Employee motivation starts with connecting and appreciating your employees.

When’s the last time you publicly thanked someone for great work? Photo via City of Marietta Public Information Office, Flickr

Employee motivation is an essential driver for successful companies, especially in today’s business environment. If you want especially motivated employees, focus your efforts on these three key drivers – the “E’s”:

  • Engagement
  • Encouragement
  • Environment

Let’s look at them one-by-one to explore why they’re so important.


When you provide challenging, interesting work, your employees are more engaged in their jobs and your business. They’re also more satisfied and less likely to leave!

In “Sustainable Engagement—The Three E’s,” consulting group MCG Partners’ senior vice president Cheryl Jacobs cites research suggesting high engagement as a primary driver of financial results. A Towers Watson study specifically highlights sustainable engagement, where companies sustain high engagement levels despite adverse economic conditions, changing leadership, and operational changes.

To sustain high engagement levels:

  • Support employee professional development
  • Ensure employees learn the skills needed for their jobs
  • Identify obstacles employees face and help eliminate them
  • Provide clear job priorities and goals that support company goals
  • Allow as much decision-making as is feasible, so employees can handle situations effectively
  • Support employee decisions
  • Reward effective teams
  • Promote peer-to-peer recognition to foster trust and respect.

As consultants bbbadvisory post in “The Three E’s of Employee Centricity”:

“True engagement involves developing an unrelenting culture–a set of practices that create an environment where staff  do the right things for the enterprise, their customers and their colleagues because they want to–not because they have to.”


Employee motivation increases when you encourage workers through recognition, tools, and training. These are natural elements of employee engagement processes, but encouragement adds a personal touch.

Encouragement involves providing positive feedback focusing on effort and improvement, rather than specific outcomes, notes Beth Miller, founder of Executive Velocity, in “Encourage Employees to Engage Them.”

When you listen actively to your employees and ask them questions about their work, you show that you care about them and their opinions. It’s always encouraging to know your voice is being heard! Show you care about work-life balance and be in touch with what employees might have to balance outside of working hours. A little understanding makes employees feel connected and understood.

Giving an employee the opportunity to grow through tools and training is a great start. If you want him or her to really succeed, Miller observes, then provide:

“ … encouragement to drive through the difficult times when her energy may be at a low or her progress has slowed down.”

Well-timed encouragement really makes the difference between disengagement and feeling supported.


We all know culture, community, and work-life balance at your business affects employee motivation. In fact, it’s dominated discussion and research over the last decade!

As an employer, you can create a successful, highly productive culture that values mutual respect, appreciation, teamwork, and work-life balance.

If you do, it’s likely to pay off in employee retention, says consultant Eryc Eyl in How Organizational Culture Affects Work-Life Balance.”

A Hay Group study, he observes, finds that only 17% of employees that have a meaningful, fun time at work and elsewhere planned to leave their jobs. In contrast, 27% of people working for companies that didn’t support work-life balance planned to leave their jobs within two years.

Interestingly, the organizations that employees believe value work-life balance enable those employees to do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

As Eyl writes:

“ … the cultures of these organizations create an environment in which folks can do good work and then get the heck out of there!”

The traits of companies that value community and work-live balance include:

  • Fun
  • Ambition
  • Flexibility
  • Openness
  • Cooperation
  • Flat organizational structure
  • Trust
  • Responsibility
  • Support
  • Pride

The ways companies achieve such cultures are the same ways organizations achieve high engagement levels and encourage employees. As Eyl writes, it’s “plain good management.”

If you manage your company culture intentionally, and prioritize your time and investment in the three E’s, you will retain top talent and attract employees who want to stay engaged, work hard and lead meaningful, balanced lives.

Achieving employee motivation through the three E’s is just good management.

Learn more about ways to achieve employee motivation in our popular free eBook, “Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude.” Click the image below and start transforming your workplace today! 

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About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are customizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

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