How to motivate a team

Top 5 ways to get the best out of your employees

Keeping a team engaged and motivated is one of the hardest things a manager or leader has to do. With multiple personalities, the different preferences of working styles and various roles and experience levels all have to be considered. It can be a minefield but without a motivated team the road to success will be a difficult one.

After 2020 – the ultimate year of uncertainty – it’s vital that companies get 2021 started in a positive way and focus on driving their business forward. Without a doubt morale is low and corporate cultures are eroding so ensuring that your employees are motivated to achieve their objectives should be top of the list of actions for effective leaders.

At Black Book we understand that effective events are only part of the puzzle so here’s our Top 5 ways to motivate your teams:

1. Employee Praise – Making an individual feel valued is one of the most important parts of not only motivation but building employee loyalty. Research has shown that a simple “thank you” delivered in the right way can increase employee performance by as much as 44%.  With that impact, imagine the effect a carefully planned recognition programme could deliver for your business.  Recognition and the respect of your manager sits right near the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and it is also one of the easiest and most consistent ways to motivate your team.  Public praise can be even more effective, whether in a team meeting, through company-wide communication such as a newsletter or at a conference or awards ceremony

2. Promotion and career prospects – For those employees that are highly driven, career progression can be an extremely powerful tool, helping individuals maintain focused on their objectives and striving to over-achieve. For those who are not as ambitious it can still be a powerful tool, whilst they may not want to climb the career ladder, outlining a clear career path can be an opportunity for providing support and training to help them achieve progression in other ways.

3. Cash rewards – There’s always a debate about monetary rewards and how good they are as a motivating factor. For some it can be a huge driver, you only have to look at the bonus culture of many industries. Others, like Maslow, believe it to be a hygiene factor i.e. one that is necessary but its value as a true motivator is less, as the impact of the reward has little longevity.  No matter how motivated by cash reward an employee is, if they do not feel valued or find out there is disparity in pay then the impact of cash may even be hugely demotivating.  So now is the time to audit your financial rewards. 

4. Company culture – Your company culture can be a motivator in itself. The way a business conducts itself, its values, its work environment and the way it communicates with its employees all build the culture of the organisation. Creating a business that people want to work for can help drive performance as they value their position and believe in the work that they are doing – giving them a sense of purpose.  Being clear about your company culture and communicating this regularly and consistently is one way to ensure your teams are onboard and talking about it.  Culture is fluid, driven by the people and reinforced by values, to get it right it must be adopted by the leadership or it will cease to be an influencing factor across your organisation. 

5. Employee Incentive Programmes – setting goals for people to achieve and rewarding them when they achieve them is a proven motivator. Whether that be cash bonuses, individual rewards or a group incentive trip, this method has stood the test of time and is the cornerstone of many company sales strategies. The benefits of an incentive trip in particular can be far more than simply the reward as it nourishes culture, bonds the employee to the business and is a brilliant opportunity for employees to build relationships with peers and senior management over shared experiences and memories.

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