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7 Top Tips to Motivate Your Team

Demotivated employees are the bane of any manager. You want to get your employees feeling enthusiastic when they are on the job but you are struggling to fire up their energy levels. What do you do? If you want to keep your team and your company on top form, then it is time to switch things up.

Reward Gateway’s recent survey highlighted that over 72% of the participants in question believed that their employers could do more to motivate them. 

Help your team reach their full potential with our 7 motivational tips!

Tip #1.  Clarify long-term goals 

When you next have an appraisal or development talk with a team member, work together to establish a set of realistic goals to aim for. Be sure that these goals are clear and relevant for the person in question. They should always have a good understanding of the task ahead.

A study by the American Psychological Association has shown that setting specific goals results in better performance outcomes. Therefore, it is better to offer explicit instructions rather than vague directives like "do your best." When you lay out a clear plan for each project ahead of time, you are maximizing the quality of the work being produced.

Ensure that, in addition, you continue to provide support and guidance along the way, tracking progress and delivering positive feedback once the goal/s have been met.

Tip #2. Notice and appreciate your team

Employees who feel affirmation at work are more likely to work harder and stay in their jobs for a longer period of time compared to those who do not, according to one study. Among those surveyed, “78% of workers who describe themselves as happy were prepared to stay for more than 10 years with their current employer.” 

Everybody wants to be acknowledged for the work that they do. Regularly set aside some time in your day to give positive feedback and you will start to notice a difference in attitude. Be sure to praise an aspect of their work, no matter how big or small. 

  • Have they written a stellar report? When you receive it, make sure to include a few lines in your email expressing how impressed you are with the quality.

  • Perhaps an employee has been exceeding their sales targets recently? Make sure to mention during the next meeting how pleased you are with their progress.

You will start to appreciate that a little recognition can go a long way towards reinvigorating team members. A compliment doesn’t cost a thing but positive feedback is money in the bank when it comes to boosting confidence and self esteem. 

If you want to uphold a thriving work environment, your priority should be to spearhead a team who go home every day feeling proud of a job well done. Take the time to give credit where credit is due.

Tip #3. Always show loyalty to your team

Dr Sandra J. Peart, Dean of the School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, puts it this way “Loyalty, like trust, is productive. There is much evidence of the enormous benefits associated with trust.” 

Remember that good leaders are loyal. Your team is trusting you to act in their best interest. If you want them to continue to have faith in your leadership, then remaining loyal and consistent is vital. Uncertain managers who rapidly change their mind and never take personal responsibility have a hard time convincing their team to follow their directives or have confidence in their judgement.

Stand by your staff and encourage them through any difficulties so that they know you have their backs. If they are struggling, let them know that you will stand by them. When you demonstrate that you are genuine and have your team's best interests at heart and they will trust you to take the reins and lead them to new heights.


Tip #4. Keep communication open between managers and team members

Be honest, clear, and to-the-point. Dishonesty or gossip can rapidly lead to a toxic atmosphere. Remember that you set the tone of the group– lead from the front with openness and honesty in all of your communication. If you need some work on your interpersonal skills, a training course can give you more confidence. Keep the dialogue in the office transparent and professional and you will be rewarded with a more cohesive and stable work setting.

Mary Juetten, founder and CEO of Traklight attests that “as a leader, you have to emphasise the importance of honesty over harmony or appearances or any other concern that is ultimately secondary to successfully completing the work at hand.”

When in doubt, offer an honest and complete picture of a situation so that everybody knows where they stand and everyone will feel more secure within their roles.

Tip #5. Let people do the work that they love

You know what they say: do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life. If you want to see your employees succeed, give them work that they love to do.

When Steve Jobs was asked what was the secret behind Apple’s success, he concluded that “I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”

Discover your employee's strengths and talents through observation and discussions about what it is that they enjoy doing most.

Maybe you have a team member that loves crunching numbers? Find a way to get them involved in a project that utilizes statistical analysis. Taking such steps will not only make the most of the employees talents, it will keep them engaged and on the ball.

By playing to your employees talents and ambitions, you will benefit from having a highly motivated team. Moreover, the company will benefit from having skilled, dedicated employees who truly enjoy their work.

Tip #6. Pair the right skillset to the right role

Have you ever been assigned one task that was challenging and one task that was impossible? If you have, then you will know that the first kind stimulates and the second kind frustrates.

You want your employees to feel assured that they have the necessary skills to complete all of the tasks that are expected of them. If there is a new skill that they need to acquire, investing in training and professional development courses will turn potential feelings of frustration of undertrained employees into feeling satisfaction once they have developed and upskilled. Skills training will give them a renewed sense of job competency, so that you team members can feel confident about tackling the task ahead.

Play to your team's strengths and enforce their personal growth. They will enjoy giving their all...each and every day.

Tip #7. Support employees through times of change

Uncertain economic times, rising stress levels, and unexpected changes can lead to employees feeling like the ground beneath their feet is disappearing.

In such situations, there will be a lot of stressed and unfocused people. Stress brought on by uncertainty can affect our brain health in negative ways.

Encourage feelings of stability and help workers to feel valued. Regularly reinforce your appreciation of each individual of their importance within the group and within the company as you guide them through the rough waters.

Is your organization going through significant changes right now? Why not think about introducing courses in coaching or change management into your department. These courses can help you deal with the situation more effectively and promote a positive, success-driven attitude among your team members.

Final thoughts

We know that every workforce goes through highs and lows. Make sure that when your team is going through a low period, you have prepared for the situation and have an effective strategy to meet such challenges head-on.

Prioritizing employee motivation will strengthen your team and give them confidence in you as a leader. By implementing these changes you will see a marked upturn in motivation. A motivated team will be ready and willing to handle any issues that might arise in the future.

Looking for more resources to engage your team?

Explore training courses on leadership techniques listed on our site and delivered by field-leading experts.

Browse online leadership training courses

About the author

Jazz Mattey is a content writer at with extensive experience writing for a range of different media.

She specializes in writing about education, training, and mental wellbeing. She is an enthusiastic advocate of learning and personal development at all life stages.


Last updated: 19 Nov 2021

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