8 Simple Steps to Improve Team Motivation

Lara Stewart

It’s no secret: motivated people work harder, produce more and are more likely to stay at a job. Having a highly motivated team allows you to have a healthier workplace and get the most out of the talented people you choose to work with you. The trick is creating a company culture where people feel motivated to give you their best. A few steps to motivate the people on your team:


1. Learn what makes people feel inspired and motivated.

What makes people feel engaged and motivated at work? It isn’t money. In fact, many people rate money lower than other workplace perks when asked what they want from a job. The things that motivate people include feeling appreciated, challenged and necessary. By learning what works, you can help foster the sort of environment that makes people eager to get in each day and get to work.

2. Make your team members stakeholders.

When talking about new products or company projects, use language that makes everyone feel that they are a part of it. When people feel that the company’s success is their own success, they are more likely to give their best efforts.

3. Praise and encourage often.

When people put in special effort or achieve large accomplishments, praise them both publicly and privately. When things are tough, offer encouragement. In a recent study, people who received positive reinforcement performed better on mathematical tests. A positive word can do a lot to increase someone’s performance, especially when they are under a lot of stress.

4. Keep communication open.

When team members are left in the dark, it can make them feel demoralized and apathetic. Make sure that you talk to team members, individually and in groups, to let them know what is going on in the workplace. Talk about how well a product is being received, what sorts of changes are coming to the workplace and keep them abreast of other teams’ projects. Regular face to face meetings can be helpful. But, don’t forget the value of company intranet social networks, bulletin boards with news and a regular company newsletter.

5. Empower team members to make decisions on their own.

When people have the chance to be more self-directed, they feel a greater sense of ownership of their work. While there are many areas of business where it is important to follow pre-arranged procedures, there are many others where employees can be given some latitude. Feeling like they have more choices in how they allocate their time and how they choose to complete their tasks makes people feel like they are trusted and valued.

6. Offer challenges.

The harder a task is, the more proud you can be of the results. Whenever possible, offer team members more difficult tasks that are outside their usual comfort zone. This can help build confidence and skills, making these team members even more valuable in your workplace.

7. Offer a path to advancement.

When people see that their hard work can pay off for them in the future, they are more engaged and motivated. When positions open up, always promote from within. Talk to team members often about their ambitions and where they see themselves going. Offer educational opportunities to high achievers so they can increase their skills and their value in the workplace.

8. Reward quality work.

Small incentives can significantly increase worker satisfaction and motivation. They do not have to be expensive. Many workers would be happy to be offered an extra half-day of vacation or a small gift certificate to a local restaurant. The increased motivation and productivity often means that these perks pay for themselves. 

High motivation in team members is the product of a positive, appreciative workplace. By tending to your team members’ wellbeing and happiness in the office, you will find that they are more anxious to provide excellent work for you and increase their value in the workplace.