02 Jun 2023

How can HR leaders help with employee motivation

Employee motivation is a challenge for every manager and HR professional, and it plays a fundamental role in increasing employee productivity and morale. Implementing various employee engagement, motivation, and morale strategies has a significant impact on employees' performance and attitude, which eventually leads to business success. 

In this article, we will discuss how HR teams can contribute to employee motivation and what practices they can follow to encourage higher productivity and morale.

Role of HR in employee motivation

HR plays a crucial role in fostering employee morale and motivation. To create a motivated workforce, it's essential to provide clear reward policies, development plans, and progression paths. Long-term strategies are effective in motivating employees, while short-term approaches can be used to boost motivation during critical moments and track changes in productivity.

Rather than relying solely on extrinsic rewards like staff incentives, HR can focus on providing opportunities for employees to voice feedback, work flexibly, and track their performance. Taking a company-wide perspective, HR can create a conducive work environment and promote a productive company culture that encourages employees to perform effectively and efficiently.

Striking a balance between employee motivation and morale can be challenging for HR managers, as they may not have as close a view of employee progress as sales managers or line managers. Therefore, effective interdepartmental communication is crucial to ensure that the strategies and policies developed by HR are effective. Trying and testing different employee engagement, motivation, and morale strategies is key to finding the most effective approaches.

Furthermore, it's important to recognize that what works for one employee may not work for the rest of the team. Therefore, motivation and morale strategies should be adaptable to different circumstances. Team building activities can be an effective way to motivate teams and foster rapport among coworkers, aiding in understanding how strategies can be tailored to suit individual preferences and needs.

Best methods and practices HR can implement to motivate employees

HR Open-Door Policy

Encouraging an open-door policy where employees can approach HR with concerns, issues, and feedback fosters clear communication, transparency, and trust between employees, managers, and HR. Effective communication boosts intrinsic motivation in the workplace, leading to higher employee satisfaction, performance, and attitude. Furthermore, open-door communication can help manage employee expectations and motivate employees to progress in their role and advance in the organization.

Provide Clear Development Plans

Clear development plans can improve job satisfaction by demonstrating how employees can grow and progress in their current role. Showing employees a clear path towards advancement is motivating and increases their commitment to the organization. Long-term development strategies can also show job security and motivate employees to prioritize self-development and career advancement.

Show Appreciation

Recognizing and appreciating employees' efforts is an important way to motivate and increase productivity levels. Tangible rewards such as additional holidays, salary raises, bonuses, or dinner vouchers can provide both long-term and short-term motivation. Short-term team incentives or even a 'thank you' message on the company group chat can also motivate employees to maintain their performance.

Conduct Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are a valuable tool to give employees a sense of their own development, areas for improvement, and motivate them to achieve their goals. One-to-one goal-setting between employees and HR facilitates a continuous feedback loop that enables HR managers to monitor individual staff performance within an agreed time frame, providing direction and support where necessary.

Be Flexible

Offering a flexible work schedule that suits employees' needs demonstrates that the organization trusts its employees to manage their workload and balance their personal and professional lives. Consistent and effective communication with managers is crucial for maintaining a productive work environment.

Value Employee Input

Consistently involving employees in the feedback process and incorporating their ideas can improve employee morale, increase their feeling of value, and motivate them to innovate for the benefit of the organization. Regular employee feedback can also help future-proof productivity and morale, and enable policies to be continually reviewed to reflect changing circumstances.

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