How to Motivate Your Team to Get Things Done Together

How to motivate your team

Motivated teams work better together. They’re happy with their work environment. They’re happy with themselves. Naturally, they’re more productive. It’s great news for everyone involved.

However, motivation is fickle. It’s not easy to pump up your employees, keeping them eager about the day ahead every single day.

So, how do you inspire your employees every day so they bring their best selves to the forefront? Here’s how.

Appreciate your employees

In a study conducted at MIT, participants were given papers filled with random letters. The task? To find pairs of identical letters. Participants were divided into three groups with the experiment conducted over several rounds. With each round, participants were offered less money than the previous round.

For the first group, those involved were asked to write their names with their submissions. The experimenter looked over the results and said “great” before putting the papers in a pile.

People in the second group didn’t write down names. The experimenter put the sheets into a pile without even glancing at them. For the third group, the researcher shredded the work immediately.

People who got their papers shredded demanded twice as much money than the people from Group 1. For the second group, participants needed nearly the same amount of money.

The verdict is clear. If people don’t feel appreciated, they turn grumpy. The same is the case with your employees.

Keep workplaces free of slang

The world today is a place that allows a relatively free exchange of talent and resources. People are moving from one place to another all over the world. They’re seeking new avenues to do their jobs. 

That means the granular makeup of a team has representatives from all nationalities. If workplace communication is ridden with slang, it makes it difficult for international employees to understand what’s being said. This miscommunication can hamper productivity.

As Chanty discusses here in much depth, workplaces are better kept free of slang. This encourages a positive environment where everybody understands everyone else. This prevents miscommunication. That’s not all. This ensures that a certain section of the team doesn’t gang up against others with their slang. A slang-free positive workspace should be part of your mission statement.

Understand that meetings are useless and fix that

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding DevOps. The idea is to streamline each and every part of the process to generate the highest levels of productivity. If existing tools aren’t enough, use other tools to streamline things.

DevOps has its uses, but again, implementing DevOps riddles your time with pointless meetings about endless things. Even without DevOps, meetings tend to remain a big part of the present work culture.

Despite that, meetings don’t do much. The way meetings are conducted today wastes tons of time. You often go right back to where you started.

The very idea of having to attend another meeting is demotivating to most people.

To ensure you eke out at least some productivity, create an agenda for your meeting and distribute it before the meeting begins. Invite only those who really need to attend and don’t keep going at it pointlessly. Remember the goal is not to conduct meetings for namesakes but for propelling growth. Meetings are best conducted to discuss the primary goals you have in mind.

Set clear goals

Another study found that employees wasted their time because they didn’t know which part of the work was their topmost priority. It’s your job to invite people and members of your team and talk clearly. Once you and they know what the goals are, write them down as part of a presentation so that there’s a physical copy of it to go around and refer to.

With that done, ensure each team member knows what the priorities are.

Don’t micromanage

Micromanaging kills motivation. Nobody likes being watched over their shoulders and being told what to do. 38% of employees in a survey reported that they’d rather prefer difficult tasks to being with a boss who micromanages them.

Provide people with clear goals and then let them figure out what to do next on their own. They might surprise you.

Pay your people what they are worth

Next, pay people what they’re worth. Your employees (millennials in particular) have no qualms leaving their cushy jobs if they get a higher salary elsewhere. Be competitive in what you’re paying your employees rather than cutting costs.  Not paying them what they’re worth only results in a great deal of dissatisfaction for your employees killing productivity.

Don’t discourage employees on failure

Failure is also part of being human and being an employee. There are important lessons in each failure. When we fail, life teaches us lessons so that we don’t repeat them again.

Mistakes are part of the learning experience. The goal should be to encourage people  not to make these mistakes again. Encourage people to try again.

Encourage regular breaks

It’s easy for employees to feel burned out. Piling tasks atop another isn’t helping anyone. This only makes them feel even more burned out. Being allowed to step away from the desk improves brain power among employees according to research.

The best way to optimize motivation and productivity is by giving a free hand. Encourage employees to take regular breaks. The benefits? Regular breaks clear their mind and enable them to come back fresh and complete the task when ready.

Being attached to a desk doesn’t promote productivity in any manner. If they feel the need to rest, allow them to step away, step outside and perhaps walk or stretch themselves to get more excited about their work. Happy employees bring a spark and positivity that improves the customer experience as well.

Break up tasks

Second, break up heavy tasks into easy little chunks. Small tasks are much more manageable and it’s easy for your employees to work together on them.

Learning time management can help your employees reduce their stress and train productivity of each day. Encourage them to break up tasks, have a to-do list, calendar or diary management skills. Knowing which tasks are at hand reduces the risk of downtime and keeps things on schedule.

It’s way easier to know which jobs to get done with a handy list. Plus, notify your employees if there are any updates or decisions on plans and tasks, even the smallest. This will keep them in the loop and adjust their to-do lists promptly.

Encourage a sense of camaraderie 

Moreover, talk to people and learn from them. Your employees are full of ideas on how to make the job experience much more enjoyable and listening to them is a fantastic way to improve the workplace. This will also help them network better both internally and externally, say in tasks that involve reaching out to bloggers.

Encourage the team to talk to each other and build a strong relationship. Effectively communicating your outlook is the best way to encourage feedback and a sense of purpose. Freedom to talk buoys happiness levels to a great extent. It keeps stress at bay.


Motivating your employees is not all about encouraging them with positive words. It’s also about giving them the right incentives, apt wages and staying away so they can bloom into their full selves.

George Mathew

George Mathew blogs at Kamayo, a blog he started to chronicle his online journey.

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