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Five Steps to Motivate your Team



“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”


American football coach Lou Holtz recognises the importance of motivation to get things done.


And while the summer holidays are a great time to relax and reflect, it can sometimes feel like a chore getting back into a routine.


You cannot directly motivate your team, but here are five steps you can take to enable them to motivate themselves.


1. Recognise what motivates people.

Understanding what motivates people means understanding their needs.Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  states that people are motivated to achieve certain needs, starting with a basic need for food and shelter and culminating in fulfilment and personal growth.  Once one need is met, a person can seek to fulfil the next one.

We all have different aspirations. The easiest way to find out what motivates your team is to sit down and discuss it with them.

What do they enjoy most and where do their strengths lie? If people have the opportunity to do what they do best, every day, it will greatly increase motivation.


2. Engage with your team.

Gallup’s Worldwide programme shows a clear link between employee engagement and well-being.

In the report, engagement was measured by questions such as whether their manager seemed to care about them as a person.

Those who felt their managers cared were likely to be top performers and produce higher quality of work. They were also less likely to get sick, change jobs or be injured at work.


3. Measure and make it happen.

You can then set individual targets for members, so that everyone understands what is required of them.

Holding regular reviews will enable you to monitor progress. It’s also much better to have a policy of regular feedback, than one of surprise. It is unhelpful to the employee and company not to address any issues as soon as they arise.


4. Recognition and advancement.

A study by Bersin and Associates found that employers who provided employee recognition had a 31 per cent lower turnover rate.

And Forbes reported  ‘employees will always perform at their best when the environment is conducive to growth.’

Recognition can include financial rewards, career incentives and professional and personal development.


5. Finally, lead by example.

Remember people copy behaviours.  Leaders must lead with their actions as well as their words. Their actions must constantly reinforce the priorities of the business.

Leaders should demonstrate their beliefs in order to instil respect and credibility. You know when you have got a genuinely engaged team when you get discretionary effort – where extra work gets done without you having to ask.