A blog about reputation, marketing and employee morale.

15 ways to motivate hourly employees

Posted by Janet Smith on May 2, 2008

Here at The Power of Goodwill, you know what we say: the customer is not number one. Who’s number one? The employees! All of them. Because if you don’t treat your employees like the most important thing, then your customers won’t feel like they’re number one. That was the whole point of my blog post about Domino’s! It is important to motivate employees at all levels so they’ll be happy, engaged, feel connected, and will be inspired to be ambassadors of your organization.

I promised that today I would post a list of ways to motivate hourly employees. So here it is:

  1. Don’t make employees feel stupid when they ask questions, no matter what.
  2. Tell every employee your goals are for the week or month and explain how their jobs contribute to the achievement of those goals
  3. Set goals for each employee (weekly, monthly, for a pay period, etc.) and provide an incentive for reaching the goal (the incentive doesn’t have to be monetary).
  4. Give each employee a rewards list and have them check off what best motivates them (money, gift cards, extra responsibility, access to additional training, a written thank you note, t-shirt with your logo, recognition at a staff meeting, etc.).
  5. Don’t play favorites. Ever.
  6. Say thank you to each employee for something specific they have done, at least once a week, but preferably every time they work. (Like: “I just saw how nicely you handled the situation when the woman asked the price of our pizza. Thank you for representing us so well!”)
  7. Encourage employees to give opinions, make suggestions, and provide feedback about all aspects of your business.
  8. Make time to converse with your employees, and ask a few questions that demonstrate you care about them as human beings, not just as your employees.
  9. Put your employees in the positive spotlight in front of co-workers, making sure that everyone is recognized somewhat equally over time.
  10. Every month or so, ask each employee how the job is going for them and what could be done to make them feel even better about work.
  11. If you trust your employees enough to hire them, you must trust them enough to make decisions that make your customers happy.
  12. Smile and act happy to see your employees, no matter what kind of a day you’re having.
  13. Prepare your employees in advance if you think they will be dealing with more customer calls or visits than usual, if you’re selling something new, if you’re anticipating any kind of media coverage.
  14. Don’t understaff.
  15. Fire managers who aren’t consistently nice to your employees.

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  1. Jason Rakowski

    Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader.

    Jason Rakowski

  2. Jermaine

    Seems like these are the same ways to motivate any employees in any organization.

  3. Drew Schiller

    You’re absolutely right, Jermaine. These are 15 ways to motivate employees at any level. This post was a direct response to criticism we received that it is impossible to motivate wage workers, which is simply not true!

  4. Rich DiGirolamo

    Give them a break on June 19th! Celebrate Recess At Work Day - http://www.recessatworkday.com