Motivate Your Employees In 4 Simple Steps

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Being an employer is no easy task when you are so used to having your own line manager and following orders. When you resign from your current position to launch your own startup, hiring staff may be the last thing on your mind.

You may be concerned about funding, your cash flow, and making sure that your branding is on point. You might have plans to begin small, working alone and from home before spreading your wings and trying to compete with your already well established industry rivals. Only when you are ready to expand will you consider hiring staff.

Establishing a cohesive team around you is paramount if your venture is to go from strength to strength. You need a team that gets along, that works well together, that is dynamic, and that has the business at the centre of everything that they do.

Getting your staff to buy into a business vision means that you need to show your team how much they are valued, how much of an impact they have, and you need to give them ownership of the work that they do. It’s all too tempting to go for bright minds who have excellent degrees from a Russell Group university, and who have decades of experience.

However, this doesn’t mean that they can work in a cohesive team. Instead, opt for those individuals who enjoy bouncing ideas off one another, who love working collaboratively, and who welcome team challenges.

When you have crafted the perfect team for your company, it is up to you to keep them motivated. Forget staying cooped up in your office all day and consider the sort of boss you wished you had when you were an employee. Read on to discover how you can motivate your staff.


It’s crucial that you communicate with your staff regularly and that you keep them in the loop. They want to know what is working well and what could be improved upon. Ensure that you have a Monday morning staff briefing so they can air their views and ideas.

Treat this as a giant collaborative forum, where you can take note of the best ideas and act upon them. Follow this up with a Friday email, summing up the successes of the past week. Name check those individuals who have gone above and beyond for the company.

Dishing out praise shows that you appreciate their efforts and you value their contributions. By being open, you develop a more trusting relationship with your staff.

Have an open door policy and welcome the ad hoc chats with your staff. Get to know them by name rather than just a payroll number. This makes you appear more human. If they care about you and the company, your staff will be more likely to remain motivated.

Work Hard, Play Hard

If your team are productive and work hard, it’s only right that you reward their efforts. You can implement a bonus scheme or extra days holiday prizes for those who exceed their targets. When birthdays come around, make sure you don’t let them pass by without recognition.

Go the extra mile and investigate corporate celebration cakes to make the birthday boy or girl feel extra special. No one likes heading to work on their big day, so make it a little more pleasant with some freshly whipped buttercream and sweet sponge. Think about the recipient’s hobbies and interests and order a bespoke cake to represent their personality.

Alongside fun days in the office, you also need to consider the joy of the away day. While they have fallen a little out of fashion because you can only do so many bridge building exercises, more modern away days can be hugely beneficial to staff morale.

Consider venturing into a panic room together, and working out a series of clues to escape. Perhaps you want to go on an inner city treasure hunt or do some urban orienteering. Make it fun, but give your staff team the chance to work collaboratively in a less formal setting. This can help to to remain more motivated when back in the office.


As an employer, it is up to you to create an inspiring environment in which to work. Your employees won’t appreciate mouldy walls, draughty windows or stained carpets. Whip out the white paint, replace the carpet and put up some cool artwork.

A lighter and brighter office space is more modern and dynamic. Add splashes of greenery here and there, install some LED lighting, and swap the isolating working booths with more collaborative meeting pods. These express the ethos of your company. If teamwork is crucial to the way you work, make your office open plan and airy.

Invest In Your Team

Every one of your employees will have career aspirations and it’s up to you to help them realise these dreams. Invest in your team by offering courses and training programs off site to upskill their knowledge base and to enhance their CVs.

While you might be worried that they will take the professional development on offer and then seek out alternative employment, the chances are if you are a good employer, they will stay with your firm.

Professional development is key to enable your staff team to have their finger on the pulse of industry development. This might mean part funding an MBA for those middle managers who want to break into senior leadership positions.

Alternative training can be soft skill based such as listening, presenting or even first aid qualifications. Have meetings with your employees and set up individual professional development plans.

Investing effectively in your staff also means investing in your own startup, as the skills feedback into the work that they produce. Knowing that you care about their career progression will motivate them to be more productive and to take on more responsibility.

Motivating your employees may sound like a difficult task, but follow these four simple steps, and your staff team will remain cohesive, productive, happy and motivated.

PM Today Contributor
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