How to motivate your team to do great work

No business can accomplish its goals or succeed at a high level without its employees feeling inspired to do great work.

In fact, team motivation might be the biggest contributor to a company’s performance.

When employees are engaged and excited about new opportunities, there is a different energy that leads to better output. Employees want to succeed and do great work. With enough inspiration, they usually are willing to go the extra mile when needed.

10 team motivation tips

Pass along positive feedback. This can be one of the biggest motivators for a team. Knowing their contributions are appreciated — not only by their managers and their team but also by the client or customers — will motivate them to match or exceed that quality of work on the next project.

Celebrate your team’s accomplishments. After large projects that were difficult or took a long time to complete, organize a team celebration. This could be a small gathering in the break room of your company or at a local establishment. Celebrating the big accomplishments can remind everyone how important their contributions were to the team’s success.

Have team meetings regularly to discuss ongoing projects, identify new opportunities and foster teamwork. Teamwork can help spark creativity and inspire a new idea or approach that will take a project to the next level.

Have one-on-one meetings with your individual team members. This demonstrates the value of human interaction and the importance placed on each individual’s professional development.

Give your team the members freedom to solve problems themselves. While it’s important to listen to your team and provide guidance when they are having trouble, it also can be beneficial to let them solve problems in the way they are most comfortable. You can certainly point them in the right direction and give them advice, but ultimately you should give them the respect and the confidence to figure it out for themselves.

Keep things light. Work should be a creative and fun endeavor, and it’s important that we don’t lose sight of that. Don’t be so serious. Have a sense of humor and try to keep your team in good spirits.

Tailor your inspiration techniques for each individual. A tactic that motivates and inspires one individual may not work for the rest of the team. It’s important to consider the unique motivations of each individual and create a plan for how to inspire each of them.

Don’t be afraid to set the bar high. Holding a person to a mediocre standard never inspired anyone to be the best. Make greatness the expectation and create an environment where people can do their best work. Remove as many obstacles to this as you can.

Create a team identity. The best teams work in such a capacity that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This only happens when there is team cohesion — the team has a fundamental identity. At its most basic level, this is about building relationships.

Give people a voice. When people have a stake in the game, they will invest more of themselves, and the team will do better as a result.

It’s not just about the celebrations. While big celebrations are important and fun, it’s important to remember that motivating a team isn’t about doing a few big things occasionally. It’s about doing hundreds of small things each and every day. Little interactions, dozens a day even, can all add up to keeping a team on track toward a collective goal.