Mentoring Employee Motivation

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young athletes raising arms to golden summer sunset  Searches for employee motivation are the most common, generating over 8,000 searches per month. Every employee needs motivation. A clearly motivated employee will not only be more efficient but more innovative in their projects. Recognize the strengths of individuals to empower the team to be more independent. There are simple ways to motivate the corporate workforce.

Let the Reins Go

CEOs don’t always have the best ideas. Sometimes employees can manage projects just as leadership does. Talent is more likely to take responsibility for a particular project if they believe it is their own. As a leader, it is important to let your team own a project. A supervisor is more than just a boss. A good leader functions as a mentor. Employees benefit from mentorship. Sixty percent of Millennials believe their bosses can offer experience, 41 percent believe they can offer wisdom. They form connections with people who will force them (whether they know it or not) to think outside of their typical roles. Because of these relationships, mentees will begin to think creatively.

Mentorship programs widen the line of communication. This increases the likelihood corporate talent will spark special projects. Of the Fortune 500 companies, 70 percent of them have some type of mentor program. The mentorship program fosters an environment of collaboration.

Communication will improve when leaders let the reins go. Not completely, but just enough to ease the atmosphere in the workplace. It is critical that employees feel safe. High tension in the air when the elevator door opens to the office does not feel like the safest environment. Appropriate communication, up and down the chain of command, is essential to employee motivation.  Keep in mind it is not just verbal or written communication humans take into consideration. Fifty-five percent of what we say is through body language.

Avery Augustine offers helpful hints as to when an employee is ready to take the lead on a project. Prepared employees actively seek knowledge, stay a little later, work a little harder, and are appreciative of feedback.


The finished product will have the CEOs name on it accompanied by the company logo. More often than not, the CEO probably didn’t do much work on the project. Reward the employee who took the lead on the project according to the success of the particular endeavor. Reward fairly.

The average 3 percent raise and paid time off are great rewards. But employee motivation doesn’t always come from monetary endorsement. Simple recognition goes a long way. A note, a cake, even a “well done” is sometimes all it takes to let an employee know they did a good job. Allow an employee to work on another project because of the success of a previous one as a reward for good (or great) work.

Recognize Team Strengths

It is impossible to expect everyone to be good at everything, much less the same thing. Analyze parts of a project, whether it is design, organization, promotion, etc. Take tasks and delegate them to employees who are more gifted in those areas. It is silly to ask someone who is great at math, but couldn’t draw a straight line, to design a building. Not only will the project get completed faster and better, team members will feel more accomplished.

Recognizing team members’ strengths optimizes performance. It applies to more than just management. During a hiring interview, the recruiter is able to recognize the strengths in the candidate. Don’t focus on the weaknesses of a candidate. Once hired, focus on their strengths.

Employee motivation is a common goal for all HR departments. It is an objective achieved by a collective team effort throughout the company. Give employees the freedom to succeed to motivate and strengthen company culture. If you recognize and reward employee strength they will be more productive.

What have you done to increase your employee motivation?

By Sarah Duke