10 Proven Ways to Motivate Your Team

Motivating your team is easy when you understand why people want to work for your company

A motivated team is a productive team. While there are clear benefits to your company, such as productivity, loyalty and creativity, that come from having an engaged staff, there are more benefits to your employees themselves.

Job satisfaction is one of the key aims that most people have when choosing a career. As an employer, if you can provide a work environment that supports the goals of individuals and teams, you are more likely to build a successful company filled with loyal staff, innovative solutions and renowned brand identity.

The top 10 proven things that motivate employees might come as a surprise to some. More than money and promotions, people care about the environment that they are committing more than 40 hours per week too.

Some of the most important motivators are peer support (20{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b}), and feeling encouraged  (14{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b}), according to a recent survey.

So how can you apply these top motivating forces to your workplace?

1. Be a decent boss.

If you are in a management or leadership position, it is important that you undertake some training (or online reading at the least) to understand yourself better. If you can identify your natural leadership style, you will better understand how to play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses. People want to follow a good leader, and there isn’t just one type of effective leader. You don’t need to change who you are to be the sort of person people respect and want to work with, you just need to be able to see the best and worst in yourself.

2. Pay people what they deserve.

Just because a governing body sets a minimum wage doesn’t mean you need to keep people at that level. If an employee is worthy of a higher salary, pay it. Offer bonuses for project competition or new business signing. Host regular events that show appreciation. You don’t have to splash the cash, but showing your appreciation can really help generate a level of staff loyalty that rewards your company. Even offering flexibility, shorter working hours or above-average holiday leave periods can be enough to keep employees motivated and committed.

3. Customer service smiles.

Some employees just love to have a chat. These people are often in customer service roles or sales, and they are also some of your most valuable brand ambassadors. Employees who feel that their contribution to the image of the company in representing it outwardly is valued are often the same people who report high levels of job satisfaction. Allow people to engage, to really do their job, even if they are taking a little more time than is optimal – sometimes the job satisfaction derived from the praise of customers is all a person needs to want to keep coming into work every day.

4. Give them room to grow.

If you are a fledgeling company, allow employees to see, and take, opportunities that will grow their career. In smaller companies, it can be easier for people who are not qualified in a role to see how they could develop their potential and identify a career path in your company. If you can provide the right training and nurturing, you might secure that knowledgeable and competent person as a leader in your company for many years to come. Employee loyalty is extremely valuable to your bottom line and should be a priority.

5. Have a social conscience.

As a company, you are part of the community in which you operate. Being aware of some of the issues that face your employees, the local community or your industry is a step towards showing that you understand and value how your business operates in the real world. For example, it might be appropriate in your office to have gender-neutral bathrooms, or to pay for building access upgrades, or offer extended family leave. There are many ways you can show that you care about the social environment your employees are working in, and the best way to find out is to ask employees what concerns they have and how you can change as a company to be inclusive and conscious.

6. Share your values.

For many people, working for a company that displays strong values is part of their identity. Employees spending about 40 hours a week devoted to your company are going to feel higher rates of job satisfaction if they identify with your company values. From being an active environmentally-friendly office to actively participating in local events, if you allow your values to be voiced and held publicly, employees will feel proud to be associated with your company (if they identify with the values you practice).

7. Support systems.

Peer support is very important to people’s overall feelings of wellbeing, and within the workplace, it is important that teams feel united. While various leadership and management styles work in different scenarios, the one theme that carries through is teamwork. If people feel that they have a network of support, from colleagues to managers, they will perform better. Transparency and trust help companies to grow, and honest report between colleagues at all levels helps with innovation and development. This is rated as one of the most important factors in motivation, as people who feel secure and seen are more likely to take risks and therefore, derive greater pleasure from their work on a day-to-day basis. It also helps your company retain employees as people who are happy working together have less reason to seek employment elsewhere. For many people, those that they work with closely become almost like a second family.

8. A job well done.

We all like praise. Telling people when they have done a good job is more important than telling them when they have failed. We mostly know when we have messed something up, but often if you are doing a job that requires little feedback it is harder to know. Telling employees that you are happy with their work lets them know that their work is of value to the company. When people know what work they are doing well it also helps them to understand what areas they might need to improve on, saving you from having to catch a mistake after it has happened.

9. Ethical roles.

There is no job that comes without compromise. That said, people generally want to work with as little compromise to their ethical standards as possible. Your company needs to be transparent so that employees can make decisions about their own boundaries. For example, a mining company is providing essential base materials for industry. As an employer, it would be important to tell employees about your environmental strategy so that they can make decisions about whether the job role is the right fit for them ethically. If people find out in the job that their ethical boundaries are pushed they are more likely to quit, sometimes without warning, whereas if you are transparent from the beginning, people understand the alignment.

10. Have real conversations.

Sit down with your employees and find out what they value. Doing the unexpected might be the best thing you can do for your employees and your company.

The longevity of your team is a valuable asset. The greater the acquired knowledge and skills of your team, the better the innovation and creativity. Not only do you improve your bottom line with low staff turnover rates, but you also attract top talent who want to be part of a company that seemingly treats its employees so well that they never want to leave.