You cannot force your employees to be more productive. You cannot coerce your sales force into creating more sales. People do what they want to do. If you help employees want to do things that make your business successful, they become more productive. Once they perceive that work they perform not only meets your needs but theirs as well, you have the three elements in place that lead to business prosperity: perception, motivation and action.


Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified a set of needs that motivate people. One of the top motivators is self-actualization. This encompasses growth, advancement and training. When employees perceive that you care about their personal improvement, they become motivated to do better and do more. Promote this perception by offering opportunities for employees to get raises, learn new skills and take on greater responsibilities.


Consider ways to let your employees know that you care about their need for approval and belonging. Create awards and hold recognition ceremonies for outstanding employees. Increase authority for employees who demonstrate excellence. When you foster the perception that your workplace is an environment where employees can feel better about themselves, you get motivated workers.


Human beings like to feel that they belong. You can increase the perception of belonging at your place of business by putting employees on teams, creating friendly departmental competitions and providing mentoring. As the perception grows that your business is a family, employees become more motivated to stay and help the group succeed.


When employees perceive that they are safe, they can turn their attention to productivity. Your safety measures, safety-training sessions and health insurance benefits improve the perception that workers can count on safety at your company. This perceptions leads to improved performance.

Physical Needs

You can lose sight of the fact that people work to meet basic needs of food and shelter. When your offer good wages, plus adequate heat and air conditioning, you take care of physical needs. The perception that your company promotes the physical well-being of your employees goes a long way toward creating a productive workforce.