motivating staff

6 Fundamental Ways to Motivate & Engage Employees for Success

I’m going to talk about keeping staff motivated and happy, and it’s not what you think – it’s not pay more. You want to look after them, but not only in that way. I mean you’ve got to pay them, but that’s not what motivates people.

There are six core motivations which drive people, they correlate to different ways you treat them in the work place to engender an environment where they’re happy. And to be honest, a happy workplace is a place you want to turn up to yourself, so while you’re investing in their happiness, that also reflects your happiness.

Happy workers = happy life 

If you have their back, they have your back and they can save your bacon too when things don’t go right (need to dig deep to get through a busy period).

So the six core motivations, let’s just quickly go through them.


This covers the basic need that they have a secure job and are supported in the activities they do.  Threatening to fire them if something goes wrong is an example of not providing certainty. The way to remember this is to think of anything that engenders ‘Uncertainty’ being the thing you want to avoid. 

Certainty also covers things like your processes and the way you expect work/jobs to be done.


Is there enough variety in the job or opportunity to do something different – is there a rotation/roster of different activities people can do.  Variability is not about giving them the same thing day in day out, where their brain is not being challenged at all, that’s not motivating, that’s boring.

Boring is not motivating.


They feel like they’re contributing to your organization, they can see the effect they’re having on the customers, but also on the organization as a whole.

Metrics show the business moving forward is very motivating for them, they can see what they are doing is making a difference.

Love and care

In the business sense, this means that you actually have a regard for them as a human being, and you want to see them succeed as an individual.

That can be beers on Friday night, and some nice chops and sausages and steaks – just show that you care.


They feel like they’re moving somewhere.  An opportunity to actually progress their career. 

Not only are they engaged and interested in what they’re doing, but an opportunity to grow and move up. Having a laddered approach where people can move into more senior roles or leadership/mentoring roles, and gain more skills, and an opportunity to use those skills is really important.


Make them feel like what they are doing is making a difference and adding value to the business (or to the world).  Maybe investing in a charity that everyone feels strongly towards, sponsor a group in need in your community that everyone can rally behind.

So if you can tick those six boxes, you can motivate them without just thinking I’ve got to throw more money at it, because money is not the be all and end all, it’s actually one of the least motivating things for why people go to work, and why they enjoy working.

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