catered lunch for employeesKeeping employees around and working at the top of their game has always been important, but as more employees retire, it becomes more important to keep the younger ones around. Motivated employees stay longer with a company and work harder. So, the question becomes how to motivate your employees. There’s more than one answer to this question, and the best method depends on your shop. Below are four tried-and-true ways to motivate job shop employees.

1.    Show Appreciation

Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. When your employees do something good, let them know. This can be as simple as thanking them for something or noticing when they did well on a difficult job. Showing appreciation to your employees makes them feel like they’re important to the company and that they’re valued.

It is also good to show appreciation to your employees as a group. One way of showing this appreciation is through perks. For example, if possible, you could offer staggered shift starts, to allow some people to come in later and stay later or come in earlier and leave earlier. Other perks could include a dishwasher in the break room or snacks.

2.    Give Opportunities to Grow

Very few people want to do the same thing for the rest of their lives. When possible, give your employees the chance to do something outside of their usual duties, or offer them the chance to take classes. These classes could be anything from certification classes, conferences in your industry, or helping with tuition so they can go back to school.

Cross-training employees can also be helpful for your shop. Job shop employees who are cross-trained can fill in when someone is sick. It can also help an employee improve their primary job if they have a better understanding of how everything fits together.

3.    Offer Meaningful Incentives

The form these incentives take depends on your shop and the people there. Some employees prefer a bonus and others a gift card. You could also offer more vacation time, a catered lunch, tickets to an event, or anything else they would enjoy. The key is to make sure that the incentive is something your company can afford that your employees will want to work for.

Typically, experiences like a gift card or tickets to an event are more inspiring than cash, but it depends on your shop. As long as it’s a reward that your employees feel is worth the work required, they’ll put in the work to earn it.

4.    Ask for Feedback

It’s hard to know what’s happening on the shop floor if you aren’t there. However, your employees know everything that happens on the floor, and they probably have some ideas on how to improve it. One possibility is that their work environment could be better. This could range from brighter lights, better anti-fatigue mats, changes in the heating and air conditioning, less machine noise, or even additional seating options. They could also have ideas on how to run machines more efficiently, or how to route a job more quickly.

Getting feedback from the shop floor lets you get a different perspective. Employees will have different ideas about how to improve the shop because they work in a different area than you. Implementing their ideas will make them feel heard and important to the shop. Motivating your employees to work harder could be as simple as buying a few stools, but you won’t know until you ask.


Every shop wants motivated employees. If your shop shows appreciation, gives opportunities to grow, offers meaningful incentives, and asks for feedback, you’re well on the way to having a workforce that wants to go to work each day and work hard. It’s great for your shop and it’s great for your employees. What could be better?

Now that you’ve motivated your employees, are you interested in improving your shop?

Improve My Shop