9 Ways to Instantly Motivate Your Team

Helen Warren

Jun 13 2018

Motivated employees are one of the major keys to delivering high-quality service – which makes customers come back to you, regardless of the industry you operate in. However, the art of motivation can be tricky, and for all you know, your team might not share your views as often as you’d like. Today we present 9 exciting ways to instantly boost the motivation of your team and make people enthusiastic about coming to work every day.

1. Encourage Team Collaboration

According to Forbes, 66% of employees would likely quit if they don’t feel appreciated. If you think that a decent salary is enough to satisfy employees, you’re wrong. Surely, the pay is important, but there are a lot of other factors influencing motivation and productivity. Favorable atmosphere, incentives and most importantly, being heard by leaders, are at the top of that list.

Your employees aren’t there just for the paycheck. Each and every team member wants to feel important – even to a small degree – and know that his or her opinion matters. Encourage your team to fully participate in the company’s activities, be eager for their input, and implement their suggestions whenever you can. This will help them feel appreciated on an individual level, and you’ll be rewarded with dedicated, creative-thinking team members.

2. Organize Training Sessions

An average person spends 90.000 hours of their lives at work. That’s a little less than 25% of our lives if you consider a standard, 40-hour work week, without any overtime shifts. This is one of the main reasons why growth and vertical movement is paramount to employee motivation. Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead-end job without any prospects of advancement. Motivation can be different on an individual level, but the urge to climb the career ladder to one day become one’s own boss may be universal.

Create and promote a culture of training and organize training sessions for all employees. If you’re low on budget and can’t afford to send team members outside of the company for training, there are other options. Websites like Udemy allow anybody to learn pretty much anything at an affordable price, right at their computers.

3. Minimize the Number of Meetings

Meetings are a real coin flip – they can be incredibly helpful or excruciatingly wasteful in terms of time, effort and energy. An average person spends around 5 hours in unproductive meetings every week. Besides being a time killer, long and frequent meetings are very demoralizing, especially when employees walk into the room with the “here is another one of those time wasters” mindset.

Try to minimize the number of meetings in your department, create an agenda for the week ahead and send it out to everyone in advance. In addition, keep meetings short, to the point and make sure to invite only those team members that really need to participate. You’ll be surprised just how much your team will appreciate that.

4. Say No to Micromanagement

Micromanagement damages your team’s motivation and productivity in more than one way. No matter how good you an employee is at his/her job, having one’s boss constantly looking over one’s shoulder creates a lot of unnecessary pressure and can make an employee prone to errors that they wouldn’t commit otherwise. This not only kills motivation but also decreases productivity and limits creative thinking.

But the worst thing is the environment that micromanagement generates. Those teams that adapt to micromanagement become secretly rebellious, looking to punish you in any small way they can – or they feel absolutely helpless and insecure making any independent decisions.

All of this leaves you, the leader, constantly dealing with some of the lowest priority tasks, rather than focusing on the big picture. Give your employees the freedom they require and focus on the results. As long as the work is being done well and on time, you shouldn’t worry too much about processes or how your team achieves those results.

5. Establish Flexible Working Hours

Flexible working hours are hard to keep track of and maintain from an administrative point of view, but the truth is that all people work differently. And it’s not just about personal preferences (though taking them into account is always a big motivational boost), but also about performance.

A study conducted by the University of Sydney found that individual workers are most productive during certain periods of time during the day as dictated by their chronotype. The study found that there are 3 types of workers – “morning”, “evening” and “intermediate” – who are most productive early in the morning, after the sun sets and midday, accordingly. While fully adapting to your team’s desires in terms of working hours may not be possible for everyone, offering at least some flexibility can be enough to show employees that you care about their needs and wants.

6. Accept Remote Work Options

Remote teams are one of the hottest trends in project management. Remote work seems scary to many, primarily because there is no way to oversee the team’s efforts at any given time. Yet the truth is that most employees, particularly millenials, feel more motivated and are more productive when given the freedom to work where they feel most comfortable.

A recent survey revealed that 65% of employees feel more motivated to work from a location outside of the office, in contrast to only 7% who prefer the office environment. Regardless of whether team members want to get away from office distractions or they simply like the atmosphere of a coffee shop, managers need to give them the freedom to choose for themselves. If you can’t afford to have your team members away from the office for the whole week, even once or twice a week can make a difference in motivation level for employees.

7. Personalize the Rewards

According to many employees, there is an innate disconnect in most employee recognition programs. Sure, employees get rewarded for a job well done, but the rewards themselves are predefined by top management, making them less meaningful to team members.

When people get to choose how to redeem their rewards though, it’s another story. For the same amount of cash, one person would go to a movie theater with a bunch of friends, while another would prefer a spa procedure. Next time you decide to reward your team, let them choose the activity they would like to experience themselves, instead of sports game tickets that may not be valuable for every member of your team.

8. Ask for Feedback

Another great way to make your employees feel seen and supported in the company is to continuously listen to their feedback and implement changes whenever you can. Some team members spend more time at work than they do at home, so imagine their frustration and disappointment when they are prevented from influencing change in the workplace – even small things like getting a new break room couch or moving a weekly meeting up 1/2 an hour.

The same is true for certain processes as well. As the leader, you may not be aware of every routine task that your team members perform every day, some of which may be very frustrating or even inefficient. Give them a chance to approach you with their concerns, and if their claim is justified, act accordingly.

9. Give Your Team a Purpose

Responsibility is a common concern for many of us, especially when it comes to work. If the team lets their manager down, he’ll take the full blame. This is the primary reason why leaders are hesitant to delegate responsibility and utilize team members based on their individual potential, and no allowing autonomy for employees hurts motivation.

Your team is your most valuable asset, and most of them would be keen to participate in shaping the bigger picture. By allowing people to participate in setting goals, you’ll be giving them a purpose to work toward instead of numbers that they need to hit at the end of each month. This will not only boost their motivation but also give them a feeling of ownership over their own accomplishments.


Motivation is a very broad topic, and it can be highly personal and universal at the same time. Different teams require different approaches, and in the modern business world, motivation is directly linked to productivity and retention. Find out what works for your team and do your best to adapt to their needs. Happier staff means better productivity and higher efficiency, ultimately leading to a more successful business.

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