Effective employee motivation needs leaders who are able to formulate visions of incentive programs and who have positive influence on employees. Leaders are able to analyse the environment regarding the level of motivation, barriers to motivation and are able to develop an effective motivation system. A motivation system refers to a system illustrating basic motives, motivation preferences, intentions and priorities, incentives being applied and their effects. The authors of the paper attempt to assess the level of employee motivation in a trading company and its relation to work performance. The research was conducted in the months of September–December 2016 and 213 respondents were asked to fill out the questionnaire. A Pareto chart was used illustrate the research results.