Motivation is a powerful, yet tricky beast. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself wrapped up in a whirlwind of excitement. Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate yourself and you’re trapped in a spiral of procrastination.


It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius


So, when it comes to your staff, what can you do to keep them motivated?

As a manager, your impact on employee motivation is immeasurable. By your words, your body language, and the expression on your face, you communicate your opinion of their value to the people you employ.

Building high employee motivation and morale is both challenging and yet supremely simple. It requires that you pay attention every day to profoundly meaningful aspects of your impact on life at work.


Your arrival at work sets the tone for the day

Your arrival and the first moments you spend with staff each day have an immeasurable impact on positive employee motivation and morale.

Start the day right. Smile. Walk tall and confidently. Walk around your workplace and greet people. Share the goals and expectations for the day. Let the staff know that today is going to be a great day.

If you come in as Mr/Ms Grumpy and stressed, arrive to work with a frown on your face and then you treat the first person you meet abruptly – expect the word to get out “Stay away from Mr/Ms Grumpy if you know what’s good for you this morning”.


Say please, thank you and you’re doing a great job

How often do you take the time to use these simple, powerful words, and others like them, in your interaction with staff?

Send the right message and demonstrate that people matter. Using positive words at the annual team building event is not enough. Let your people know that they are valued and they will be motivated to go the extra mile.


Make sure your people know what you expect

Managers think they have clearly stated work objectives, numbers needed, report deadlines and requirements, but the employee received a different message.

Or, the requirements change in the middle of the day, job, or project. While the new expectations are communicated – usually poorly – the reason for the change or the context for the change is rarely discussed. This causes staff members to think that the company leaders don’t know what they are doing.

This is hardly a confidence, morale-building feeling.

This is bad news for employee motivation and morale. Make sure you get feedback from the employee so you know they understand what you need. Share the goals and reasons for doing the task or project.

If you must make a change midway through a task or a project, tell the staff why the change is needed; tell them everything you know. You can make their day.


Provide regular feedback for employee motivation

We all like to know how we are doing at work. Your staff members need the same information. They want to know when they have done a project well and when you are disappointed in their results. They need this information as soon as possible following the event. They need to work with you to make sure they produce a positive outcome the next time. Set up a daily or weekly schedule and make sure feedback happens. You’ll be surprised how effective this tool can be in building employee motivation and morale.


Make time for people for employee motivation

Spend time daily with each person you manage. Managers might aim for an hour a week with each of their direct reports. Many studies indicate that a key employee work motivation factor is spending positive interaction time with the supervisor.Schedule quarterly performance development meetings on a public calendar so people can see when they can expect some quality time and attention from you. You can make their year, not just their day.


People need positive and not so positive consequences

Together with regular feedback, employees need rewards and recognition for positive contributions. Set up a “thank you” process in which manager are recognising employees with personally written thank you cards for work that is above and beyond expectations.

Employees need a fair, consistently administered progressive disciplinary system for when they fail to perform effectively. The motivation and morale of your best-contributing employees are at stake. Nothing hurts positive motivation and morale more quickly than unaddressed problems, or problems addressed inconsistently.

Be fair and consistent.


In closing

Motivated staff can make the difference between good service and great service. Lead from the top, lead with confidence and clearly set out the objectives, the deadline and requirements. If your people know what is expected, they will deliver. Add in the recognition for a great job, combined with gratitude and your staff will stay motivated


Question: How have you motivated your staff? Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to share? Leave your comment below or contact us at:



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