How to Motivate Your Employees

If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. – Antoine de St-Exupéry

Got the impression your workforce is lacking that spark of energy? It’s never a bad to time to motivate employees and to get the best possible performance from them. Not only does it improve performance but job satisfaction will also be increased amongst motivated employees, including you.


  1. Motivate you first. Think about the motivations that compel you to do a good job and to achieve great outcomes, and focus on them yourself. This way, you will set a good example for your employees to follow, and be more pleasant to work with. Think of it this way too: if you hate your job, and you’re in charge, what’s there to work up to? Be the best so that others have an incentive to match you. As Albert Schweitzer once said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.”How to Sustain Motivation when You’re Struggling
    How to Enjoy Your Job
  2. Get to know your employees. Get some insight into the lives of the people you hired. Learn about who they are, and where they are going. Find out what motivates each individual to do a good job so you can capitalize on it.
  3. Use smarter goals. Convey goals that are specific, realistic, and measurable. As long as your employees can see the light at the end of the tunnel, they will keep working towards it with enthusiasm and focus.
  4. Delegate authority. You know the bottom line. Instead of micro-managing everyone else’s work, explain to them what your bottom line is, and assign them a certain amount of authority so that they can take charge of the task at hand. By opening up new possibilities, your employees will be encouraged to do the job the way they would do it if they were in charge. See How to Delegate.
  5. Work out a reward system. Provide a clear system of incentives for your employees, such as:
        * awards and recognition
        * a pay raise or bonus
        * increased time off
        * more responsibility (or less)
      * a promotion, or a customized position.
  6. Keep motivation going. Once you have achieved success, don’t forget to celebrate! Equally, don’t lose sight of the reality that this is an ongoing process that is a regular part of your role as a manager. Think of creative ways to increase your motivational strategies, including making use of retreats, team-building exercises and travel where relevant. Always keep in mind that a motivated workforce will be happier, more productive, more profitable and ensures a fun place to work.



  • Remember that more harm is done by criticism than by over-praising employees.
  • Think about leaders who have motivated you. What about them inspires you? What characteristics and ideals held by these leaders are ones that gel with you and motivate you? Use this knowledge to build your own motivational skills.

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Sources and Citations

  • VideoJug A video of how to motivate employees; original source of article. Shared with permission and appreciation.

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