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Unveil Top Employee Motivators in 2024 | A Fresh Perspective

Unveil Top Employee Motivators in 2024 | A Fresh Perspective


Astrid Tran 27 Feb 2024 7 min read

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the workplace in 2024, understanding what motivates employees has become a critical aspect of fostering a productive and positive work environment. The dynamics of the professional realm have shifted, and a fresh perspective is needed to identify and leverage employee motivators effectively.

This article reveals a change and trend in employee motivators in the next decades, equipping employers with insights that can drive meaningful enhancements in workplace engagement.

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What Does Employee Motivator Mean?

Employee motivator means a source of inspiration that encourages individuals to highly perform at work. They are the reason why the employees want to commit to work and contribute their best efforts to achieve organizational goals. If you find yourself excited to get up in the morning, engage in the work all day, and never stop innovating your working process, you have likely realized the true motivation to work.

What Affects Employee Motivator Now?

The workplace has undergone significant transformations over the years, influenced by technological advancements, changes in organizational structures, and a shift in employee expectations. In 2024 and the next decades, the traditional models of employee motivation are being reevaluated to align with the current demands and aspirations of the workforce.

Shifting Values and Priorities

Along with the change in societal norms and perspectives, people start taking care of more meaningful values, which align with personal values and have positive impacts on communities and the environment. It is also a dramatic shift of concentration in overall well-being, especially mental health awareness. Unlike their parent generation, the new generation believes in “Live to Work” to “Work to Live” – an emerging transition from a traditional work-centric ethos to a more purpose-driven mindset.

Technological Advancements

The convergence of remote work trends, technological advancements, and the integration of automation, AI, and data-driven insights is reshaping the very fabric of motivation in the workplace. The surge in remote work is not just a temporary response to global events but a long-term shift in how work is approached. As technology continues to advance, remote work tools, AI-support tools, and data-driven approaches are updated day by day and will become more sophisticated. Continuous learning and upskilling become not just professional development goals but essential components of staying relevant and motivated in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Evolving Workplace Dynamics

The rise of the Gig Economy allows more people will choose freelance or project-based work, seeking autonomy and flexibility while earning abundant money is not as difficult as before. Many new jobs have been created based on the boom of online shopping, e-commerce, and streaming channels, from dropshipping and affiliate marketing, to live streaming, there are more opportunities to work with passion and independent employment, without being restricted in one company.

Top motivators for employees
Work-like balance – Top motivators for employees – Image: Shutterstock

6 Critical Employee Motivators for Today’s Workforce

A new generation comes with a specific set of new ideas and changes they would like to see. The traditional approach to employee motivation, which often relied on financial incentives and hierarchical structures, is undergoing a significant paradigm shift. Here suggest top intrinsic and extrinsic employee motivators that are good for employers to get insights and take advantage of.

employee motivators
Top motivators for employees

Purpose and Meaningful Work

One of the prominent trends in employee motivators is the emphasis on purpose-driven work. Millennials and Gen Z, comprising a significant portion of the workforce, prioritize jobs that align with their values and contribute to a larger societal impact. Employers who integrate a sense of purpose into their organizational culture can leverage this trend to foster higher levels of employee engagement.

Work-Life Balance

Employee well-being has emerged as a central concern in contemporary workplaces. People are raising their considerations about the importance of mental health, physical health, and a healthy work-life balance. In the modern workplace, employees increasingly value a balance between their professional and personal lives.

Recognition and Awards

One of the powerful extrinsic employee motivators is the recognition and appreciation of an employee’s contributions. However, it is far beyond the monetary rewards, it is about being recognized and respected. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, esteem, and belongingness are essential psychological needs that drive human behavior. When employees are appreciated, they are more likely to be motivated to exceed expectations.

employee motivation examples
Employee motivator examples – Image: Shutterstock

Inspiring Work Environment

Creating an inspiring work environment goes beyond physical office spaces. It encompasses the organizational culture, leadership practices, and the overall atmosphere that employees experience daily. A workplace that fosters creativity, innovation, inclusion, diversity, equity, and a sense of community contributes significantly to employee motivation. This includes open communication channels, collaborative initiatives, and an atmosphere that encourages the free exchange of ideas.

Professional Growth Opportunities

Employees looking for companies that foster career growth opportunities, with extensive skills training, continuous internal promotions, and leadership development programs. The new generation also seeks leaders who are partners in their career development journey, offering pathways for advancement and skill diversification. It is because they are more likely to be motivated by leaders who are open to giving feedback and willing to coach them.

Flexibility and Autonomy

The rise of remote and hybrid work has reshaped the way employees perceive their professional lives. Flexibility and autonomy are now integral to job satisfaction, making it crucial for organizations to identify motivators that resonate with individuals navigating diverse work environments. Besides, some people find they are more productive when they have control over their work environment and schedule. They can work during their peak hours and take breaks when needed, which can lead to better focus and less burnout.

Employee engagement platforms examples
Employee engagement platforms examples

6 Innovative Ways to Motivate Employees

“Only 15% of employees worldwide feel engaged at work.” This means that the majority of employees are not motivated by their jobs. Thus, leaders play a key role in inspiring and instilling a sense of purpose within their teams contributing significantly to employee motivation to work. So how do leaders motivate employees? By articulating a compelling vision, fostering a positive work culture, and leading by example, inspirational leaders set the tone for a motivated and engaged workforce. Besides, they also can apply some innovative ways to encourage employees to find joy and passion for work and company.

Employee Engagement Platforms

It is the best way to motivate employees and facilitate a positive workplace culture. Many tools allow internal communication, feedback sharing, and recognition programs, with the addition of gamification and fun. Interactive presentation tools, like AhaSlides, are emerging tools for businesses to encourage engagement and idea generation for employees in corporate and team events.

Besides, conduct regular town hall meetings where leadership provides updates on the company’s performance, future goals, and challenges. Encourage an open Q&A session to address employees’ concerns and provide clarity on business-related matters.

Employee Engagement Platforms
Employee Engagement Platforms

Stress Management Programs

Stress reduction programs like office workouts, mindfulness training, yoga, and access to mental health resources are believed to a significant solutions to improve employee well-being and reduce burnout. Johnson & Johnson with their “Healthy Mind” program is a great example of assisting their employee’s well-being, which includes mental health education, resources, and even family support.

Open Management

The “CFO of the Day” Program by Andrew Levine, president of DCI, a New York public relations firm is an exceptional example of successful open management, also known as participative management. It successfully fulfills its target to teach employees about business, thereby engaging them in the business. Likewise, other firms can adopt this approach to help employees gain a deeper understanding of business operations, enhance their skills, and feel more engaged in the overall business trajectory.

Employee Ownership

Employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs are not a new approach yet starting earning their well-deserved recognition as a powerful tool for motivating employees and retaining talents. Employee ownership programs aim to motivate employees to think like owners, leading to better customer service, reduced expenses, smoother operations, and increased employee retention.

Employee motivator strategies
Employee motivator strategies – Image: djsresearch

Communities of Practice

Every business’s success or survival will depend on the performance of its knowledge workforce, but managing and motivating proud and skilled professionals is challenging. It is why many companies adopt Communities of Practice (CoP). For example, Deloitte established a global network of CoPs, one of their famous employee investment program – “Communities University” offers training programs and resources specifically designed to support CoP leaders and members.

Lower Absenteeism Rates

Focus on lowering the absenteeism rates helps promote other employees’ benefits. It is a crucial part of addressing employee motivation nowadays. Low absenteeism is often associated with higher productivity levels. When employees are present and focused on their tasks, the overall productivity of the organization improves and, at the same time, reduces work overload and overwhelming of carrying extra jobs for other employees and related conflicts.

Key Takeaways

Employers must understand current changes and trends in employee motivators as they directly affect job performance and company thriving. By adjusting management strategies and investing in humans, companies can create an ideal workplace that not only attracts top talent but also retains and motivates employees for long-term success.

💡Start investing in virtual employee engagement activities with presentation tools like AhaSlides. It is where fun icebreakers meet collaborative brainstorming, transparent Q&A, and meaningful training.


What are the 4 drives that motivate employees?

According to recent research, there are 4 key motivations of employees: the desire to acquire, bond, defend, and understand. They refer to acquiring new knowledge, positive social interactions and relationships, security, stability, transparency, and meaningful communication, respectively.

What is the biggest motivator for employees?

Each employee has a strong and unique motivation to work. They can be career growth opportunities, job security, compensation and benefits, positive work culture, intellectual stimulation, easy tasks, and more.

What are some strategies used to motivate employees?

More than 80% of workplaces recognize that employees love incentives and run rewards and recognition programs. So one of the best strategies to motivate employees is to tailor incentives to individual preferences. While some employees may value monetary rewards, others may appreciate non-monetary incentives such as flexible work hours, professional development opportunities, or recognition ceremonies.