How to motivate employees

Christian Madsen

Written by Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

Motivation of staff

Employers may offer bonuses to motivate their employees. However, this type of motivation doesn't always work, but why?

Well, there is a saying "we walk towards what we seek, but we run away from what we fear."

While we all favour the reward, the threat of punishment will often cause a stronger reaction. This is due to loss aversion, which is the behavioural tendency for people to prefer avoiding losses over acquiring the equivalent gains.

Level of motivation




If we really want to motivate people, we should use a combination of both reward and punishment.

For example, we may tell a salesperson that if they sell a lot of products, they will receive a bonus (reward), but if they don't sell enough, there may be consequences (punishment).

This is the classic "carrot and stick" approach.

Motivation & management

Management is all about changing the behaviour of employees by motivating them to do something they would not have done otherwise. 

As stated by the University of Notre Dame, "Effective managers have the ability to motivate those they work with to behave in a specific, goal-directed way. A motivated team should be energised and excited about performing tasks. They should be focused on doing what is important for the organisation. Managers want a sustained effort from their employees so that they work hard whether or not the boss is present."

Because management and motivation are strongly related to employee behaviour, behavioural profiling should be used in both recruitment and management. After all, if you know your employees' behavioural profiles, then it is much easier to determine what motivates them.

At 11 Recruitment, we offer DISC profiling, which examines the traits of dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance. As illustrated in the table below, individuals within each of these categories have very different desires and fears, and should therefore be motivated in different ways.

Want to learn more about DISC?

Want to learn about DISC?

Now that you have a better understanding of how to motivate employees, you should take a moment to check out our DISC profiling services.

DISC profiling can help you and your team better understand their strengths, weaknesses, and communication preferences. This knowledge can be applied in various contexts, such as:

  • Personal development
  • Team building
  • Leadership training
  • Conflict resolution

It can also be applied in a recruitment context, as part of your capability assessment process.

If you're interested in learning more about how our DISC profiling services can provide ongoing value to your business, click the button below.

Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions 🙂

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

  • Totally agree would rather have a larger salary and smaller bonus. Sometimes what is given does not reflect the amount of work put in.

    • Christian Madsen says:

      Thanks for your comment Mike, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the article 🙂

    • Christian Madsen says:

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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