Keeping Employees Motivated

Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on June 22, 2019 and last updated on May 25, 2023

Discussing employee motivation offers English learners a practical and relatable subject, broadening their vocabulary and understanding of workplace culture. By exploring various motivational factors, they can practice forming opinions, structuring arguments and using nuanced language.

This topic also provides insight into international business norms, enabling learners to use English more confidently in professional contexts.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

About Employee Motivation

Maintaining staff motivation is a universal challenge that all business owners must tackle. It’s imperative to understand that a fundamental role of a business owner is to ensure that their employees remain engaged and enthusiastic. If they employees aren’t motivated, this could lead to more people being off sick, less work getting done and more people leaving the company.

It’s equally important to recognise that individuals are motivated in different ways. For some, their motivation comes from financial reward, whilst others find it in recognition from their peers. To effectively channel this motivation, it’s essential to understand what drives each person within a team. By identifying these unique motivational drivers, business owners and managers can adapt their strategies to effectively motivate each team member within the workplace.

Useful Vocabulary Related to Employee Motivation

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • motivate (verb)
  • employer (noun)
  • employee (noun)
  • performance (noun)
  • satisfaction (noun)
  • difficulty (noun)

ESL Questions About Keeping Employees Motivated

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  • What motivates you in your job?
  • What do you think are the main factors that motivate employees?
  • Do you believe that money is the best motivators?
  • How important is a healthy work-life balance for employee motivation?
  • Is it the responsibility of the employer or the employee to maintain motivation at work?
  • If you had the power, what changes would you implement in your workplace to boost motivation?
  • Does remote work have a positive or negative effect on employee motivation?
  • If you were a manager, how would you motivate your team?
  • What role does the work environment play in keeping employees motivated?
  • Can you describe a time when you felt highly motivated at work?
  • If a motivated employee suddenly seems disinterested, what could be the possible reasons and how would you address them?
  • Can high-pressure environments be motivational or do they lead to burnout?
  • If you could design your ideal work environment, what would it look like?
  • Is a strong leadership more important for motivation than good team dynamics?
  • If your motivation were low, what steps would you personally take to improve it?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.