The key to motivating your team is to know what makes each of them tick. A business needs to get the best out of its people. But how? The answer is pretty simple. Remember that everyone is an individual and may be motivated by different things.

Some people may want more money, but others are looking for personal development or perhaps a few extra days’ holiday. Here are eight ways to get insights into motivating your staff.

  1. Ask: ‘What is important about your job?’ ‘What do you enjoy doing?’ Ask this at the recruitment stage and each time you appraise an employee. A person is much more likely to be motivated if they are doing something meaningful to them.
  2. Start by getting your working environment right and then ensure that people have a good sense of belonging to your business. This should include:
    • respect and recognition of achievement
    • development, growth and training
    • a sense of job security – be honest with people
    • a sense of belonging – team spirit
    • a pleasant working environment. 
  3. Get to know the whole person – what they do outside work as well as within it.
  4. Always tell the truth about your organisation. Don’t over-hype it in any recruitment literature.
  5. People are not mind readers. Explain your expectations, otherwise they are more likely to find out through trial and (more likely) error. Give feedback often and make it specific.
  6. You can never communicate enough and it’s important to find out how people like to be informed. Never send bad news by email or text.
  7. Don’t forget that your employees are ambassadors for your business. If they are happy, they give positive messages to prospective employees and customers.
  8. A little recognition goes a long way. It might only be a cake to mark the completion of a project, or public praise for a job well done. It’s all about what motivates your employees. And, of course, you have to find that out.