Top 5 Employee Motivators

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Impact of Leadership on Motivation
Top 5 Workplace Motivators
Quiz: How Well Do You Understand What Employees Value in the Workplace Scholarly Citations for this Article
Motivation in the Workplace Article Series

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Impact of Leadership on Motivation

business and workplace activities associated with a business planMost people are familiar with the term: What’s the bottom-line? People will ask this question when they want others to get to the point and summarize an issue.

The origins of this question — What’s the bottom-line? — is in finance however. It’s a reference to the last line of a financial statement where the figure summarizes how well the business did for a period of time— its net profit or net loss.

The bottom-line then is a number (clearly an important one) that summarizes a series of actions. A number from which decisions can be made.

In fact, it seems like most important decisions always come down to the numbers. This is also true for organizational leadership. Numbers provide important insights on leadership and motivation.

A research study, Leadership Effectiveness Measurement and Its Effect on Organization Outcomes, shows that some of the most significant measurements for leadership effectiveness AND underlying employee motivation are tied to workplace factors that managers control.

These critical workplace factors that managers directly affect include the following:

  • Group performance and success of group goals
  • Advanced subordinate commitment and performance
  • Subordinates’ opinion of and willingness to work for a leader
  • Improved subordinate satisfaction and performance

I started this article talking about the bottom-line. So, here’s the bottom-line on leadership effectiveness and motivation:

Managers through their leadership style directly affect employee motivation (how their employees perform, what their employees accomplish, how committed their employees are to organizational goals, and how satisfied their employees are with their jobs).

Managers directly affect employee motivation. They can make employees feel better or worse about the workplace. Click To Tweet

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Top 5 Workplace Motivators

Given the importance of employee motivation, it would be nice to hear directly from employees about what is most important to them.

Fortunately, conducting surveys to determine the top workplace motivators for employees is not a recent activity. Researchers, doctoral students, HR consultancy firms, and others have all completed them for decades.

Interestingly, although the rank order for the top 3 motivators may vary depending on who conducts the survey, results consistently show similar motivators.

A classic survey identified the top 5 motivators for employees as follows:

1. Challenging Work
2. Recognition
3. Employee Involvement
4. Job Security
5. Compensation

Want to motivate your employees? Then give them fair pay, job security, a chance to succeed, and recognition for their accomplishments! Click To Tweet

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the words "the end" are written on a chalk boardThese fascinating numbers show that employee morale is more directly affected by the boss and his or her management and leadership styles than it is by job security and compensation. (This point comes with a big qualifier however. These top three factors become more critical only when employees’ compensation and job security are reasonable for their needs and when they are equitable.)

Numbers are fascinating, especially when you can identify the bottom-line!

Employees want fair pay and job security but they also want to work for a decent boss who helps them to advance their careers. Click To Tweet

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Motivation in the Workplace Article Series


Written by Robert Tanner | Copyrighted Material | All Rights Reserved Worldwide

This article is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge.
Content is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional advice in business, management, legal, or human resource matters.

Robert Tanner, MBA

Welcome to my leadership blog. I'm the Founder & Principal Consultant of Business Consulting Solutions LLC, a certified practitioner of psychometric assessments, and a former Adjunct Professor of Management. As a leadership professional, I bring 20+ years of real world experience at all levels of management.

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