How to Better Understand and Boost Employee Motivation in a Digital Workplace

Motivating employees to give their best at work may be one of the most challenging managerial tasks.

Every leader wants to see their employees engaged in their work and satisfied with their status in the organization. This is especially important nowadays with the looming recession and turnover rates higher than ever. 

Luckily the latest cross-disciplinary scientific studies in the fields of neuroscience, biology, and evolutionary psychology shed light on the crucial motivation drivers. These studies identify 4 major drivers that determine levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, and commitment, eliminating their desire to quit. Satisfying these major drivers will reflect positively on employee behavior, leading to personal and business success.

Here, you’ll find out what the most significant drivers of employee motivation are, and what effective strategies you can implement to make sure your employees stay highly motivated at work.

The Drive to Acquire

Everyone works to fulfill this drive. And it’s not all about acquiring material goods like food, clothes, a house, and so on. This drive digs deeper into collecting various satisfying experiences, reputation, and social status. 

Employees’ perception of this drive is relative. They tend to compare themselves with co-workers. Also, they always want more than they have, making this drive insatiable. This is why competitive compensation is so important to employees.

The Drive to Bond 

The drive to bond implies creating meaningful relationships in the workplace. Employees who feel welcomed, accepted, and appreciated will be highly motivated to excel in their roles.

On the other hand, their morale will drop if they feel undermined or betrayed in any way. 

The Drive to Comprehend 

Most people are driven to gain a better understanding of the world around them.  They reach out for scientific, religious, and cultural explanations for everything that occurs to attain effective answers and solutions. In the workplace, this drive reflects in employees’ need to contribute to significant goals and overall business success. 

This said employees are more motivated when faced with challenging tasks that require them to showcase their expertise and find innovative solutions to reach set goals. Challenging tasks inspire employees to grow and develop professionally boosting their confidence and sense of achievement.

The Drive to Defend

This innate and intuitive drive reflects in the workplace in employees’ need to create trustworthy work environments where their voices will be heard and their needs met. To fulfill this drive, you need to set clear expectations and goals, support your employees at every step, and foster open communication and transparency. If you fail to create a psychologically safe work environment that boosts employee morale, your team members may feel insecure, fearing for their positions in your company.

If you want your employees to be engaged and satisfied while committed to achieving crucial company goals you need to fulfill all of these drives. Focusing on a single drive can improve one aspect of your workplace short-term not providing a genuine motivation boost.

Develop a Consistent Reward System

You need a well-devised, performance-related reward system to fulfill employees’ drive to acquire. This system should reward top performers offering them the opportunity to further grow their careers.

If you still wonder how to measure employees’ performance accurately, an advanced employee tracking system may be the perfect solution for you. This app will paint a clear picture of the way your employees spend their time at work, tracking their performance on different projects and tasks. You can use these real-time insights to identify and recognize stellar performance and also provide support and guidance to those struggling with their workload.

When you base the reward system on detailed, objective, and timely performance data rather than on bias and favoritism, you’ll straighten employees’ confidence and trust in the system, motivating them to fulfill their potential and work harder on achieving set goals

Foster a Company Culture of Trustworthy Relationships

Every business owns its success in tight-knit teams built on shared goals, vision, trust, and friendship. This may seem like a demanding task, but if you show your employees that you appreciate their opinions and encourage them to share their ideas and opinions freely, you can create trustworthy relationships faster and enhance cross-team collaboration, crucial for project success. 

This said, creating meaningful bonds in remote or hybrid workplaces may be challenging but not impossible. If you want to recreate the water cooler atmosphere and encourage your employees to connect on a more personal level, make time for team-building activities on Zoom, or organize different workshops, like cooking or yoga classes where employees with similar interests can spend some quality time together and bond.

Set Challenging Yet Clear Goals

When you tend to assign repetitive, boring tasks to specific employees repeatedly, They may think that you don’t trust them and find them incompetent. This attitude may devastate employee motivation and confidence, driving them to disengagement, and finally, quit. 

So if you want your employees to be highly engaged in their work, try to set a bar higher than usual. Employees need to be inspired to develop their skills further by working on challenging and demanding tasks that will drive them to innovate and come up with fresh perspectives and solutions.

Also, make sure that you assign tasks with clear objectives and expectations so that your employees know what steps to take to reach their goals within determined deadlines.

Focus on Transparency, Open Communication, and Employee Well-Being

If you want to fulfill employees’ drive to defend themselves, try to create a psychologically safe environment where all processes will be transparent and the reasons behind every decision revealed. The process of creating a workplace where employees will feel secure and appreciated isn’t a one-time thing. It’s demanding, complex and time-consuming.

But if your employees feel cared for and free to share their ideas and opinions, it’s worth every minute and effort you’ve made.