Beyond the Carrot and the Stick

| 3 Min Read

Motivation is more than holding a reward or a carrot in front of someone and expecting them to run, leap, and make strides in their performance. Motivation is personal; it is individualised for each employee. One may be motivated by a simple reward system, another by coaching and mentoring, or even by having the support of their fellow teammates. Everyone differs in how and why they are motivated; that's why employee feedback is the single most crucial part of all areas of developing a learning program.

Motivation that is built in the classroom can be carried into the workplace. Facilitating motivation throughout the learning journey is important for both the learner and the company. Through this article, you will find tips and tricks on how to facilitate motivation in your workplace to drive goal achievement and long-term company success. 


Catering to specific needs

Whether your employee is new to their role or has been in the same position for multiple years, ensuring feedback is received from the get-go of any form of learning is essential in catering to your employee’s needs.

*74% of workers are willing to learn new skills or re-train in order to remain employable. Asking questions before you initiate the training will highlight where the learner personally believes they need new skill training or retraining, ensuring that the learner feels heard and showing that their development is important to the company's success.


Don't just look back.

Ensure that the learner is not just looking back and reflecting on what could be adjusted - you should also ensure they can peer forward into their hopes for learning, keeping the learner’s eyes on both their and the company's goals as they work to move their career forwards.

Integrating feedback into workplace culture and making it an ongoing process is a highly effective tool. As we know, employees are busy individuals who quickly move from one achievement to another. Regular feedback keeps all employees motivated to achieve the next goal, looking forward instead of backward.


Good feedback equals good employees.

Managers who are consistent with their feedback are equipped to spot high-performing employees. Constant feedback not only reassures the employee but allows the manager to see the performance of each of their employees. By integrating personal input into the workplace, you can more easily pinpoint what needs improvement and what is excelling. By seeing who is excelling at what, you can support your leading employees in farthing their performance as they feel recognised and appreciated for their hard work. By regularly implementing feedback, you can provide these individuals with more meaningful and timely feedback than an annual or quarterly review does.


Building an awareness 

Through the power of self-awareness, you motivate your employees to do better and be better every day. Showing them the direct impact of their skills and strengths gives them a sense of value in the workplace. Building this awareness for yourself and the employee will motivate you to support them in their performance. 

A recognised employee is likely to feel that their contributions matter and continue to work towards goals as they notice their own impacts on company goal achievement. Awareness is critical for motivation; it highlights the type of feedback necessary. Detecting and recognising your employee is performing well will allow you to tend to employees' needs through feedback. You can initiate a conversation or meeting to discuss how you, as a manager, can best support their continuous growth and development. Such feedback will assist in building a relationship that highlights the impact of the employee's skills and strengths, which acts as a continuous improvement tool.


Coaching and mentoring 

Coaches and mentors are a great way to integrate direct motivation into employee learning and career development. This extra motivation from a mentor or coach is a great way to offer external personal development opportunities. They can look closely at how the employee performs and give necessary feedback to boost their motivation at work. 

The mentor will be able to work directly with the individual in a more intimate and personal way and, in turn, offer personalised feedback. Nominating a mentor or coach allows the employee to have a direct line of contact interested in supporting and fostering their growth. The natural response is motivation by having someone who can push you to perform. Motivation drives goal attainment, so by having a coach or mentor that can regularly adjust and offer feedback, the employee can reflect on the feedback and adapt their behaviours in the workplace. This notion will ensure the employee is in check with themselves and will be motivated to perform as they have a mentor or coach that fosters their success. 

Motivation comes from many different areas, but by offering feedback in multiple areas of the employees' work life, they can feel supported and an integral part of the company's success. Feeling needed in the workplace boosts motivation and performance, which increases the likelihood of reaching your, and the employee’s goals making this direct line of motivation an integral part of any workplace.


* 2022. 39 Statistics that Prove the Value of Employee Training. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 July 2022].

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