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Five Key Metrics To Measure Employee Motivation 

''An organisation is only as great as its people.'' Read more about the five key metrics to help you gauge employee motivation and ensure that your business is fired up for success.
New Project 2023 07 06T132042.081

Unleashing the full potential of your employees is like igniting a spark that can set your business on fire. Employee motivation plays a crucial role in creating a healthy workplace environment where productivity soars and innovation thrives. But how do you measure something as intangible as motivation?

When it comes to your employees’ motivation levels, they can be impacted by common factors such as having a sense of purpose, sufficient support, experienced leadership, and overall job security. There are several tangible strategies you can put into place to measure the motivation — and the benefits that come with it — in your company.

So let’s dive in and discover the secrets to building an inspired workforce that will propel your organization toward greatness!

Why is it important to measure employee motivation?

Why is it important to measure employee motivation? Well, imagine a team where employees are disengaged, unmotivated, and simply going through the motions. The impact on productivity and overall business success can be significant. By accurately assessing employee motivation, HR professionals and managers can prevent their organization from incurring substantial expenses. According to TeamStage, businesses lose more than $550 billion annually due to unmotivated employees. Now, that’s a lot of money, considering that this might be prevented by spotting the warning signs and implementing the right tools for your organisation. 

According to a study conducted by Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, employees who are content and driven are typically 13% more productive in their jobs. A highly-motivated workforce results in higher levels of commitment and better work quality. As a result, absenteeism and employee turnover rates go down. This saves your company money on costs associated with recruiting, training and onboarding, equipment, etc. 

Five Metrics to help measure your employees' motivation

There’s no denying it; assessing motivation can be challenging, but it’s definitely doable. Therefore, what variables should HR experts and supervisors focus on when gauging employee motivation? Here are five HR metrics that are important to focus on.

  1. Keep an eye on unexplained absences 

Unexplained absences can be a red flag when it comes to employee motivation. It’s important for employers to attend to these occurrences and investigate the reasons behind them. When employees start taking more sick days or frequently request time off, it may indicate that they are feeling demotivated or disengaged. This could be due to various factors such as lack of job satisfaction, poor work-life balance, or strained relationships within the workplace.

By addressing unexplained absences promptly, employers can identify any underlying issues and take steps to improve employee motivation. This might involve conducting regular check-ins with employees to gauge their level of satisfaction and address any concerns they may have.

Furthermore, creating a supportive and inclusive work environment where employees feel valued can help reduce absenteeism. Encouraging open communication, recognizing achievements, providing opportunities for growth and development, and promoting work-life balance are all crucial elements in maintaining a healthy workplace culture that fosters employee motivation.

Remember that each individual is unique, so it’s important to approach these situations with empathy and understanding rather than assuming the worst. By actively monitoring unexplained absences and taking appropriate action, employers can create a positive work environment where employees feel motivated and engaged.


  1. Monitor short(er) days

Are you consistently unable to get ahold of your employees throughout the day? Have you noticed that your employees are regularly working fewer hours than their employment agreement dictates? 

 If the answer is yes, it might indicate that they possess excellent time management skills and can efficiently finish tasks ahead of schedule, allowing them to finish work early. Alternatively, it could imply that they have a limited amount of work to handle and that they should be assigned additional projects. However, if productivity and performance also decrease, it could be another indication of their overall lack of motivation, especially if you are also noticing the other metrics mentioned within this blog. 

While occasional short days are understandable, particularly if there are personal or family commitments, a consistent pattern of shorter work days may indicate a lack of engagement or satisfaction in the workplace, or potential burnout.

If someone who previously showed great dedication suddenly starts leaving early or taking more time off than usual, it’s crucial to address this change promptly. 

By tracking and addressing patterns of shortened workdays, employers can gain valuable insight into employee motivation levels and take proactive measures to ensure a healthy workplace environment that promotes engagement and productivity.


  1. Evaluate the quality of your employee’s output

Content and committed employees are likely to be focused, hit deadlines, and deliver great work, time after time. 

On the contrary, the less motivated employees are more likely to be careless in their work and make more mistakes than usual. 

By assessing the level of excellence in your employee’s deliverables, you can gain valuable insights into their engagement and drive, and also allow you to address any issues that you encounter.

Have you noticed an employee whose quality of work is not as great as it used to be? Whilst the reason for this might be a lack of motivation, it could also be due to lack of direction or clear expectations on how to successfully complete projects. When assessing this, try setting up clear performance standards and expectations for each task and project first. If you notice that the work of the employee has started to improve and the employee delivers on your expectations, it could mean that the employee needed additional structure and guidance on how to effectively complete the work. However, if your employee falls short consistently even after setting up clear expectations and deadlines, it could be attributed to a lack of motivation or it might be a performance issue. 

Another way to evaluate how motivated and engaged your employees might be is by paying attention to feedback from clients, customers, or colleagues who interact with your employees’ work regularly. Positive feedback suggests that they are motivated and performing well, while negative feedback may point to areas where improvement is needed.

Additionally, consider implementing regular performance reviews or check-ins with your employees to discuss their progress and address any concerns they may have. These conversations not only provide an opportunity for constructive feedback but also demonstrate your commitment to supporting their growth and development. To find out more about processes that foster continuous feedback and set up employees for success, please read our article here.

Remember that evaluating the quality of output should be done objectively and fairly. Avoid micromanaging as it can hinder motivation rather than promote it. Instead, focus on providing resources, training opportunities, and recognition for exceptional work.


  1. Look out for antisocial and toxic behaviour

One of the key metrics to measure employee motivation is to keep a close eye on any signs of antisocial or toxic behavior within your team. Employee morale can be greatly affected by negative attitudes, conflicts, and disrespectful behavior in the workplace.

Research conducted by The Human Capital Hub shows that people who lack motivation in their workplace are likely to put less energy into interacting with their coworkers, which in some cases develops into antisocial behaviour. 

Antisocial behavior includes actions such as consistently refusing to collaborate with colleagues, isolating oneself from team activities, or displaying a lack of empathy towards others. When it comes to toxic behavior, it manifests in various ways including bullying, gossiping, or engaging in passive-aggressive communication. These types of behaviors not only create a hostile work environment but also have a detrimental impact on employee motivation and well-being. Employees may feel demoralized, stressed, and anxious when exposed to such negativity on a regular basis.

To address this issue proactively, it is important for managers to foster an open and supportive culture where employees feel safe reporting incidents of misconduct. Once issues are flagged and identified, HR managers should swiftly intervene using a range of appropriate strategies tailored to each unique situation – from mediation sessions to more formal disciplinary actions if necessary – with the ultimate goal being the restoration of harmony and constructive work relationships across all levels of the organization.


  1. Hesitation to accept new responsibility or project

When employees are motivated, they are eager to challenge themselves and expand their skill sets. However, if you notice hesitancy among your team members when it comes to accepting new tasks, it could be a sign that their motivation levels are low.

However, with this said, many other factors could explain the hesitance of jumping into new tasks and projects. It could be due to a lack of confidence in their abilities, fear of failure, or simply feeling overwhelmed by their current workload. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important for managers and leaders to address this promptly and have a conversation with the employee to understand the reasons behind the hesitation of accepting additional responsibilities or projects

To promote employee motivation in this area, provide your team with opportunities for growth and development. Offer training programs or workshops that will enhance their skills and boost their confidence. Additionally, provide support and guidance as they tackle new challenges so they feel supported throughout the process.

By addressing any hesitation towards accepting new responsibilities head-on, you can help increase employee motivation and create a healthy workplace environment where individuals are encouraged to grow and thrive.

How to promote employee motivation?

In order to promote employee motivation and create a healthy workplace, there are several strategies you can implement. Here are some effective ways to boost motivation among your employees:


  1. Clear Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with your team members. Regularly share updates on company goals, provide feedback on their work, and encourage them to voice any concerns or ideas they may have.


  1. Recognize and Reward Achievements: Show appreciation for your employees’ hard work by acknowledging their achievements publicly or privately. Implement a reward system that recognizes outstanding performance and encourages friendly competition.


  1. Provide Growth Opportunities: Offer opportunities for personal and professional development through training programs, workshops, or conferences. Encourage employees to set goals and support them in reaching those goals by providing the necessary resources.


  1. Foster Collaboration: Promote teamwork by creating an environment where collaboration is encouraged and valued. Assign group projects or tasks that require cooperation among team members to foster a sense of camaraderie.


  1. Create a Positive Work Environment: Cultivate an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment or criticism. Encourage positivity, mutual respect, and inclusivity within the workplace culture.


  1. Support Work-Life Balance: Strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance for your employees by respecting their personal time outside of work hours. Consider flexible working hours or remote work options when feasible.


  1. Provide Meaningful Feedback: Regularly give constructive feedback to help guide employee growth and improvement while also recognizing areas where they excel.


  1. Encourage Wellness Programs: Support physical health initiatives such as exercise challenges and wellness seminars which will contribute towards overall well-being.


By implementing these strategies consistently over time, you can build a motivated workforce that feels valued, engaged, motivated, and invested in the success of the organization.

Wrapping up

Motivation is linked to major aspects of the workplace, such as productivity and engagement. Thus, achieving high levels of employee motivation is a stepping stone for improving overall performance.

By monitoring and measuring these five strategic HR metrics, you will be able to gain a general understanding of how your employees and your company are really doing. Understanding your workforce is the right stepping point into creating a healthy and motivated work environment.

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER This conversion-minded marketer is responsible for strategizing, planning and creating high-calibre content for our website visitor’s digital experience. With over seven years in marketing, Natalie specialises in PPC, SEO, emerging trends, and customer behavioural insights that help clients find the best solutions for their business needs. Linkedin Envelope

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