Staff (let’s call them ‘team’) motivation is really important to any business who has human resources. The human resources component of some businesses can be massive, especially service-based businesses. Whether you’re a tradie, accountant or medical practice, you need to motivate your team in order to improve your business.
Before I give you those 30+ great ways to motivate your team, let’s have a look at some reasons as to WHY we should be concerned about team motivation.
- Managing your team well, including their motivation will lead directly to an organization achieving higher output and reaching their business and financial goals.
- For managers and leaders, having a motivated team reflects well on you; your department will achieve its goals and you as the team leader will be acknowledged for the positive results.
- Simply put, a happy worker is a more productive worker and happiness is contagious.
- A loyal workforce will work harder (not just do the bare minimum) in order to help the business achieve its goals.
- A happy worker stays in the business longer. It costs 2.5 times a person’s salary to replace them – so the greater the staff retention, the greater the bottom line profit.
- A happy and motivated team want to be at work; reducing absenteeism.
- A happy team means that you have a good reputation in the industry; good / great people will want to work for you. Convincing someone good to work for you won’t be hard.
- It’s the right thing to do; every business should strive to have happy team members who are achieving their personal and career goals and who are happy and want to be at work.
Here are 35 practical and real ways to motivate your team members / employees / staff:
1. Pay your people what they’re worth.
Whilst money isn’t the only motivator, you need to acknowledge their worth and pay them for their value. Sometimes for them, it’s the money and sometimes it’s what that money equates to. If you pay someone only the award, as you saying they are no better than the bare minimum?
2. Provide them with a pleasant place to work.
I’m talking here about the physical. We spend 8 hours a day or more at work; you don’t want to work in a dive or a small box-like room.
3. Give them opportunities for self-development.
People mostly like to improve, plus as they can do more they are more valuable to you.
4. Foster team collaboration.
Seek their input and ask their opinion. Not only will they feel they are being included and listened to, they very likely will give you some exceptional ideas.
5. Encourage happiness.
A happy worker is a productive worker.
6. Set clear goals.
If your team understand the corporate or departmental goals, then they can be on board.
7. Trust your team.
Trust is earned, but you have to start somewhere. Show a little trust and see where they go with it – you might be pleasantly surprised.
8. Be thankful and show appreciation.
A genuine (emphasis on genuine) thank you goes so far.
9. Give your team a sense of value.
When they know they are valued and appreciated, they strive to do more. This is how loyalty is born and why people stay with an employer longer and are more productive.
10. Be kind.
Seems simple, but gosh, I’ve heard some awful ways that some bosses speak to their team – sometimes even in front of customers!
11. Provide a workplace which stimulates them.
People work for many reasons, including mental stimulation, so give them something which challenges and stimulates them. I used to use this as a reward for a job well done. Do something simple well and you get to move onto something more complex and challenging.
12. Treat them with respect.
What do you call them? Employees, workers or team members?
13. Challenge them to strive for more.
First, know your team member well; if they don’t handle challenges well (or change) then you’ll need to go slowly with them and give them lots of support. Always push someone just a little bit out of their comfort zone; not a mile.
14. Improve your communication around giving instructions.
The better you are at giving instructions and telling them what you need, the better your team will be at following your direction; avoiding frustrations for both of you.
15. Get better at asking great questions.
Another aspect of communication is by asking questions. Ask the right ones and you’ll get back better feedback, communication and results.
16. Don’t micromanage.
This sends the message you don’t trust them and you don’t believe they can do as well as you. Instead, teach them the task and then gradually hand it over.
17. Don’t punish failure.
We are all human and we all make mistakes; as long as they are trying and improving, then help them on that journey to improve. Also if you punish failure, they are more likely to hide those failings; which doesn’t give you the opportunity to rectify.
18. Ditch endless and lengthy meetings.
No one likes long boring meetings, so find better ways of communicating within the team. Maybe ask your team for their ideas!
19. Be available to support and help.
I know in my previous business I was so busy running 5 different locations, I wasn’t great at this. That’s why I implement a Team Leader system so that the team had someone they could get hold of, ask questions and get support.
20. Put your people first.
If a client gives your staff a hard go, so you ditch the client or the staff member? I remember this cycle – the owner looks after the staff, who in turn look after the customers, who in turn look after the profits. The profits then look after the owner. It’s a circular cycle.
21. Inspire responsibility; provide them with autonomy.
Another trust factor; give your team responsibility and space to shine (and yes, even to fail). Be there for support, but also give them the opportunity to shine.
22. We, not I.
Be sure to acknowledge their input; never take credit for a subordinates work yourself!
23. Provide supportive leadership.
Your team needs to feel they can approach you and ask questions.
24. Empower the individual.
Every employee should feel that they are valued as an individual and are not just a number or cog in the system.
25. Develop a positive environment.
Positivity (like negativity) is so contagious; foster a positive environment by being positive yourself and encouraging that in others.
26. Encourage teamwork.
I know some people like to set up their team to be competitive, and for some sales team this can work, but generally, we should be working as a team and helping and supporting each other.
27. Recognise achievement and hard work > reward it.
This doesn’t just have to be money; it can be time off, an early mark, public recognition, an award or something else.
28. Be fair.
You should never advantage one team member over another – especially in a family-based business. When my children worked for me, they got no special treatment; they were bound by the same expectations as everyone else.
29. Lead by example.
Ask no more of your team than you are doing yourself.
30. Be flexible.
If it’s possible that they can work from home or work school hours; they will value their job even more. Asking what they would want or need is your starting point. You also need to communicate expectations as well. It needs to work for both parties.
31. Know what motivates your team.
Knowing their value system and what motivates them personally, makes it easier to meet their needs. Don’t assume people work for money; I’ve had team myself who didn’t need to work, but wanted to be kept busy, mentally stimulated and appreciated.
32. Provide training where needed.
Again, ask your team what training they would like.
33. Don’t burn them out.
Overworked staff will either get sick or leave. They will become so stressed or worn out that something will have to give. Don’t let it get to that stage.
34. Show them opportunities for advancement.
When the team knows there is brightness of the future and they can advance, they will have an incentive to stay and work hard. This is how you can really motivate your team.
35. Have some fun.
We all know we are there to work and make money – but you can do it in a fun way, or work the ‘coal mines’. Find the right balance of hard work and having a good time.
As a seasoned business coach and leadership mentor, I help businesses and leaders to get the most from their team, achieve their goals and improve their soft skills. If you’d like to know more on how to motivate your team, feel free to reach out to me on 0411 622 666 or via my website CONTACT PAGE.
Make a spectacular week and continue to motivate your team!