How Are Motivation and Productivity Related? 6 Tips For Improving Both In an Office Environment

When you get right down to it, the reason we get up and go to our jobs every day is because we are given money in exchange for our work. Plus, in order to survive, we need money to pay for things. This is the most basic form of employee motivation that leads to at least showing up, if not some sort of productive behavior.

For most people, employees and managers alike, this basic exchange is not enough to reach the reward and productivity levels everyone desires. The idea is that the more motivation that a manager provides, the more productive an employee will be and the more productive your employees are, the more successful a business will be.

The tricky part is that motivation isn’t one size fits all. One employee might be motivated if their manager is concerned with their personal wellbeing and comfort and provides yoga classes and a triple monitor arm.  Meanwhile, another employee might not care about those things and is most motivated by the sales bonus she receives.

So, how do you know how to motivate your employees? Here are six strategies you can try:


One of the most common ways to motivate people is to provide incentive through a reward system. We are trained from a young age to respond to this type of motivation, and it is still effective as adults. For employees motivated by reward, provide incentive in the form of bonuses, vouchers, travel perks or other rewards you might think of  such as a day off, or give them a personalized gift that represents their interests..


Most of us like the good work we do to be acknowledged. We like to feel appreciated and receive credit where credit is due. When you have an employee that is motivated by recognition, the praise they receive will motivate them to put effort into their next tasks in order to receive more praise.

Career Advancement 

Moving up the corporate ladder can serve as a motivation in its own right, or as a type of reward or recognition. Rewarding or recognising the good work someone does by offering them prestige, a pay rise and increased responsibility is a great motivator for many employees.

To make the most of promotion as a motivator, make sure employees are aware of various avenues of career progression. Offering training and development opportunities would also be very motivating to people interested in career advancement and has the added bonus of even more productivity as employees are trained in added competencies.


Trust is an important, yet often overlooked, motivator in the workplace. Trust works in two ways. Employees want to trust that their manager has their back. This comes with being part of a team. You want to trust your teammates and especially your team leader to look out for you and your best interest.

At the same time, employees want their managers to have trust in them.

When you know your manager trusts you to do your job properly, it can be a motivator in a similar way to recognition. Anyone who has ever suffered through a boss who is a micromanager knows that it’s frustrating to encounter that lack of trust.


Some people are motivated on a more personal level.

These employees feel a sense of reward in doing a job and doing it well due to personal goals or standards they have set for themselves. These employees are motivated by a good fit with their role and with the overall culture of the company.


If employees are genuinely happy and satisfied with their jobs, that is the most compelling motivation of all! Generally, implementing additional motivators, such as those listed above help work towards overall happiness and satisfaction.

The manager/employee relationship is give and take. Motivation and productivity are exchanged in equal quantities, so the more effectively you are able to motivate your employees, the more productive they will be and your company will see the benefits.