Motivating your staff

    Business Spotlight 4/2023
    blue neon sign saying "work harder"
    © Jordan Whitfield/
    Von Ken Taylor

    More than 70 per cent of employees in the UK want their employers to make more effort to motivate them, according to a 2018 survey by Censuswide. The surveyUmfragesurvey also found that highly motivated workers take pride in their work. This and similar studies show clearly that organizations that are good at addressing employee motivation also have better business results.

    Not everyone is motivated in the same way. Obviously, money and benefitsZusatzleistungen (des Arbeitgebers)benefits are important, but the motivating effects of those to wear offnachlassenwear off quickly. Professional challenges, job satisfaction and self-fulfilmentSelbstverwirklichungself-fulfilment are much less tangiblegreifbar, konkrettangible but often equally important.

    How can you find out what motivates each employee? Ask them. You can do this informally, during feedback or appraisalBeurteilung; hier: Mitarbeiterbeurteilungappraisal sessions or by doing a staff survey.

    Using the chart in this article, you can have your team rate the importance of various types of reward. The answers could be a basis for your next feedback session. In addition, there are some general things you can do to motivate your people.


    Positive feedback makes people feel valued and has a great impactAuswirkung(en)impact on employee moraleArbeitsmoralmorale. The best managers promote a recognition-rich work environmenthier: Umfeldenvironment. The feedback should be frequent and timelyzeitnahtimely. As long as it is honest and deserved, you can never give too much recognition.


    The University of Birmingham’s business schoolwirtschaftswissenschaftliche FakultätBusiness School has studied the relationship between reported well-being and levels of autonomy. Dr Daniel Wheatley says: “Greater levels of control over work tasks and scheduleTermin-, Zeitplanschedule have the potential to generate significant benefits for the employee, which was found to be evident in the levels of reported well-being.”

    Generally, increased flexibility as to where work takes place (office or home), schedule, paceTempopace of work and the order in which tasks are completed all contribute to higher levels of employee satisfaction.


    Goal setting should be a regular topicThematopic integrated into staff meetings. This consistentlygleichbleibendconsis­tently connects your business objectiveZiel(setzung)objectives to day-to-day work. If staff are included in setting goals, it raises morale, increases their trust in the relevance of what they do and to nurture sth.etw. nähren; hier: etw. fördern, zuträglich seinnurtures a sense of ownership.


    Besides regular staff meetings, invest a little time each day in talking to people. Discuss anything from concerns to ideas for improvements. Welcome all ideas and suggestions. Keep an open mind and make it easy for individuals to approach you. If employees feel that their managers listen to them, they’ll feel more connected to the progression of the business and more motivated to contribute.

    A nice place to be

    A pleasant, well-lit and functional workplace can improve staff morale. It needn’t be very expensive to brighten up the place. Start by removing clutterUnordnungclutter. Then, consider artwork or a new paint job. Set aside space for relaxation. Investing in new furniture can be costly, but if your employees are uncomfortable, it makes it more difficult for them to get the work done.

    Motivated employees are enthusiastic and take pride in their work. The result is lower absentee rateFehlzeitabsentee rates, lower staff turnoverMitarbeiterfluktuationstaff turnover, more innovation and higher productivity.


    Ask your staff

    What are the key questions we need to ask?

    This will provide a basis for our feedback session.

    What did you put as your priorities?



    Well done! That was exactly what was needed.

    Your enthusiastic approach is much to appreciate sth.etw. schätzenappreciated.

    Thanks for doing that so efficiently.



    You can decide how you want to do it.

    The order in which you do your work is up to you.

    Let’s discuss how a hybrid workhier: Arbeiten im Büro und im Homeofficehybrid-work scheme will function best.



    What should our short-term goals be here?

    Let’s discuss and to revise sth.etw. überprüfen, überarbeitenrevise the objectiveZiel(setzung)objectives we set previouslyzuvorpreviously.

    Shall we agree on the targetZieltargets for the next three months?



    I have an open-door policy.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

    That’s a very interesting idea. Tell me more.


    A nice place to be

    The idea is to have a space where people can relax, to minglesich (ver)mischen; hier: in Kontakt kommenmingle and chat.

    Let’s brighten up our workspace with art.

    The new office chairs are ergonomic.

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