Every company knows that the best way in which to make their employees more productive is to keep them happy. Gone are the days when employers attempted to use the whip hand to force good performance out of their workers. Modern employees will simply switch over to another employer who deals better with them.

Several studies such as Herzberg’s two-factor theory on motivation prove that employees are best motivated from within. Recognizing this fact, many major companies have made changes in the way they deal with their employees, and here is how they motivate them.

1. Better Communication

All employees work better when they are clear as to what is expected of them. Most major companies include company policies in an orientation that aims at helping new employees understand more about their role and work environment. Only when employees understand what is expected of them will they be able to fulfil their role diligently. Still others encourage open communication between managers and employees to let staff know they are valued. After all, it adds no benefit if a manager or a team leader is just a signature at the bottom of a mail or a newsletter and the team has no idea of who he or she is.

Having open communication reduces the chances of employees feeling isolated and demotivated. It even helps employers to identify which employees can excel with a bit of extra motivation and give them the needed attention. Some companies have an “open house” where employees can approach higher management with their concerns and suggestions.

2. Empower Employees

Everyone performs better when they are valued and empowered. When employees are given a chance to have a say in how they do their job, they are more motivated to do it better. Many companies have found that it is of great benefit to present their employees with the goal or problem and allow them to come up with the way forward or solution. After all, when an employee propounds an idea, he or she is actually taking ownership of the task and will be more motivated to perform better.

In line with empowering employees, most companies have periodic performance reviews where improvements are discussed and new suggestions are received. This helps employees to see where they stand in the company and how to work towards goals. It also empowers them by letting them understand the possibility of career growth and lets them make their path to success.

3. The Right Atmosphere

No one wants to work in an atmosphere that resembles a concentration camp! Creating a family-like atmosphere is essential and managers should have their staff’s best interests in mind at all times. Most managers are especially qualified to lead a team and are more equipped to understand employees of different backgrounds and help them view their team or company as their family. These managers are willing to fight for their rights, resulting in employee motivation. The right atmosphere also extends to physical work areas. Some companies like Facebook have an open office where employees are not closeted behind cubicles and are allowed to work wherever they feel, within the campus. This encourages creativity and prevents employee burnout.

4. Incentives To Perform

Companies like Disney are known for their incentives and perks. Be it a monetary incentive or a simple note of appreciation, employees simply love to feel valued and recognized. Incentives are great motivation boosters and don’t have to be expensive.

5. Perks

Some companies such as Yahoo and Cisco take their employees out camping or for shorter picnics, depending on the time of year. Others offer perks such as paid vacation, benefits for immediate family members and opportunities to work from home. Perks such as these incite employees to do more and to perform better. Some companies like Google go all the way in even arranging a free gourmet meal for their employees, and also have an office gym, nap pod and in house doctor! Other companies who may not be able to go the way of Google, have team lunches, office sports and parties that reinvigorate employees and help them bond better.