Motivating Employees: Understand the Five Types of Motivation to Get the Most from Your Employees

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Becoming an effective employer is one of the biggest obstacles for most entrepreneurs. Keeping employees motivated and loyal can be particularly difficult during the early stages of a startup. With limited capital and a never-ending to-do list, your staff can end up working long hours for mediocre pay.

Still, it is possible to set yourself up for success by building the five primary motivators into your overall company culture.

There are five distinct types of motivators. Every employee will be driven by a different combination of these, so it is important to incorporate each of them as you start and grow your venture. The five primary sources of motivation are:

1. Challenge Driven -- The bulk of employees are internally motivated by challenging themselves and improving their own skills, but not all.

2. Team Driven -- A significant number of employees also need to know that they are contributing to the company effort and fit in with the group.

3. Reward Driven -- Offering rewards for a job well done will push many workers to work harder and smarter.

4. Reputation Driven -- Some employees need attention and accolades to stay motivated. Recognition can come from their boss, their co-workers, or their customers.

5. Purpose Driven -- Workers who are looking to focus their energy to fulfill the greater good are purpose-driven. They need to know what they do matters beyond the company.

Nearly every employee will be motivated by some combination of these five motivational tools. Some will be more heavily driven by a single factor, but most will produce their best work with a good mix of incentives. Whatever mix you choose, be sure that all motivation techniques are administered consistently and through clearly objective standards.

Mismanagement of any of these methods will backfire, and the outcome can be far worse than providing no motivational tools at all. If your staff becomes convinced that you are insincere or unfair (like giving the same rewards across the board), they will become disincentivize and disgruntled...exactly what a growing business does not need.

As you are developing your company culture, incorporate as many of these ideas as you can. The most successful business leaders are those that can effectively and consistently motivate their employees. Productive employees grow businesses, so taking the time to master motivation techniques is a priority for any driven entrepreneur.

About the Author-K. MacKillop, a serial entrepreneur, is founder of LaunchX and authors a small business startup blog. The LaunchX System is designed to help entrepreneurs start a business. Visit LaunchX.com to learn more about adding employees to your business startup.

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