Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Motivating Your Team to be More Productive

how to motivate people

What motivates your team? 

A team that is most likely to be highly motivated is the team that shares and develops their knowledge and skills the best. Many managers withhold the employee’s right to self-development in order to be in control all the time.

A manager like this does not want thinkers and prefer doers. He also intentionally increases his own workload as a form of job security but is he really managing?

The companies with the most successful employees are the ones that have a solid empowerment program in place. 

They also attract the best employees.

It is true that
money is always a motivator but only to a point. Flashing money can backfire badly on productivity especially where you are dealing with unskilled labor. Sooner or later money will be demanded work that they should be doing anyway. It is therefore important to plan any incentive schemes very well.

Unfortunately or fortunately the manager does not always have the authority to flash the cash for motivation. It is therefore that it is important for a manager to motivate your team through your actions.

It has become more common for managers to motivate people and earn their respect by just being another employee who has goals to achieve.

  • Praise and thank individuals and team for tasks completed well.
  • Encourage employees to develop themselves by giving them responsibility.
  • Communicate with your employees but not always about work-related matters. Set time out to talk about things that matter to them such as family, sport, and recreation.
  • Share your own and the company vision so employees do not operate in the dark.
  • Treat people fairly as you would like to be treated. Make sure each individual is treated the same.
Team motivation can be a whole book on its own so we will just look at the basics for now. To initiate motivation a manager must first work on his own management style and use each opportunity to built trust and respect by doing the following that costs nothing.

How do you reward staff in order to motivate?

In a whole, rewards assisting motivation at the corporate level can be divided into monetary and non-monetary. As said before monetary rewards are not always the answer.


This is any reward that goes directly to the use of the employee. Although the employees prefer this as a reward it must be explained and clarified that it becomes part of income and are taxable. 

This fact can have a negative effect long after the appreciation was shown. Reward normally comes in the form of:
  • Incentive schemes
  • Bonus
  • Vouchers
We will look at incentive schemes and rewards at a later stage in more detail but for now, the message is “Think before you do"


It is always better to concentrate on other aspects of team motivation before handing out money. 

Non-Monetary rewards can be seen as spending money for the benefit of not only the company but indirectly the employer as well. 

Here are a few things to look at an alternative motivation:
  • Set up an empowerment program that will motivate staff to perform better out of their own.
  • Share knowledge with employees on company goals, vision, and achievements through specially arranged meetings. Everybody is proud to be part of the achievement.
  • Ergonomics in the workplace plays a massive role in team motivation. Ensure that the business is a pleasant place where people would like to spend their day.
  • Arrange special team-building exercises such as workshops and sports days where the ultimate goal is team building.
  • Many companies are using the “time for work” strategy where targets are set and if reached by a specific time everyone gets the afternoon off. Time off is a great motivator but must also be monitored with caution.
As can be seen from the basics described here the manager has a big role to play in motivating his team through leadership and coaching.


There are other ways to motivate staff that will have a long lasting effect on the business. Money is not the only solution for motivation.

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