3 simple ways to motivate your employees in 2022

Engaged workers in an office

You have a great team of employees working for you. How do you keep them engaged and motivated? This is a question managers and business owners have been asking themselves more and more lately in light of trends like The Great Resignation and the shift to more remote work. It feels harder than ever to keep employees motivated and in the right headspace to do their best work.

If you are facing this challenge in your business, fear not! Science to the rescue! Here are 3 data-driven, evidence-backed ways to keep your employees motivated.

Spoiler alert: It's not all about the money.

1. Acknowledge Wins

This is an easy one. If one of your teammates is doing a killer job, recognize it! Positive encouragement can go a long way towards making employees feel appreciated and validated. Data from a Gallup survey 1 showed that honest, authentic and individualized recognition is often one of the most high impact ways you can help employees stay engaged in the workplace.

While this sounds obvious, the same survey also showed that only one in three workers in the U.S. feel like they received recognition or praise for the work they do. There's a good chance that even if you feel like you are recognizing and encouraging your team, they might not feel the same way!

So what is the best way to acknowledge someone who works for you? Data says that the number one way is public recognition or acknowledgement via an award, certificate or commendation, followed by private 1:1 recognition or feedback. Both of those types of recognition actually polled higher than a promotion or monetary reward in terms of an individual's level of satisfaction.

2. Let them be responsible

No one likes a micromanager. Research2 shows that giving your team members a little more flexibility can go a long way. That can mean investing your working relationships and giving employees more autonomy in how their work is done. While this might mean more screw-ups in the short term, over time your workers will learn from their mistakes, develop their skillsets, and help you relax a little bit more. It's really a win for everyone!

If this seems like a little to much, you can try taking some basic steps like allowing more flexibility in schedules or, if the type of work permits it, allowing employees to work from home more frequently (kind of a no-brainer in 2022). Making small changes could have a big impact.

3. Help them grow

Most employees, especially your top performers, are looking to grow and advance their skills and careers. As a manager you can help set goals and provide feedback to facilitate this growth. Schedule regular check-ins with your employees and see what they need, or where they feel they are falling short.

It's easy to overlook the power of goal setting and regular check-ins, but don't! Twenty percent of respondents in an employee engagement study3 said that they didn't have enough clarity into what their managers needed from them or why. Avoid this by setting clear goals for your team.

Remember to communicate

There's an overarching theme here. Do you see it?

Clear communication is essential towards keeping your employees on track and motivated. The more you talk with your team, understand their problems and frustrations and empathize with them, the easier it is to solve those problems before they become too big. So remember to talk with your employees. If you're in a remote work environment this is even more crucial because it's so easy to not communicate enough. If you take the time and make the effort though, it will pay off, and you may find your teammates feeling more focused and motivated throughout 2022!

  1. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236441/employee-recognition-low-cost-high-impact.aspx

  2. https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2017/04/autonomy-workplace.aspx

  3. https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/how-to-motivate-your-employees/