How to motivate your employees

Focus on the bigger picture.

One of the most universal motivational triggers is connecting a current action with a bigger vision. For example, when you started your business, it’s very likely that you had some motivation beyond having a business for business’s sake. You might have wanted freedom to build a better life for you and your loved ones, to help people or to make the world a better place in some way. What drives you is the bigger picture, not the daily to-dos.

Emphasize the importance of process.

Sometimes teams procrastinate because they don’t think there’s any harm in putting off certain tasks. Little do they know that what seems inconsequential to them is actually a cornerstone for your next steps. You might need to explain the chain of events that are necessary to accomplish the big goals. No step is unimportant. Like they say in theatre, there are no small roles, only small actors. In your business, there are no small steps, only small thinking. Of course, this only applies if you don’t have unnecessary redundancies. If you do, it’s a good idea to do an audit and clean out the cobwebs of your procedures.

Pay attention to what excites them.

The best kind of motivation doesn’t come from you; it comes from people themselves. When you’re having a conversation with someone, pay close attention to what they say and how they say it. Chances are, they are giving you clues on how to best motivate them in that moment.

Use positive reinforcement.

One of the best ways to lay the groundwork for future motivation is to acknowledge and reward successes. If you motivate someone to take action, but don’t acknowledge the accomplishment, they will be jaded when you approach them again in the future for something else. Recognition of past successes is a motivator for future progress. Failing to do so can lead to bitter and defensive employees.

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