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How to motivate employees to work harder: 6 strategies


If you want your employees to work hard, then why aren’t you doing something about it? We’re not talking about putting them on report or watching them like a hawk to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. This doesn’t always work as those who aren’t trying won’t show signs of this when they know that they are being watched. If you want to understand how to motivate employees to work harder, then you need to approach this in a different manner.

How to motivate employees to work harder

Talk to them

The first thing that we are going to recommend in how to motivate employees to work harder is to talk to them. Sometimes, there are issues that you don’t know about which are causing them problems at work. It may be a personal problem that is impacting their ability to do their job to the highest possible standard, but you are never going to know if you don’t ask.

This is a common problem with bosses, they forget to talk and instead just make assumptions. This is a dangerous game to play because if you scold someone for being late or doing something wrong without asking if there is a problem, it may well turn them against you.

It doesn’t take a lot to ask someone if they are okay or what is going on. It makes all the difference in the world to them, trust us.

Lead from the front

Another thing that you need to do in how to motivate employees to work harder is lead from the front. If you don’t know what this means, it means that you should be out there with your team, doing everything you can to make a success out of the business. If there is something that you can do to help, do it.

Show your employees that you are as dedicated as they should be to creating a business that is successful. If the boss is down there, working with the employees and putting in the effort, it shows that they have confidence in what they are doing. Your employees are going to pick up on this, and are more likely to try harder.

Make it a competition

Have you ever thought about introducing some friendly competition into the company as a strategy for how to motivate employees to work harder? A lot of people work and try harder when they know that they are being pitted against someone else. The human instinct to win takes over, and then they do whatever they can to become the winner. It’s basic human nature, but exploiting this would be fantastic for your company.

You can even introduce little prizes such as sales awards to make it more official. If you want to go one step further, you can have a little awards ceremony at the end of every couple of months to give out the awards.

This means that they know you are always going to be watching, so they’re going to want to impress you. We know that you don’t want to fire anyone, so encouraging them to work hard is the only way to avoid this.

Be understanding

You have got to keep in mind that your employees are human when you consider how to motivate employees to work harder. They are not just robots that you can order around because they have no feelings and will do whatever you want. If an employee comes to you with an issue, instead of telling them that they should just handle it, or that there shouldn’t be an issue, help them come up with a solution.

Things go wrong, and in some cases there is no way to avoid it, so why take it out on your employee? Even if it was their fault, after you have given them whatever punishment you need to, let them know that it is okay to mess up, but we need to take responsibility for that which is why they are still in trouble.

By doing this, you are creating an honest environment, and an accountable one at the same time. If you are understanding towards your employees, then you are showing them how much you care. In turn, they will care about you and your business, doing the best that they can to ensure that your business sees success on the market.

Treat them properly

We mentioned above that you need to remember that your employees are humans and not robots, which means that they are entitled to be treated with respect. You can’t demand that they work overtime for less pay. You can’t have them in early and make sure they leave late every single day just because you want your business to do better.

They are people, and they have lives to lead, and they have emotions to go with this. You need to treat your employees properly, remembering to show them that you are appreciative by saying please and thank you. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot.

Set goals

Finally, for how to motivate employees to work harder: when people have something to work towards, they are more motivated to reach that goal. So, you should use goal setting to make them work harder. It might be that you need to set department goals in order to be able to keep up, but a goal is a goal.

Your employees are going to want to do whatever it takes to propel towards the goals that you have set, encouraging them to work harder in the process. When they reach the goal, make sure that there is something nice for them to say thank you and well done. Then, you set a new goal and let the process repeat.


We hope that you have found this article helpful for how to motivate employees to work harder, and now see some of the things that you should be doing to encourage your employees to work harder. Singing their paycheck at the end of the month does not earn you their loyalty, but doing some of the things on this list will.

At the very least, you are making your company a more enjoyable place to work, which is essential if you want your employees to work hard. We wish you the best of luck with this.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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