Do you have remote employees in other cities or countries? If so, how do you ensure they feel as connected and valued as your local employees kicking it back at HQ? Video conferencing and communication tools such as Slack help, but how do you reinforce and reward positive employee behaviors aligned with company core values?

Cultural cohesion and remote worker inclusion lead to a consistent customer experience, collaboration, shared company values, and performance improvements. But it’s challenging to institute.

In a virtual work environment, recognition and rewards play a key part in welcoming and engaging remote workers.

Download our guide, where we share 25 thoughtful ways to reward your remote employees so they feel like part of the company, even if on the other side of the globe. This list will ensure your remote workers:

  • Stay connected to their co-workers
  • Feel recognized and rewarded for their contributions
  • Align with company core values
  • Are involved in the day-to-day culture of your workorce


If you work in HR today, the words “employee engagement” dominate your job and your inbox. It’s easy to get flooded with different ideas for how to engage employees. You’re probably familiar with many of the proposed tools and techniques: surveys, analytics, rewards, perks, culture boosters, and more.

One the one hand, it’s no wonder programs for fostering employee engagement are so popular. The value of a truly engaged workforce speaks for itself. Engaged employees perform. They stay with companies longer, are more productive, and create a better customer experience.

On the other, despite Bersin Associates’ estimate that spending on employee engagement is approaching $1.5 billion, Gallup’s State of the Workforce 2017 report indicates that only 30% of employees are in fact feeling engaged at their jobs. Companies are spending more and engagement is at an all-time low.

What explains the disconnect? What is the secret for how to engage employees? Here at Kazoo, we make a constant study of the latest research, and one answer has become clear: to effectively engage employees, winning companies are investing in the comprehensive employee experience.

Creating a day-to-day experience that offers employees meaning, impact, connection and appreciation in their everyday work will lead to a culture of employee engagement. If culture comes first, performance will follow.

Here are ten ways to foster employee pride through a positive employee experience.

1. Communicate (and Reward) Core Values
Establishing a defined, well-communicated vision grounded in core values — and recognizing behavior that supports that vision — gives employees a sense of meaning and purpose in their jobs. For millennials, that sense of purpose is critical. In her open letter to employers on why millennials leave jobs, Lisa Earle McLeod sums it up: “I’ll give you everything I’ve got, but I need to know it makes a difference to something bigger than your bottom line.” Having leadership communicate core values regularly and clearly builds meaning into the employee experience.

2. Consistent, Timely Communication
When employees invest their hearts and souls in their work, they want to know the results. Consistently communicating how corporate goals are being accomplished, and connecting an employee’s work to those goals, gives employees a sense of how they are impacting the outcome of the company. And that’s a great tool when you’re looking at how to engage employees.

3. Real-Time Coaching from a Manager
According to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variation in employee engagement. Real-time coaching from a manager is one of the most effective approaches for fostering employee engagement.

4. Employee Development
No one wants to feel stagnant in their job. As companies grow, technology changes, and cultures evolve, most job requirements also change. Giving employees a chance to learn more, take on new projects, and grow in their jobs helps them stay connected to their jobs. Google famously encouraged this with their focus on giving employees time for passion projects – which resulted in Gmail, Google News, and AdSense.

5. Team Environment
When you’re spending 40+ hours a week at work, having a meaningful relationship with your coworkers makes a big difference in your employee experience. Having a supportive team environment builds each individual’s motivation. See 7 Free Team-Building Ideas for Your Corporate Incentive Programs for ideas on creating a positive team environment.

6. Culture of Trust

“Business is conducted through relationships and trust is the foundation of those relationships.”

-Dennis S. Reina and Michelle L. Reina, Cofounders of the Reina Trust-Building Institute

The Reinas have spent more than 20 years measuring, creating and restoring workplace trust. Their findings? Organizations with a high level of trust also have higher engagement. So, when you’re planning actions that could foster employee engagement, ask yourself if your management team is building trust with employees. Are they living up to the expectations that they set? Do their actions match their words? Are your engagement activities authentic?

7. Clear Expectations

Your employees will have a much easier time meeting expectations if they understand what they are. Giving employees specific goals, as well as the training, tools, and resources needed to perform their job will foster employee motivation. Gallup’s Reengineering Performance Management paper indicates that holding employees accountable for achieving their goals through a regular performance management process boosts engagement and performance. See our webinar – A Manager’s Guide to Effective 1-on-1s and Continuous Feedback – for ideas on how to do meaningful employee-management feedback.

8. Show Appreciation
You can’t overestimate the power of appreciation. Glassdoor found that 80% of employees say they will stay at a job longer if they get appreciation from their boss. A Gallup Study shows that employees who get some form of recognition at least once a week are more likely to stay in a job longer. See our guide on Reward and Recognition Systems that Work to get science-based tips for showing appreciation.

9. Give Employees a Voice
Feeling like they are part of the process, that their thoughts and ideas matter, and that they have a voice in their work performance gives employees a sense that they have an impact on their company. Plus, they’re on the front lines and know best about how work should be performed. Actively soliciting employee feedback and incorporating employee thoughts and ideas into how the organization operates is a very effective way to engage employees.

10. Competitive Pay and Benefits
While pay and benefits are not the key indicators of employee engagement, worrying about pay can distract employees. When you’re looking at how to engage employees, start out by offering competitive compensation, benefits, and reasonable working conditions.

Investing in your company’s employee experience can have a positive effect on the employee, the customer, and ultimately the bottom-line. See how Kazoo’s Employee Experience Platform can boost your employee engagement!

About Kazoo

Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact and appreciation. To request a demo, visit

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report shows the TOP issues companies are now facing are employee engagement and retention.

Josh Bersin, the force behind Deloitte’s employee engagement arm, recently wrote a piece for Chief Learning Officer where he indicated that there’s a great opportunity to boost employee engagement through learning programs.

The research data we’ve compiled on characteristics for some of the most highly engaged organizations shows one of the most important factors in a highly engaged company is the strength of its learning programs,” Josh Bersin, CLO Magazine.

When thinking about the current Millennial-driven workforce, what comes to mind in terms of engagement? What do employees find rewarding? To many, opportunities for personal and professional development are key when considering (and sticking with) an employer.

In addition to helping individuals gain a sense of mastery and accomplishment, structured learning opportunities also contribute to another important employee engagement driver – peer connectivity. They offer a shared company experience that strengthens bonds and builds trust.

Smart leaders understand this and are always trying to figure out better, more effective ways to fuel passions, encourage collaboration and create a desirable workplace. Investing in a solid learning and development program, whether it’s creating a new initiative or updating an existing one, leads to excited and engaged employees.

All of that sounds great, but what if I invest in a new initiative and it falls flat?

It’s a sad, but common problem companies encounter. Tons of time, money and resources are spent on writing, creating and deploying a new learning and development initiative and then… don’t say it… it doesn’t catch on as intended and now that exciting new program sits there collecting e-Dust.


In many instances, employees don’t even know the training courses exist. Or, they may have registered but got busy with a new assignment, or simply lost the inspiration to complete the courses offered.

As leaders, there are three fundamental questions to think about in terms of a successful learning and development program: “How do I package and communicate all the learning opportunities available?” AND “How do I deliver consistent training that actually moves the needle?” AND “How do I measure effectiveness?” In order for a new initiative to be worth it, there must be quantifiable ROI, not only in the form of completion rates, but also through improved job performance.

The key is to boost awareness, inspire employees to register and complete their training, and to measure learning effectiveness. You can do this by combining learning and development with the recognition and rewards efforts you already have in place. By integrating two existing employee engagement efforts, you are one step closer to creating a powerful company culture fueled by the willingness and eagerness to learn. You also make it easy for employees to socialize their L&D course registrations amongst their peer group which further boosts engagement and more positive, long-term behavior change.

Many Kazoo customers are doing this today.

They’re using a feature called “Behavior Bonus” to integrate their professional development initiatives into Kazoo’s total engagement platform. Employees choose from a variety of learning initiatives within the rewards catalog and earn points based upon completion.

Some common L&D Behavior Bonuses we see include:

  • Redeem for an executive mentor session (earn 1,000 points)
  • Register and complete a specific training offering (earn 2,500 points)
  • Read an educational book and facilitate a lunch and learn over the topic (earn 2,500 points)
  • Take a half-day and shadow someone in another department (earn 1,500 points)
    Our customers also incentivize behaviors related to wellness, sales performance, and community involvement.

    Kazoo Behavior Bonus Learning & Development


    You could also take a more organic approach like one of our customers and allow employees to come up with their own ideas for Behavior Bonuses based on their interests and let them self-report those behaviors. Admins can then choose to approve an employee’s request for a Behavior Bonus upon redemption and send points based on behaviors that employees are doing anyway.

    To see this in action, let’s look at a company use case.


    In an effort to make their employees “Better, Smarter and Operating at Full Speed,” this company invested in updating their existing training and development program to stay up to speed with the innovative technological solutions available today. The new initiative was a series of Leadership Training Courses to better engage employees and foster a culture of learning. It was a mix between social and collaborative training, online training courses and team mentoring sessions.

    Long-term goals with the newly deployed initiative – They hope that employees…

    1. Come to the offered classes and training sessions
    2. Retain the information they just learned
    3. Exhibit better leadership qualities in their jobs
    4. Directly impact bottom-line performance


    They didn’t know how to measure the effectiveness of the leadership training courses.

    • How do they know if the courses made employees better leaders?
    • How do they see that in action?
    • How do they sustain the behavior changes outside of the classroom?

    The only way they knew how to measure ROI was by calculating how many curriculums were deployed, and how many people actually showed up for them. They knew this wasn’t the most effective way, but it’s really hard to get a bottom-line measure when trying to deploy new training across a 2,500 person company.

    • They created custom “rewards” via Behavior Bonus to encourage enrollment and course completion. Employees redeem upon completion. Admin approves.
    • They integrated their existing LMS system, which houses training programs, with the Kazoo system through our API. Employees are auto-rewarded upon completion of courses. Additional recognition/rewards are automated upon completion of additional Leadership Training Courses.


    The company already has a captive audience within Kazoo, so announcing and encouraging enrollment in the new Leadership Training Courses was a breeze. When employees elect into training and complete the coursework, they automatically receive points and the completion is socialized on the public recognition feed. Now those hard-earned points can be redeemed for whatever motivates them the most.

    What’s really powerful, is that now the training courses and newly developed skills are promoted and reinforced by peers and managers every day. This happens through constant, real-time feedback within the system because all employees are equipped with the Kazoo mobile app as well as a desktop version.

    Kazoo Mobile Recognition Post Blank
    Congratulations on completing the Six Sigma training Jennifer. Can’t wait to see how you apply your new skills to our data!

    Another employee sees the recognition post and decides to sign up for the same Six Sigma training class.

    Managers can easily see when new skills and behaviors are being lived out in the day-to-day and send additional recognition aligned with the learning objectives and core values.

    It becomes an organic and self-perpetuating cycle of promoting learning and development offerings, reinforcing completion of coursework, and recognizing the new skill sets and behaviors linked to business objectives.

    This is where true behavior change comes in – when you give real-time and relevant feedback when it matters.


    Managers also saw several benefits:

    • They are using Kazoo as a better communication tool
    • They aren’t forcing employees to take training that they don’t care about
    • They are now more in tune with what employees actually care about

    Now they can sustain engagement and behavior change long-term, which gives them a much better ROI.


    (Keep in mind there is a simpler way to do this, which doesn’t involve an integration. Companies can also export a list of people who have completed the training and import that CSV file into Kazoo and then auto-recognize them with points.)

    Kazoo makes it easy to spread the word and socialize learning and development courses through the public feed. The power of peer-to-peer virality is exhibited when employees see courses being completed and say, “Hey, I want to complete that course with you AND I get points for it? Sweet!” And for all the employees who didn’t know the courses even existed, you can incentivize them, too. When new skills are exhibited, managers (and peers) provide further reinforcement.

    It’s a case of Total Employee Engagement in action. Employees are happy. Managers are happy. And most importantly, your bottom-line is happy.

    To see how you can bring your health and wellness initiatives into Kazoo, read our recent post here.

    Kazoo request-a-demo

    Are you wanting to implement a new employee engagement program, but questioning where in the heck you will find the money to make it happen?

    Well, we understand working within a budget.

    Just like you, we’re a growing company that’s trying to live within our means. But we’ve learned by working with so many wonderful companies that, not only is employee engagement an indication of a healthy culture, it’s also a measure of key business success and future profits.

    Many organizations struggle to “justify” the cost of a program aimed at providing more real-time recognition because the “soft-side” of HR is traditionally hard to quantify. To better understand the bottom-line impact recognition has on employee performance, a team of Industrial/Organizational Psychologists from San Francisco State University approached us to study changes in performance and turnover over the course of two years while using Kazoo. The findings we’re more powerful than anyone had anticipated and confirmed the very real and strong ROI within year 1 on the Kazoo platform. See the full study results here.


    With Kazoo you can easily combine a variety of programs into a single, easy to manage platform, all while cutting your rewards budget by up to 50%.

    “Rent-2-Own’s budget for employee incentives used to fall well into the six figures each year. But since implementing Kazoo, Rent-2-Own has cut it’s incentive budget by 90%.” Mike Tissot, CEO, Rent-2-Own

    Some common disparate programs we see our customers combine to budget for a total employee engagement platform include:

    • Employee Recognition and Rewards Programs
    • Spot Bonuses
    • Wellness Programs
    • Years of Service Awards
    • Ad-hoc Recognition Rewards
    • Professional Learning & Development
    • And more!

    “If you think about Kazoo in terms of what you’ll gain in productivity, performance, and employee happiness, it costs ZERO.” Josh Lipton, VP of Technology, Sparefoot

    Finding the budget to pay for a total employee engagement platform is one concern. Others you might experience include time to implement a new program or how to get employees on board with your employee engagement program. To get these answers, check out our other most common FAQ’s below.

    Sales Objections

    It can be challenging trying to find an effective employee incentive program that continually motivates your sales team. They need to a) be exciting and compelling enough to keep your employees motivated to perform and, b) be able to fit within your organization’s budget.

    There’s a common misconception that employee incentive programs have to be complex or costly. Companies come to us all the time with a similar problem: they are over-spending on their rewards budget with expensive sales incentives and spiffs.

    For example, there is a company in Austin whose sales floor is like a scene straight out of The Wolf of Wall Street. It is high-energy, full of yelling, gong-hitting and competition. To keep this momentum up, their VP of sales goes above and beyond when it comes to rewarding employees who hit their goal, win a sales competition or end up as the #1 sales rep. of the month. In the past year, one employee received the following: two round-trip tickets to a city of his choice, $1,000 cash, $400 in Visa gift cards, a 65’ flat screen tv, a team trip to South Padre, a 3-day pass to a local festival, assorted concert tickets, portable speakers by Beats by Dre and a Kindle. Now multiply that by a team of 100 employees and you have yourself a pricey incentive program!

    “You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot in return.” William Craig, Forbes Contributor

    The ultimate goal is to keep your employees happy, productive, invested and engaged. Incentives are necessary to encourage your sales team to stay motivated and perform at a high level, and push them to be the very best employee they can be. But the reality is that you can maximize your return with incentive programs that don’t cost that much. Moreover, accomplishments don’t have to be major, they can be as simple as continuously hitting goals or providing help to others in need.

    Here are some examples of low-cost incentive programs you could implement into your program that will help your team grow.

    -Learning Incentive Programs: It is important to provide your employees with ways they can grow professionally and personally. Whether you are hiring someone new, or an existing employee got a promotion, you should be able to offer them resources to help them grow into their new responsibilities. Maintain a library of books, training materials, or online resources that are accessible to your employees and encourage them to take advantage of it. Take it a step further and offer custom experiences such as executive leadership sessions or professional development courses.

    How Kazoo can help: Incentivize your employees with our Behavior Bonus feature by encouraging and rewarding your employees who take action of their own development participation. Whenever they complete a course or leadership session and report it to their manager, they earn reward points they can then spend how they choose.

    -Tangible Incentives: Remember- these items do not have to break the bank. Make sure to offer things that your employees actually want and probably wouldn’t buy on their own. We have all heard stories about unsuccessful incentives that have failed to motivate their employees. Don’t waste your money on things they don’t necessarily care about (e.g. trophies, plaques, pens…).

    How Kazoo can help: Use our Custom Rewards setup to create custom rewards your sales team actually wants. Some examples include: a GoPro, a pair of Bose noise cancellation headphones, a new George Foreman grill, or a housekeeping service to help free up their personal time. Also, use our Point Pooling feature to create team rewards that allow employees to pool their points together for redemption. Your sales team could go in on a team outing, happy hour or charitable cause.

    -Recognition: This is perhaps the most powerful incentive. Oftentimes, what employees want the most is to be recognized for their accomplishments. Public acknowledgment helps to ensure that your employees will live up to their potential time after time. Sales people are competitive by nature, which is necessary, but it is also important that they work together and encourage and motivate members of their team.

    How Kazoo can help: Our social recognition feed makes it possible for your team to send and receive recognition to one another. It also promotes specific behaviors that are aligned with your company’s core values. It is an easy way for everyone to see how well their team is doing. Plus, managers can view individual and team performance via an easy-to-navigate leaderboard. Ultimately, it helps sales leaders create a happy, motivated and engaged team!

    Want more ways to motivate a sales team? Download our guide!

    ‘Tis the season to give thanks and be jolly.

    Well ideally, you’re telling your employees how much you appreciate them and how valuable they are to you year-round. And because of that, your appreciated employees will stick around longer, as well as be more motivated and engaged on a daily basis. What company doesn’t want that? If your appreciation efforts have been slacking a bit, take this holiday season as the perfect time to make up for it. Show your employees how much you care with these eight great ideas.

    -Say Thank You: Think of a notable instance your employee did something above and beyond and send some praise. A simple “thank you for what you do” is powerful and oftentimes enough to make an employee feel appreciated. Take it a step further and instead of emailing your thanks, handwrite a letter on stationery and deliver it personally. Call me old school, but receiving a personalized letter in this day in age is much more impactful and leaves a lasting impression.

    -Money, Money, Money: Give employees what they oftentimes want the most- money. Whether it is a well-deserved pay raise, an end of the year bonus or even a $100 gift card, it’s a surefire way of showing them you care. According to a survey by Glassdoor, when asked what employees want this holiday season the number 1 and 2 answers were a cash bonus and a pay raise, respectively.

    -Create a Wall of Appreciation: Give credit when credit is due. Recognize employees hard work by displaying it publicly, for everyone to see. Sending a token of appreciation is gratifying and reassures your employees that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed.

    -Throw a Swanky Holiday Party: Get creative with it! Throw a party that your employees will actually be excited about attending. Come up with a cool theme where your employees can dress up. Make it interactive- throw a dance competition or play White Elephant. Hire a DJ. And most importantly, make sure to have an open bar. Parties are a great way for a company to bond. Make a speech and highlight your favorite moments of the year. This is a perfect time to slip in some appreciation and thank your employees for all that they have done for you and your company.

    -Paid Time Off/Flexible Holiday Hours: Everyone deserves a break. Make it easy for your employees to travel this holiday, be with family, get rested up and recharged. Your employees consistently work hard throughout the year and deserve to enjoy this holiday season. If paid vacation time isn’t an option, use extra vacation days as an incentive for achieving goals or winning a work competition.

    -Create a Positive, Engaging Culture: There’s nothing more important than a solid culture, with a strong set of values and a clear mission. It is the foundation that attracts your employees from the get go. Make it a point to get to know your employees on a personal level and make sure their working style aligns with your work culture.

    -Start a Team Tradition: Take this holiday season to start a tradition of giving back with your team. Dedicate the entire month of December to pay it forward to those in need. You could set up a donation drive in the office and have your employees bring in toys, book and clothing for children less fortunate. Set a date to go feed the homeless together. Get involved in a local charity that has a giving campaign for underprivileged families. The opportunities are wide and totally up to you.

    -Recognition: Employee recognition is an important one and something that bosses should be doing year-round. According to a survey we conducted here at Kazoo, 26% of participants say they only receive a piece of recognition once a year from their boss or supervisor. Don’t be that type of boss! Make sure you are recognizing your team for all they do, while they are doing it, real-time.

    As an employee, getting direct recognition from your higher-up shows that your work is valued and appreciated. The power of recognition is real, so employees, as well as bosses, should send it whenever it is deserved. Build a “culture of recognition” in your organization, starting this holiday season.

    Want to see how Kazoo is the perfect platform to recognize and reward your employees YEAR-ROUND? Check us out!

    Highly engaged employees lead to positive outcomes on key performance indicators such as: increased retention, customer loyalty, safety, productivity and overall revenue growth within an organization. Successful, best-practice companies are continuously measuring how engagement levels affect their bottom line because employee engagement is a leading indicator of business growth.

    Higher Employee Engagement = Higher Revenue

    According to an analysis by Aon Hewitt in their report, “2013 Trends in Global Employee Engagement,” for every 1% increase in employee engagement, you can expect to see an additional 0.6% growth in sales for an organization.

    Let’s apply this formula* and look at 3 different scenarios:

    Large-Size Company:
    A $5 billion company with a gross margin of 55% and 15% operating margin,

    • A 1% engagement improvement would be worth $20 million in operating income.
    • A 5% engagement improvement would be worth $102 million in operating income.
    • A 10% engagement improvement would be worth $204 million in operating income.

    Medium-Size Company:
    A $500 million company with a gross margin of 55% and 15% operating margin,

    • A 1% engagement improvement would be worth $ 2 million in operating income.
    • A 5% engagement improvement would be worth $ 10.2 million in operating income.
    • A 10% engagement improvement would be worth $ 20.4 million in operating income.

    Small-Size Company:
    A $5 million company with a gross margin of 55% and 15% operating margin,

    • A 1% engagement improvement would be worth $ 20,000 in operating income.
    • A 5% engagement improvement would be worth $102,000 in operating income.
    • A 10% engagement improvement would be worth $ 204,000 in operating income.


    This type of revenue boost supports the long-standing belief that employees are your most valuable asset. Investing in initiatives, programs, software, or tools to boost employee engagement can show a very serious ROI.

    “Managing and improving employee engagement is the key to achieving revenue growth and
    profitability goals as we move further away from the economic crisis of 2008–2009” (Hewitt, 2013).

    The Effects On Business When Employees Are Engaged

    A statistic that you may have seen floating around by now from Gallup’s, “State of the American Workplace” report, is that only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work. Gallup estimates that active DISENGAGEMENT costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year. Another interesting find is companies that are in the top-quartile of high engagement levels are 21% more productive and have 22% higher profitability than those that are in the bottom-quartile.

    Benefits of High Employee Engagement

    How to Engage Your Employees

    Kazoo works tirelessly to research and present ways to increase employee engagement for our readers. Here are two recent reads we hope you find helpful:

    The best performing companies are the ones that have successful employee engagement strategies in place and who invest in their people. To see how Kazoo’s award-winning employee engagement software can result in a rapid employee engagement lift, take us for a free spin. Request a demo!

    *These calculations are estimated based on the Aon Hewitt “Trends in Global Engagement” report.

    This month at Kazoo, motivation’s been the focus. In order to have a productive work environment, employees must be compelled to complete their tasks and projects. It is the managers job to make sure their employees are performing at a high level. The good news: motivation is a skill which can be taught and learned. To do that, managers must truly understand the human nature behind motivation and know how to practice it.

    To be motivated means to be moved to do something. Motives can come from many different forces, based on one’s needs and desires. People respond to different styles of motivation, which can be broken down into two important categories: intrinsic and extrinsic.

    Intrinsic motivation comes from the inside. You do things because you enjoy doing them and you find a sense of satisfaction after completing them. They are the tasks that you are ready to take on to learn and explore, ones that you find a deep interest in that will help you grow. It is a natural motivation that drives curious and playful behaviors. Although intrinsic motivation is important and often yields higher quality of work, it is actually the less common of the two.

    Extrinsic motivation comes into play when actions are performed in order to attain some sort of outcome. These behaviors have to be externally prompted. Common types of extrinsic motivators are rewards, such as money, grades, punishment, pressure or approval from others. For example, an employee completes a task because they know their manager is going to see it, not because they simply enjoy doing it.

    The relation between the two motives are important. As mentioned, most activities people perform are not intrinsically motivated, which is crucial to personal development, because doing things that are enjoyable allows for growth of knowledge and skill. And although extrinsic motivation is the most performed, external rewards are just not enough to keep a person motivated. So now that you know the difference between the two, how do you motivate people to value activities that aren’t intrinsically motivating to carry them out on their own, without external rewards or pressures?

    We have compiled our research and findings, interviews and inputs, and general knowledge on the topic. Check them out below. We hope you walk away with a better understanding surrounding the topic of motivation, some advice for managers, ideas on how to increase employee performance, and much more!

    How to Motivate Intrinsically Motivated People

    Employee Motivation Quotes That Inspire

    This month at Kazoo, we have been exploring the topic of motivation, more specifically intrinsic motivation. When someone finds satisfaction from completing a project, they are being driven by intrinsic motivators. These tasks provide enjoyment, interest and energy.

    Intrinsically motivated employees are pushed by challenge, autonomy and interesting projects. They are always looking for new opportunities to grow and learn and they feel passionate about what they do. They produce high-quality work and they often exceed expectations. This type of employee is extremely engaged and going to work genuinely makes them happy. This sounds like every manager’s dream employee, right?

    Well, speaking realistically, sometimes life just happens to get in the way and even top talent can start to feel drowned. So what do they do to get recharged? We interviewed 4 highly motivated people to figure out what inspires them, what they do when they start feeling burned out and what managers can do to keep their employees motivated.

    Here are the questions we asked:

    1. What do you do at work to help you stay motivated?
    2. What do you do outside of work that helps you stay motivated?
    3. What can you do as a manager to motivate your employees?


    Here are our findings:

    Tara- Manager, Customer Success

    At work- “Something that has naturally developed that has helped me: My coworker and I joke that we always end up in a room together to talk things out. We work with every person in the company, which can be challenging and sometimes frustrating. It is nice to have a peer who brings out the positive, as well as having someone who you can talk about challenges and complaints with. In the end, we are all in this to problem solve.”

    What can a manager do?- “In the startup world, it can be easy to not ask for help. You know that everyone is extremely busy. “Who has the time to help me here?” To combat that, one easy thing that managers can do is to make sure their expectations are clear. If they see that an employee is stressed out, help them prioritize. Also, communication plus frequent and open dialogue.”

    Mike- VP of Engineering

    At work- “I only want to work for a job that intrinsically motivates me. I usually get burned out when I am operating at a ridiculously low weed level. Prioritizing helps you get back up to that tree level (or at least bush level). You have to recognize that not everything is going to get done right away.”

    Outside of work- “Travel helps me get away from the noise that causes you to feel burned out. It provides perspective on what is important, what is common in human nature, what is good, what is novel, what is the same. It allows you to think at a different level.”

    Candace- Lead Graphic Designer

    At work- “I try to pack a smile each day that I come in, listen to upbeat tunes when I am under a deadline, and try to engage in collaborative conversation often…people’s excitement around projects, especially in this office, is inspiring.”

    Outside of work- “Working outside or in fresh air does it for me, as it breaks the concept of “work” or makes the churn knocking out lengthy tasks seem less daunting. I often try to change my perspective, whether it is a world view, concept of other’s work environments or through my personal objectives for the week. Also, brief walks, museum trips and downtown art installation visits give me an immediate charge.”

    Meagan- General Manager

    As a manager, how do you keep your employees motivated?- “Well, it is totally different for each employee. You have to get to know them and figure it out. Some are motivated by money, and others are motivated by recognition. When you really praise someone for doing something good, they want to do it again. Some people are self-motivated, and want to do the best they can. Those people can sometimes be micro-focused, so they don’t see other opportunities for success. You just have to help them think differently. Some people like to be rebellious, so they aren’t going to listen to you until you threaten them. I give them areas of responsibility and at first, it is an obligation, like you have to do a certain task every two days. But the more they do it they get attached to it, and they feel proud of what they have done and then they become protective of it.”

    Need some ideas on how to engage the Millennials at your company? Check out our blog here.

    Even the best of us get bogged down. Stress loads are at a maximum high. There is too much on your plate at work, and you find yourself questioning, “How can one person take on this much responsibility?” or “How am I going to meet all these deadlines?” As employees, we have all been there. There are weeks when you feel drained and you just can’t seem to find that internal spark to keep you going. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and get a fresh perspective.

    There is inspiration all around us. It can be as easy as taking a different route to work, changing your exercise routine or even walking through a park. But from time to time, we have to look to the pros for guidance. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite quotes from philosophers, politicians, authors and inventors. If you are finding yourself in that sticky, no-fun, uninspired spot at work, use these employee motivation quotes to help you get reconnected. And feel free to comment and share some of your favorite quotes as well!

    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lao Tzu, Philosopher

    “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin, Politician

    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau, Author

    “It takes no talent to give effort.” -Ben Cline, Politician

    “I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” -Queen Elizabeth II, Queen/Politician

    “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” -Marissa Mayer, CEO

    “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” -Chris Grosser, Photographer

    “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” -Truman Capote, Author

    “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” -Lolly Daskal, CEO

    “Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing, it doesn’t matter what it is. You can eventually become a master of something.” -Allen Watts, Philosopher

    “Never, never, never give up.” -Sir Winston Churchill, Politician

    Want to inspire more of your employees? Check out our tips for creating an inspiring employee experience.

    About Kazoo:

    Kazoo amplifies company culture through its award-winning employee experience platform that delivers engagement, retention, performance management, and improved business metrics. As a dominant force in the HCM market with an industry-leading retention rate, Kazoo partners with more than 400 global organizations to build high-performance cultures and engaged workforces. Founded in 2013, Kazoo continues to revolutionize the employee experience with its platform based on the science of motivation, rewards, and recognition. To request a demo, visit