There have been hundreds of studies about motivating employees. What causes an employee to passionately perform tasks while another goes through the motions? Why does an employee seek a new company or stay with their current employer? As revealed in this study shared by, there’s a disparity between  supervisors and employees. Here are the results of the survey.

The Survey

“The typical supervisory group ranked the factors in the following order:

  1. High wages
  2. Job security
  3. Promotion in the organization
  4. Good working conditions
  5. Interesting work

However, when employees were given the same exercise and asked what affected their morale the most, their answers followed this pattern:

  1. Full appreciation of work done
  2. Feeling of being in on things
  3. Help on personal problems
  4. Job security
  5. High wages

The top three factors marked by the employees were the last three that their supervisors felt important for them.”

Here’s What’s Important

Even if you don’t think recognition is the key to employee motivation; if you don’t attribute increased production and retention to happy employees. I’m certain you’ll agree it’s important to build a positive work culture and efficient team. Here’s five ways to get that done.

  1. First and by far most important. Ask employees what motivates them. This may help. Are You a Motivator?
  2. Catch people doing things right. Not only results but recognize positive activities, character traits, and qualities.
  3. Have fun. Promote a positive work environment. How to have Fun at Work
  4. Say thank you. It really is that simple. When folks complete a task, do excellent work, or go above and beyond—a thank you can go a long way.
  5. Involve people. Seek input, ideas, and advice. Ask others their opinion. Let people know what they think matters. Listen to what others have to share.

There has been plenty written about specific rewards to motivate employees such as Using Promotional Products to Recognize Employees. But the bottom line to employee motivation is—it’s not that complicated. Ask teammates what motivates them and listen. Seek input. Recognize more than results. Say thank you and have fun. It’s not rocket science. What it is, is a commitment. It’s a commitment to take the time to know your team. It’s a commitment to follow through with recognition initiatives. It’s a commitment to prioritize the needs of the team. How committed are you to employee motivation?