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How to Motivate Your Employees to Reach for the Stars

Updated on January 11, 2018
SMD2012 profile image

Sally is a business communications coach who gives workshops on how to keep your professional reputation squeaky-clean and drama-free.

This article outlines tips for CEO's and supervisors who want to do more than just manage and direct their employees in order to get the job done.

Is everyone on your team heading in the same direction?

As as leader, you much make sure that everyone is pulling their weight at work. The best way to do that is to be a positive role model.
As as leader, you much make sure that everyone is pulling their weight at work. The best way to do that is to be a positive role model.

Effective leaders know that internally motivated employees who take pride in their work are the ones who usually end up being the most productive. Employees who are encouraged to enjoy a good life-work balance also tend to stay loyal to organizations that treat them well.

As a manager, how do your leadership skills stack up? Read on and find out!

What's your leadership style?
What's your leadership style?

A passionate workforce is a productive workforce. Passion and enthusiasm are the cornerstones of a happy, engaged team of employees. But what do you do if your office seems to be home to the “walking dead” who are just showing up, putting in their hours, and then disappearing at 4:59pm each afternoon? How do you get your staff excited and passionate about what they do?

An energized staff team is not only a more fun and agreeable team to work with, these folks are generally more productive and better equipped to meet long-term goals, overcome challenges and remain loyal to the company. Here are seven ideas for how you can energize your staff. Ultimately, you, as a leader, CEO, or manager, are responsible for the success or failure of your company, program, or department. Success always starts with you!

1. Strive to be the best. It's difficult to get people fired up about a company that is mediocre and middle of the road. If the company isn’t going anywhere or doesn’t have the respect of people in the community, it will be very difficult to get your staff to move ahead with passion and purpose. On the other hand, when people know that they're working for an organization that has a reputation as one of the best in their field, it's easier for them to get excited about what they do.

2. Define concrete challenges and identify realistic goals. People who are passionate about something they believe in have a higher potential to reach their goals and make a difference in other people’s lives. Give your team goals that they can actually reach and feel proud of. If your staff are constantly being asked to accomplish things that are just not humanly possible, they’ll soon give up. Success begets more success. With each challenge your team successfully overcomes they’ll continue to develop the confidence and problem-solving skills they need to feel competent and capable.

3. Let people do what they love. Although every job involves a certain amount of drudgery – stuff that has to get done even though it’s not all that exciting to do – successful teams are made up of people doing what they love. As a team leader your job is to make sure that you put the right people to work doing the right job. If someone is clearly an extroverted “people person” who loves to chat with clients and make customers feel good, why shutter them away behind a desk all day? Likewise, if one of your staff members gets excited about working on computers, tinkering with software, and building websites and information systems, then make sure that person is being given meaningful work that will make them excited about coming into work each day. Aim to have your staff working on projects they love at least 80% of the time. The remaining 20% of their time can be spent on tasks that they might not be crazy about but that they understand are essential to the success of the whole team.

How much fun are your staff having at work?
How much fun are your staff having at work? | Source

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

— Aristotle

4. Create a positive physical environment. Tackle office clutter. Improve air quality. Furnish the office with good quality, durable desks, chairs, bookshelves, tables, chairs, and couches. Place live plants around the office. Paint walls in soothing colors and install bulbs and light fixtures that mimic natural daylight rather than glaring white tube lighting. Allow people to personalize their desk space with the things that make them feel calm and relaxed. Your staff are devoting 8 – 12 hours a day of their lives working in your office. Give them a place they enjoy working in and watch their energy levels soar.

5. Promote healthy laughter. Laughter in the workplace is gaining recognition as a crucial factor in promoting creativity, enhancing problem-solving skills, and coping with setbacks and disappointments (which are inevitable in almost every job).

6. Give your employees something that they can’t get anywhere else. Although most people appreciate having a steady income and any extended health and dental benefits that a company offers, passionate employees show up for more than just a paycheck. Give your staff opportunities to learn. Help them invest in their own intellectual capital and watch your company's net worth grow. Organizations that take an interest in the personal growth and development of their employees are more likely to have loyal and excited work teams than those that don’t offer free training, workshops, or professional development opportunities.

7. Build bridges. Staff can sometimes start to feel isolated at work even when they're surrounded by dozens of other people. This happens because they're being exposed to the same people and ideas, day after day. Familiarity can stifle creativity. Encourage your staff to get out of the office and visit like-minded companies, businesses, and associates. Let them see how other organizations do their work and encourage them to invite guests to visit your office. Give them opportunities to take pride in where they work and what they do. The professional and peer relationships that your staff maintain as part of their work will keep them feeling energized and passionately connected to their work.

Are you making sure that every one of your staff members know how valuable they are to the team?
Are you making sure that every one of your staff members know how valuable they are to the team?

What is the number one thing you look for in a workplace?

See results

© 2012 Sally Hayes


Submit a Comment
  • SMD2012 profile imageAUTHOR

    Sally Hayes 

    7 years ago

    @point2make Thanks for your comment and for validating the importance of engaging our employees in meaningful ways. I am excited to see growing awareness about the importance of employee satisfaction.

  • SMD2012 profile imageAUTHOR

    Sally Hayes 

    7 years ago

    Thanks @Lipnancy for sharing and voting up. I think that laughter and leadership are so important to each other that they ought to teach workplace humor in Business and MBA programs! Wouldn't that be fun?!

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 

    7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

    I so agree with all of your ideas for the work environment. Keeping the laughter going is one of the most important factors in creating any effective team. Voted Up and Shared.

  • point2make profile image


    7 years ago

    An excellent hub. Your points are well though out and appropriate for use in any workplace. As a Manager I am constantly looking to improve my workplace and to engage my employees. Allowing them to be creative and spontaneous is very important and rewarding. Many people have skills and abilities that need to be nurtured and allowed to be expressed. Managers need to realize that their success comes through their team and not through themselves. Voted this hub up and shared.


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