5 Secret Tips to Keep Employees Motivated

While this statement rings true for every company out there, it is especially relevant for small businesses. Small businesses rely on their employees even more than larger companies simply because there are fewer employees. What happens when you have a large room lit by several lights and one goes out? There would not be much to worry about because all of the other lights keep the room illuminated. But what happens if the room is only lit by one light and that light dies? Then the room is flooded with darkness.

This works the same way for companies and their employees. When there are many employees and one makes a mistake, the consequences are not felt as harshly. That’s because there are hundreds or thousands of other employees to make up for the mistake. However, when it comes to small businesses, a mistake made by a single employee could negatively impact the entire company. For this reason, it’s crucial for small businesses to have a dedicated, efficient and motivated team of employees who will do the work necessary for the business to success.

Employee morale in small businesses must be kept high because one employee who feels down, unappreciated and generally unmotivated could spread their poor work ethic to the other employees. So if you care about the future of your business and the happiness and performance of your employees, your question now is most likely: How do I keep my employees motivated? Here are five of the most effective tips to help keep your employees interested and driven.

Tip 1: Give employees more responsibility

Employees feel the most motivated when they know they’re adding value to the company. The more good work they contribute, the higher their standards are raised and the more motivated they become not to let the company down. If you want employees to remain motivated, the solution is to constantly give them more responsibilities. Start by giving employees more decision-making power. If employees can have more control over their tasks, they’ll be motivated to see the tasks through to completion. From this will benefit both the company but also the employee’s self-esteem. When we accomplish tasks and do our job well, we feel empowered.

Tip 2: Foster employee creativity

Creativity is one of the most valuable character traits any employee can have. However, many companies make the mistake of demanding things “by the book,” which prompts all employees to complete tasks in the same way and never think outside of the box. Discouraging creativity is one of the easiest ways to ruin your business and create a slew of unmotivated workers. When an employee is familiar with a certain product or service, pull them aside to get their opinion on its performance. Ask if they see any problems or if there is anything about the product or service that they would change. This is a simple way to foster and encourage creativity in employees. Which can make them feel valued and lead to an increase in motivation.

Tip 3: Reward employees for good work

One of the leading reasons why employees leave their jobs is due to feeling unappreciated. When an employee feels as though they’re taken for granted and essentially invisible in their job, this can severely negatively impact their motivation. Why would they put their all into their work when no one ever acknowledges the great job they do? If you can show your employees that they’re appreciated, you can improve their motivation levels. One way to do this is through financial incentives such as a raise or vacation package. However, non-financial incentives can also show employees your appreciation and help motivate them. Some non-financial incentives could be extra time off, perks at the office or letters of commendation.

Tip 4: Flexibility keeps employees motivated

As many of us know, working a 9-5 job can be absolutely exhausting, both physically and mentally. Those that work for start-ups or small businesses are especially familiar with working long hours to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Exhaustion in any form can have a plethora of negative side effects. Such as decreased productivity, low mood, headaches, dizziness and more. If an employee is experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be unreasonable to expect that their levels of motivation would be high.

One way to keep employees motivated in small businesses is to offer flexibility when it comes to working times and locations. If you’re able, offer your employees the occasional break by allowing them to work from home. This could be just the refresher they needed to kickstart their motivation! Similarly, if your employees are turning out excellent work, let them go home early one day. This flexibility could keep employees motivated. They know that their hard work will be recognized and rewarded with time to recharge.

Tip 5: Create clear lines of communication

Employees can have a strong impact on small businesses. With fewer employees contributing to your company’s success, you need to have clear and open lines of communication with your employees. These clear lines of communication will obviously benefit those in charge, but can also increase motivation in employees. This type of open communication between management and employees to inquire about the state of the business and how employees have contributed will make employees feel like an important part of the business – which they are! When employees feel important, they’ll feel more inclined to work harder.


As a business owner, you can recognize the value of hard work and dedication. As a small business owner, you can also recognize the urgency of employee motivation, as well as its endless benefits. Keeping your team motivated requires you to pay close attention to your team, their performance levels and how they interact with one another. You will need to constantly remind them of your gratitude for their hard work as well as their value to the company. While it may seem like quite a bit of work on your end, we promise it will pay off. Follow these five tips to increase the motivation of small business employees and see how your business excels.

Laura Greene
Laura Greene is one of the content managers for Trusted Employees - creative people who provide businesses, non-profits, and volunteer organizations with a tailored and compliant approach to background screening through personalization, innovation, and dedication.
Laura Greene

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