Your employees are your business’ biggest investment and your most important asset. As a small business owner, you know that in order to maximize revenue, your staff needs to be as productive and efficient as possible. It’s no secret that happy workers are the most productive workers, but how do you motivate a group of employees to work hard and help your business grow?

Paying your employees a decent salary and giving raises when they’re due can help meet the material needs your employees have, but money isn’t everything. A well-paying job won’t make your employees stay, and it’s often the intangible benefits that keep them coming back day after day.

Even if you can’t offer the same perks as your big business counterparts, there are still some simple ways you can motivate your employees and keep them happy. In order to successfully motivate your employees, you need to get to know them. Learn who they are as individuals, find out their interests, and figure out what’s important to them. When you show genuine interest in your employees, you’ll be able to build a strong relationship with them over time.

Here are some simple ways to motivate your employees:

Lead by example

One of the best ways to motivate your employees is to lead by example. You can’t expect your employees to work hard or behave the way you want them to if you don’t do it yourself. Show your excitement about your company’s vision and goals. Get excited when you bring on a new project or make a new sale. This will make your employees want to get on board and help you achieve those goals.

Empower your employees

Empower your employees to take ownership of their position and give them a say in how they do their job. Most employees have an idea of how they can be more efficient, and they may even have ideas on what could make their job better. Usually, they’re just scared to talk to you about it. Take some time to talk to your employees and listen to their suggestions. Remember, if you really want to empower your employees, you also need to implement their ideas.


This is one of the easiest things you can do for your employees, yet it’s often the most difficult. Take the time during the day to listen to your employees’ concerns, ideas, stories, and more. Not only will it make your employees happy, but it will also provide you with much-needed insight about your business and employees.

Focus on “we” rather than “I”

It’s easy to be hard on employees who aren’t being productive or efficient with their time. Many times, managers are quick to blame an employee when something goes wrong. But if you want to keep your employees motivated, you need to take a step back and approach the situation with a “we” mindset. You should approach issues by thinking, “What can we do to help?” and “How can we make this situation better?” When you approach a struggling employee with the “we” mindset, they’re less likely to feel attacked and will be more motivated to fix the problem.

Offer opportunities for advancement

People are more motivated when they know they’re working toward a goal. If your employees don’t think there’s an opportunity for advancement, they may not feel as if they have much to work for. Motivate your employees by offering them training that will provide them with the skills they need to move into a higher position. Not only will they be able to expand their skillset, but they’ll also feel valued as an employee.

Give your employees the supplies they need

Make sure your employees have the supplies they need to be successful in their jobs. Whether it’s pens, notebooks, markers or binders, your employees will be happier and more productive when they have everything they need to do their job.

Although it may not seem like much, keeping your break room stocked with food and beverages is a great way to keep your employees happy while they’re at work. You don’t need to provide your employees with lunch every day, but having snacks, water, and soda can do a lot when it comes to employee productivity and happiness.