How to Motivate Employees

Why even care about motivating employees? After all, they are typically compensated with both paychecks and benefits, right? Yes, but while compensation definitely matters, motivating employees is just not that simple. With jobs involving usually more than 40 hours a week of work, there is more to the equation. Even the Harvard Business Review agrees that motivation is about more than money. Employees also typically want to create a positive impact.

In an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management you’ll learn to effectively motivate employees to perform well in ways that further both the goals you outline and the employees’ individual goals. Skilled managers understand that motivated employees tend to be happier and more engaged, work well independently and collaboratively, and are, therefore, more productive — and they stay put.

When you are responsible for a team, it is important to understand how and when to motivate, when to step in with advice, and when to encourage individual and team responsibility.

How can you work to motivate your employees? According to the Harvard Business Review, motivating employees begins with having the right attitude. Also, you may need to vary your approach to suit the person you want to motivate.

Encourage employees to adopt one or more of the following approaches to self-motivation:

  • Show persistence.
  • Become self-starters.
  • Become accountable.
  • Commit to achieving results.
  • Be more helpful.

The “It Factor”

Fortunate is the manager with self-motivated employees who are ready to perform well from the get-go — those with the so called “It Factor.” The real key is to know how to effectively inspire all employees under your leadership. It takes knowledge and skill, plus a commitment to value each employee as a unique human, not a robot.

Keys to Motivating Employees

Great beginnings need continuity of direction and an effective manager to keep the momentum alive. The Fitchburg State University online MBA in Management provides approaches to help you identify and apply results-focused tactics for your team. Success — your team’s and therefore your’s may depend on how well you inspire.

What Motivates Employees Is Beyond Mere Compensation

Great intentions are just that — intentions. You need real, practical approaches with impact. According to the Harvard Business Review, what motivates employees is the day-to-day feeling of being valued, trusted, challenged, and supported in their work. Job satisfaction and employee loyalty are the result.

Poor work environments, on the other hand, contribute to employee turnover, which hurts productivity, causes frustration and costs money. There is a better way, and you can learn about it.

As a management leader, tuning in to what is important to your employees can provide not only value for them but also success for the projects at hand. At Fitchburg State University, the online MBA in Management program covers employee motivation and helps you learn ways to motivate different personality types.

Promoting Efforts with Impact

If you are not familiar with “TED talks,” now is a good time to learn. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the talks are typically 18 minutes or shorter. While TED talks are often informative and entertaining, they can also help spread ideas that you can use in your own job.

Here is a sample TED talk that can help you discover which ordered approach typically works best:

  1. What?
  2. How?
  3. Why?


  1. Why?
  2. How?
  3. What?

Other resources for managers include Harvard Business Review articles and LinkedIn posts by thought leaders like Travis Bradberry.

Knowing how to motivate employees can lead to individual and team success. Through coursework in Fitchburg State’s online MBA in Management, you can learn effective approaches for motivating and managing employees.

Learn more about the Fitchburg State online MBA in Management program.


TED: What Motivates Us at Work? More Than Money

TED: Our Organization

TED: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Harvard Business Review: Motivating People Starts With Having the Right Attitude

TechEdge: 19 “It Factor” Characteristics

TalentSmart: 7 Ways Managers Motivate and Demotivate Employees

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