Your team performs well when each member is highly motivated.

Follow these five steps to engage your people and help improve their motivation levels:

Believe in the objectives and be clear about the goals

If you as the leader do not exude confidence in the realistic nature of your goals, the team will sense this and respond accordingly.

No matter what you say, your body language and subconscious actions will portray your uncertainty.

Likewise, the goals you are working towards need to be clear and explicit. If they can be quantified so that performance can be clearly measured, it is another great way of demonstrating progress.

Above all, remember that the team looks to you for leadership, so you need to provide it.

Lead by example

It seems obvious, perhaps, but if you are asking your team members to work harder or be respectful of one another yet you do not model this behaviour yourself, you can’t in good faith reprimand your employees.

It is unfair to expect the team to be motivated about something you yourself are not enthusiastic about.

Everyone knows that, sometimes, it is necessary to work over the weekend.

If the manager is not present, though, people start to wonder why they have given up their own time.

Stay positive

A “half-full glass” approach is essential in good leadership.

Obstacles can be overcome. You do not have to be unrealistic — simply remember that you are there to work on challenges together and not assume failure before work has even begun.

In addition, if someone is not performing quite as well as you had expected, phrase feedback from a positive angle.

For example, you could say, “I want to see you doing well at this presentation” instead of “You’ll let us all down if you do badly”.

The first sentence is more positive and motivational, and will likely be more productive as well. Given such encouragement, your team member is going to put a lot more effort into doing a good job.

Listen to your team

Receiving feedback from your team is important in assessing how clearly your instructions are being given and how effective current processes are.

It is not nice to hear criticism, but it is an important part of leadership to be able to understand that your approach might not be suitable for everyone.

Strive to take on board any comments given without becoming angry. Lines of communication need to stay open between management and employees to facilitate good working relationships.

Don’t offer to be available to hear people’s comments and then never make time to sit down to discuss them.

Know when to talk in private

When someone is to be praised, doing this in front of the team promotes goodwill and motivation.

If someone’s performance is slipping, however, this should be addressed with him in private.

Personal issues need to remain confidential between a subordinate and his leader, and should not be broadcast to the group as this will result in a loss of trust, dissatisfaction and anger.


Article by Mike Pagan, a professional motivational speaker, conference speaker and business coach. Article source: