To Motivate Employees, Offer Them Choices!

Guest Blog by Merge Gupta-Sunderji

Motivating employees is not always about money, and in my leadership development practice, I am always offering up hundreds of different zero- and low-cost ways to motivate employees.  Here’s one – offer them choices.  Offering employees different alternatives in any situation usually costs nothing, but creates a sense of personal power in your people.  And workplace research has unequivocally proven that when employees feel more powerful, performance, productivity and job satisfaction all increase as well.

Offering choices leads to greater autonomy – and the alternatives don’t need to be earth-shattering either.  Choices as straightforward as the projects your staff work on, or how they do their work, or where they complete the tasks can all make a big difference; because people crave a sense of control over their environments and their situations.

The next time one of your staff members comes to you with an issue, ask them “What do you think we should do?”, and then once you have a preliminary answer, probe for a second alternative.  Then ask, “Which option do you think we should pursue?”  The answer is usually obvious but the simple act of asking your employee to make the choice creates that sense of power that further leads to highly-motivated and high-performing worker.


Merge Gupta-Sunderji is a speaker and trainer who helps “Turn Managers Into Leaders.” Merge is one of four speakers who will be joining Michael Kerr this November 15, 2017, at the Customer Service Leadership Summit in Calgary, Alberta. For more information on the Customer Service Leadership summit and to register you and your team go to Customer Service Leadership Summit. 

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