre 2003.

  • Different people, different needsThe debate is ongoing, but one thing is for sure: different people have different needs as to what motivates.

    In a nutshell, rewarding and recognizing employees (in a variety of different forms) plays a crucial role in improving overall engagement.

  • Not rewarding people who have come to expect rewards may produce negative reactions from those people, resulting in a workforce and student body that is less motivated.

    Suzanne Hidi, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Toronto

  • Incentive programs are an investment46% of upper management in large-scale companies deem that incentive programs are an investment and not an expense.

    Source: WorldatWork. (2013). Trends in Employee Recognition.


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