How to motivate your employees as a manager

Keeping employee engagement and motivation high will not only benefit your workforce, but could even benefit you too. Here are a few ways on how you can improve employee experience and tailor your rewards and recognition system to their needs and individual traits. 

Is employee motivation important?

To start, it’s useful to understand the benefits of motivated employees. An engaged workforce means happy, satisfied employees who are more committed to their job, and as a result, become more productive. For your organisation, this could mean many things, such as:

  • Better performance
  • Higher talent retention rate
  • Enhanced company culture
  • A shared feeling of success
  • Increased customer satisfaction

So, how can you make sure your team stays motivated and will do their best to keep their own standards high? This could differ from person to person, and may depend on whether they are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. 

What’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

There are two main categories of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. 

When something feels good from within and motivates people to do better (like following their passion), they feel rewarded internally, and are therefore intrinsically motivated.

On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors and rewards which could be hitting set targets, receiving praise and recognition or financial rewards.


What’s the best type of motivation for your team?

When it comes to motivating your team, what works best? It’s important to consider both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in the workplace. 

As a manager, it’s your responsibility to recognise what each team member needs to feel motivated. While intrinsic motivators can be cost-effective, they require an investment of time to understand what each employee aspires to do. 


  • Attitude motivation is all about making a positive impact, correcting injustices, and helping others. This type of motivation is often felt by employees who are passionate about making a difference in their roles. They tend to be inspired being in a purpose-driven role. By identifying and acknowledging the values that drive these “Difference Makers,” you can not only provide them with opportunities to pursue their passions, but also improve the overall workplace culture. Why not encourage them to lead discussions on their opinions, share their ideas on social media or through the company newsletter, or even connect their efforts to the larger purpose and the company values? 


  • Creative motivation is mostly related to the creatives in your team, who tend to share a solution-oriented mindset, feel the need to express themselves and get inspired by change. The easiest way to keep them engaged is a flexible working environment and to avoid strict, repetitive routines. Remember to give them opportunities to think out-of-the-box; an open brief, redecorating the office, filling goodie bags, or even an non-work -related fair where they can present and sell their own art pieces.


  • Achievement motivation is all about the sense of fulfilment and pride employees experience when they achieve a goal. It’s that feeling of blissful relief and confidence that keeps them motivated to work hard. This is particularly true for employees who have already surpassed the basics and are now striving for productivity, which is often seen in “Rising Stars.” These individuals love a good challenge and have a strong desire to succeed quickly and frequently. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide them with opportunities to feed that hunger for achievement.


  • Competence motivation is ideal for those who are just starting out in their career or for interns who are eager to learn new skills. However, it is not limited to just entry-level employees. Even the most experienced of employees often want to expand their knowledge and expertise, but just don’t always have the time to do so. By offering the right guidance and investing time in their career development, both entry-level and experienced employees can feel supported in their career path and be empowered to enhance their skills.


Another way to motivate employees and have instant results is through extrinsic motivation

  • Affiliation motivation is all about being a part of, and feeling connected to a group of people. So, by being part of the team, some employees are motivated by their desire to belong. Praising an employee both publicly and one-on-one can help them feel accepted and show that you think good of them, to ultimately validate their sense of belonging. This approach can be particularly beneficial for new starters at any level who are trying to find their place within the team.


  • Power motivation is all about putting leadership skills into practice, meaning that people who have a natural ability to lead and think logically can make great mentors for others on the team. It’s important to recognise that leadership potential isn’t just limited to those in senior positions. Mid-level and junior employees can also develop their leadership skills. You can help them by giving them responsibility on smaller projects, arranging one-on-one development meetings, or even upgrading their job titles where appropriate to keep them motivated and engaged. 


  • Reward-based motivation is always a good addition to—if not the main part of— your staff rewards, as you can motivate a large number of staff members at the same time. It might be a bonus for the most sales, most overtime, a pay rise to the most productive employees, a leaderboard with the employee of the month. The opportunities are endless and these rewards can help boost morale and encourage employees to strive for excellence.


If you already have a few people in mind, this could be a great time to give them a treat! 

As a reward, our corporate gift cards and e-gift cards are a great way to say thank you and acknowledge your employees’ efforts and good work. 

By offering a wide range of products, from groceries, to clothing and homeware, our corporate vouchers could help cover their weekly shopping needs, and will allow your employees to treat themselves to whatever they want, whenever they want.