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How to Motivate Your Team to Do More


From the perspective of a business owner or manager, few things are more important to the success of daily business operations than motivation. If your employees aren’t motivated, you’ll find it nearly impossible to accomplish the goals in front of you. If they are motivated, then the sky is the limit!


Why Motivation Matters

Employee motivation is the general desire or willingness of your team to proactively make smart choices that help the business accomplish key goals. High motivation produces benefits like healthy employee commitment, improved employee satisfaction, greater employee development, and enhanced employee efficiency.


A lack of employee motivation can be equally as detrimental to your business – stifling creativity, limiting productivity, and lowering overall engagement.


Whether it’s a major focus of your management style or not, motivation is – for better or worse – having a major impact on your business. It’s time to direct your energy and focus toward this important issue.


5 Ways to Motivate

Every employee is an individual with specific needs and intrinsic motivations. But when it comes to motivating your team as a whole, here are some positive steps you can take:



  • Set Clear Objectives

It’s imperative that you regularly cast a vision for your business and set goals for your employees to work on. More specifically, clear objectives are needed.


“Objectives are the ‘what’ of a goal. The objective expresses the intent of a goal and should be tangible and unambiguous,” Pinnacle ART explains. “If a clearly set objective is achieved it should be obvious to an outside rational observer. Be aggressive but realistic setting your objectives. Strive to accomplish something that is just outside of your reach.”



  • Offer the Right Rewards

Though each person has intrinsic motivations, external factors are also in play. One way to capitalize on the latter is to offer compelling rewards and prizes that encourage employees to strive toward accomplishing objectives.


Believe it or not, money and cash bonuses aren’t always the best rewards. Studies show they have a very limited impact.


“Once the employee receives the money, its power to motivate ends very quickly,” small business consultants Doug and Polly White point out. “Some studies say within a week. Further, the same studies indicate that to truly change behavior, the amount of the incentive must be at least 10 percent of base compensation for the period.”


Instead of shelling out a lot of money to pay for motivation, consider using more cost-effective and sustainable methods like celebrations, small prizes, recognition, and perks (like casual dress days or paid time off).



  • Dish Out Responsibilities

People are more likely to be motivated when they feel like they have some responsibility. Specific duties give weight to the underlying activity and promote a sense of personal responsibility for the work being done.


Responsibilities need to be appropriate to the individual, but don’t be afraid to stretch your employees and make them try new things. You’ll be surprised by how capable good employees are.



  • Be Positive and Constructive

There’s a time and place for negative feedback, but save the harsh tone for when employees purposefully step out of line. Most of the time, you’re far more likely to motivate with positive feedback and constructive criticism.


When delivering feedback, focus on specific observations and tangible suggestions rather than vague statements. This will help the employee take specific actions moving forward.



  • Gather Feedback and Listen

Employees want to know that they have a say in the direction of the company (or at least in the direction of their specific department or job role). You can show them that you care by gathering regular feedback in the form of questionnaires, surveys, and one-on-one meetings.


Even more important than gathering feedback is listening to the feedback and applying it (when it’s useful). This shows that you care about your employees and what they have to say.


Give Your Business a Boost

It’s easy to get so caught up in production, marketing, sales, and advertising that you forget about the importance of managing your team. By giving more attention to issues like employee motivation, you can strengthen your business from the inside out. Pick out one or two actions that you can implement this week and give them a try!


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