Workplace training

12 minute read

How to Keep Employees Engaged and Motivated at Work

Brandon Schaefer

Brandon Schaefer

Keeping employees engaged and motivated at work is no joking matter. Statistics show that engaged and motivated employees produce over double what non-engaged and non-motivated employees do, so you can clearly understand the importance of keeping employees actively engaged.

Employees that are engaged and motivated, stay longer, make more money, and help spread the word about how great the company they work for is, thus attracting new high tier talent on a continual basis.

So let's learn how to motivate employees in the workplace with tips from the experts.


Great companies are created by design

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Great companies hire great people,” and this definitely holds true without a doubt, in terms of not only hiring top talent but in keeping them around.

The piece that you need to understand, is that great companies that keep employees engaged and motivated don’t just happen by accident, they happen because of strategic planning and dedication to investing in training that helps employees develop the skills they need - which naturally motivates them to stay engaged and perform well.

Keeping employees engaged and motivated

So let me get into the nuts and bolts of how to keep employees engaged and motivated at work, by providing some tried-and-true action steps that you can immediately implement to start making a difference today.

1. Continual training

The intent with continual training is not to just give employees things to do to fill their time, but to give them the opportunity to quickly expand their knowledge, and to help position themselves as, “The authoritative resource in their specific market segments.”

What you’re looking to provide through your extended and continual learning programs, is taking, “Good employees, and making them great," and taking, "Great employees and making them amazing.”

Small incremental steps in the right direction is what you’re looking for.

According to Wrike, "more than any other generation, Millennials seek out opportunities for growth and development." A study by Gallup found that 87 percent of Millennials rate "professional or career growth and development opportunities" as important to them in a job, compared to 69 percent of non-Millennials who say the same. Millennials care about good training.


2. Give employees the opportunity to lead

This is one of the most important ones. Give an employee an opportunity to shine, and 99% of the time they will. Holding people back is never a good idea, instead, help them spread their wings, and let them know that you need them to step up and help be a positive leader within your organization.

Leading is not bossing people around, it’s leading by example, and showing people that there’s always a way to have a positive outcome.

3. Put the “why” behind what every employee is doing

Everyone loves a great story. Just look at Star Wars, Grease, Titanic, and all the other greats, and you’ll see a common theme, “All of them have phenomenal storylines.”

Put a story behind why the work an employee is doing is vital to your business's success, and watch how they challenge themselves to live up to their role at your company. Always put the “why” behind the importance, and stress the value in doing what they do, and how it affects everyone.

4. Have leadership show empathy to every employee

Employees love to work for leaders that understand and value their life experiences. We all are going to get sick, we’re all going to have family members that are going through things, and we’re all going to need some time off every once in a while to help out and get re-centered.

Let employees know that the more they speak with you, and the more they let you know what’s going on in their lives, the more you’re going to be able to help them. It’s a two-way street that works very well when done properly.

5. Give employees the opportunity to teach

Enable employees to excel by learning what they naturally do very well in business, and then have them train all your other employees on what they do best. By doing this, you’ll naturally build morale amongst your team members, while helping everyone move closer together.

When you teach, you learn, and when you learn, you enhance your skills, so giving employees the opportunity to teach, not only their peers but your leadership team, is a great way to get them engaged and motivated.


6. Let every employee know they’re important

Not only telling an employee that they’re important but showing them, is what works best. Put data and information behind what you’re saying when you’re letting employees know of the importance and value they’re bringing. Let them know that there’s plenty of room for growth within the company and that you want to continue to see them on the fast track to leadership success within your company. Lay out a path for growth where they can maximize their engagement and have the most impact.

7. Let employees be creative

Give employees the free time they need to be as creative as possible. Creativity breeds innovation, so if you want employees to stay engaged and motivated and bring cutting edge business growth ideas to you, let them know that as long as they get the required work done, they’re free to work on their creative projects.

Put a date on the calendar every month, or every quarter, to meet with the employee and go over their ideas. By doing this, the employee will naturally feel like they’re an important part of a greater team, and when this happens, they’ll work smarter, harder, and with more of a direct purpose.

8. Give employees a say

Let employees understand the financials of what you’re doing in business, and why it’s important to do things the way that you’ve been doing them, but also give them a say in what goes on moving forward.

For example, if you’re planning a move, ask them if they’d like to be involved in creating the new office layout, or, if you’re looking at a new customer service software, get the employees engaged and involved in the demonstrations and get their feedback and let them have an overall say into what platform is chosen. Your employees know what works vs. what doesn’t, so get them involved, and watch how it boosts morale and motivation around the office. Consider conducting an employee engagement survey to gather feedback from employees on how they feel about their work environment, their job responsibilities, and the overall company culture

9. Try a mentorship program

To put your engagement and motivation plan into overdrive, start a mentorship program with a local school or university and match up employees with students and have them actively come on site and do workdays and ride-along days. Be sure to host an awards ceremony and congratulate everyone involved upon completion. This is not a one-and-done type activity. This is something to be put on the schedule and run on a quarterly, or annual, basis.


It starts with you

As a business leader, everything starts with you. If you just read this information but don’t put it into action, nothing is going to change in terms of increasing engagement and motivation amongst your employees. Share this information with your leadership team, share it with your employees, and let them know that you’re going to work on doing a better job in terms of building a strong corporate culture where every employee has the opportunity to succeed, while making a positive difference to not only their peers but the local business community.

What the experts say

Here’s what some top market segment influencers had to share in regards to what they do to drive excellent results with their staff.

Go above and beyond

Jordan Wan, Founder, and CEO at states that

You’re going above and beyond to show employees that you don’t just care about the work they do, you value them as an individual and care about their well-being. Your employees want to feel as though they are making a significant impact at work and with benefits like these being offered, they feel important and like they’re part of the family.

Improve frequency of conversations

Laura Handrick, Workplace Analyst at, states that:

One of the most effective tactics to motivate staff is to improve the frequency and quality of manager conversations. Employees who feel 'out of the loop' are less likely to make an extra effort toward a company or department goal. However, when managers check in with employees through regularly scheduled one-on-ones or respond quickly to text, email or Slack, employees feel engaged, heard and motivated.

Display transformations

Nate Masterson, HR Manager at, shares: 

One of the best ways we keep our employees passionate and dedicated to our work is by displaying these transformations in the office. We post before & after pictures and testimonials on our office walls to effectively illustrate the importance of what we do.

Commit to spending time

Reuben Yonatan, Founder, and CEO at GetVOIP, shares that: 

I try to spend time with each team member to check in on how their personal and professional development is coming along. Because each person's needs are different, the encouragement I offer takes form differently for each team member.

Encourage participation

Laura Spawn, CEO at, shares:

We help our team members feel like they’re connected and that they belong—even when they’re thousands of miles apart.

Share impact

Tim Toterhi, Founder of, shares:

When you take time to show employees how their efforts impact the organization’s vision, mission, and strategy, you can tap into a motivating force that is more compelling than any individual goal.

Offer what they need

Ivan Dmitrievskih, HR Director of, shares: 

I calibrate everyone in my department and try to offer them what they need, be it stability, learning something new, emotional support or an opportunity to make the world a better place.

Gifts work

Hani Goldstein, CEO of Snappy, states: 

Giving new hires a gift during their onboarding helps alleviate some of the stress of starting a new job and helps make their first days - and first impression - even more positive and exciting. Likewise, many companies also incorporate wellness gifts that encourage employees to meet fitness goals - leading to a happier, more productive team overall.

Listen, listen, listen

Samantha Spica, Communications Manager at, shares that:

Listening and making employees feel like their voices matter is key to motivating employees.

Wrapping everything up

There’s a ton of truly amazing and impactful information here. Going through all this information only one time is not going to do it justice. What you need to do instead, is continually circle back and look to implement each of the engagement and motivation steps over an extended period of time.

If you try to do all of them at once, you may get discouraged, and dump the entire project. Look at it like a physical workout plan, “If you hit it too hard right out of the gate and go crazy gung-ho with everything, it’s going to be tough to keep up the consistent effort.” Start slow, increase the speed as you see fit, and commit to making a change, by motiving, inspiring, and increasing employee engagement at your office, on a daily basis, over an extended period of time.

Do you have a youthful team? Check out these tips for keeping Millenials engaged in the workplace.

Thinking about offering your employees the opportunity for professional development? The GoSkills LMS makes it easy for both managers and employees to develop their abilities and learn new skills. Customize learning for every employee with just a few clicks, quickly create groups and assign specific courses to them, and monitor their progress at a glance with easy to understand reporting and analytics.

Try the GoSkills LMS for free today and help your team stay motivated and engaged.

A better way to train

It's easier than ever to create, track, and manage team training with the GoSkills LMS.

Start for free
Brandon Schaefer

Brandon Schaefer

Brandon Schaefer is a professional corporate business strategist. Brandon’s leadership and business skills have been featured by Google, as well as many other top industry resources.