Jan 3, 2012

Motivate Your Team!

1.        Be generous with praise. Everyone wants it and it’s one of the easiest things to give. Praise every improvement that you see your team members make. Once you’re comfortable delivering praise one-on-one to an employee, try praising them in front of others.  

2.        Flatten the Team. Removing levels of reporting and/or team leads and empowering your staff to work together as a team rather then everyone reporting to multiple individuals can do wonders. Think about it. What’s worse than letting your supervisor down? Letting your team down! 

3.        Make your ideas theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”  

4.        Never criticize or correct. No one, and I mean no one, wants to hear that they did something wrong. If you’re looking for a de-motivator, this is it. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “Was that the best way to approach the problem? Why not? Have any ideas on what you could have done differently?” Then you’re having a conversation and talking through solutions, not pointing a finger.  

5.        Make everyone a leader. Highlight your top performers’ strengths and let them know that because of their excellence, you want them to be the example for others. You’ll set the bar high and they’ll be motivated to live up to their reputation as a leader.  

6.        Take an employee to lunch once a week. Surprise them. Don’t make an announcement that you’re establishing a new policy. Literally walk up to one of your employees, and invite them to lunch with you. It’s an easy way to remind them that you notice and appreciate their work.  

7.        Give recognition and small rewards. These two things come in many forms: Give a shout out to someone in a company meeting for what they have accomplished. Run contests or internal games and keep track of the results on a whiteboard that everyone can see. 

8.        Throw team parties. Doing things as a group can go a long way. Have a picnic. Organize birthday parties. Hold a happy hour. Don’t just wait until the holidays to do an activity; organize events throughout the year to remind your team that you’re all in it together.

9.        Share the rewards—and the pain. When your team does well, celebrate. This is the best time to let everyone know that you’re thankful for their hard work. Go out of your way to show how far you will go when people help your team succeed. If there are disappointments, share those too. If you expect high performance, your team deserves to know where the company stands. Be honest and transparent.

Lets start the new year off right!


  1. Now I like 'Flatten the Team' and 'Make your Ideas theirs'.
    My dad was a born motivator, with a 3rd grade formal education he was successful. He told me once, "You cn accomplish much, if you do not care who gets the credit!"

  2. These are such good points and I'm sure they work. I've had a couple of jobs where I thought my boss could care less about me and my work. That is, until I gave notice and they gave references for me. I'd had no idea they appreciated my work and I probably would have stayed if I'd known they had.

  3. I think some of these can be applied to coworkers, too. Although I was never in a management position, I think it always helped to provide some encouragement, even a simple, "Hey, good job!" On especially busy days, when we all worked together to get the work out, I'd even give us a little applause at the end of the day. haha

  4. I think too many times management is quick to point out faults and not lavish enough praise. I like your list. I wish in the real world, more of these ideas were implemented.


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