As a sales and business coach, I often come into contact with teams struggling with motivation. If you’re a team manager or a business owner, then it’s important to be aware of the various strategies that exist to boost the morale and performance of your staff. It’s very easy to play the blame game and to not take responsibility for your staff’s lack of performance, but at the end of the day, it’s your job to motivate your staff to be the best that they can be! Here’s how you can get the most out of your workforce:


Every single person in your team has something that is driving them. Think about what drives you for a minute. Perhaps it’s money, or a promotion, or wanting to build a better future for your family. Find out what drives the people in your team. If you understand what drives them, you’ll be able to motivate them to achieve these things. A lot of companies don’t focus on finding out what drives their employees. They’re only interested in what drives the organisation. Business owners have their own goals and at the end of the day, they just want their staff to deliver and contribute to the growth of their business. In my opinion, this just doesn’t work. If the only people that benefit from this are the business owners, then how can you expect your staff to be motivated and fired up? The solution here would be to either give everyone in the company the chance to work towards owning a piece of the business or alternatively you need to find out what drives the people who work in your team and offer them an incentive that matches their wants and needs.


What’s the worst thing that you can do when you’re trying to build trust in an organisation? Micromanage people! People might value training and feedback, but they don’t like micromanagement! Just like with any relationship, it’s imperative to start your working relationship with trust. A lot of people might say that trust is earned, but if you tell your staff that you are going to mistrust them until they prove themselves to you, you’re not going to build a positive environment for your team.  If you trust the people that you work with, you’ll create a safe space where people can develop and grow.


Ask your direct reports about how they would like to be managed. Like I said above, if you trust your staff then they’re more likely to trust you. Having an open and honest working relationship with them is imperative. If you ask your employee what they want from you in terms of support, and how you can better manage them or coach them, you’ll soon discover that different people need different things. Understand that different people want to be managed in different ways, and as a leader, you’ll need to be adaptable.


Rather than focusing on long term goals, if you want to boost your employee’s motivation and performance, focus on short term goals. Instead of thinking twelve months ahead, work on daily, weekly and monthly goals. If you get people focused on short term goals as a starting point, then they’ll be more likely to know what they need to do in order to achieve their objectives.


If one of your employees does a good job, then congratulate them on it! A simple “well done” or “good job” goes a long way! Don’t underestimate the value of that. Employees want (and need) recognition for doing a good job. Get your team together on a regular basis and celebrate success!


If someone in your team messes up, don’t scold them for this. Instead, sit them down and talk about some other ways that they can handle situations going forward. Constructive feedback shouldn’t be seen as criticism. Tell the person that you want to help them achieve better results so that they can be even better than they currently are. This way they’ll feel more confident in their abilities… and less like an idiot. Working together like this will always be beneficial. Let your staff know that you have their back.


A motivated team is a highly trained team. Make sure that you provide as much training as possible. But make sure that the training is relevant, contextual, and consistent. Providing your team with solutions to potential problems is incredibly valuable. People learn in different ways, so give your staff the opportunity to learn in a way that will help them develop and grow.