How to Motivate Your Team

How to Motivate Your Team 150 150 Sharon Smith

Have you ever felt that if you could just motivate your team everything would be better? Why aren’t they motivated? Why don’t they want to do what needs to be done?

One of the reasons your team might not be as motivated as you would like is because people are not completely motivated by external factors, or at least they are not motivated by them for very long. A leader can inspire someone to action, but true, long-lasting motivation can only come from within the individual.

Think about something you have done that did not come from you, but had external forces behind it. Maybe it was where you went to school, what you majored in, a project at work, chores around the house, exercise, etc.

Now don’t get me wrong there are lots of projects and chores that come from external sources, but what I’m talking about for these has to do with being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

I bet you can come up with several situations where you excelled at tasks that you were given control over doing a way that felt good for you and other situations where you dreaded what you had to do because the motivation was not from within. When you get to create the path you are going to take it is much more motivating than when someone else tries to create it for you.

Since long lasting motivation must come from within you probably want to know how to create motivation in others, like your team or your employees. The following are three ways you can tap into key motivators to create engagement, which is one of the pieces of a high performance team.


First – Alignment

You want to align people with the work they do in a way that allows them to contribute who they are to a task. That means if someone loves creating systems and complex problems don’t ask them to do simple spreadsheet work and if someone else loves working in a group and brainstorming don’t put them at a desk where they have to work for hours alone with no input from others.

These of course are simplified examples, but the point I’m getting at is that when people are able to contribute in a way that lights them up there is little they won’t do to contribute. They will work with more focus, more dedication, more consistency, and they will go above and beyond.


Second – The Big Picture

People want to know how they fit into the big picture. How does their work help the organizations goals? What is it that they do that helps the corporate mission? People are truly motivated by purpose and in many cases more motivated by purpose than money. But they have to know the purpose and they have to also believe in it. This is especially true if you want to tap into the powerful energy that Millennials will bring to your workforce.


Third – Continued Growth

Once you have people in the right role who understand and believe in the team’s purpose, you must encourage their development. Learning new things that interest them and continued growth motivates people. They want to know they have opportunities within the team or organization to move up and grow. I don’t know very many people who say, “I’m good where I am, and I don’t want to do anything more, learn anything new, or make more money.” While the initial driver may or may not be long-term financial growth, people want to know they have somewhere to go with you or they will go somewhere else.

Take some time to reflect on what motivates you and start to look at what motivates those around you. Remember, just because something motivates you does not mean it will do the same for the rest of your team. If you want to learn more about the tools I use to help individuals and teams clarify their direction and understand who they are better visit and check out the Core Value Index.

One of your jobs as a leader is to inspire those around you so that they are motivated to contribute fully, which will result in improved engagement, higher employee retention, and better overall results for them and of course for you. See how you can use these tips to amplify their motivation and help create better results for everyone on your team.