A motivated workforce is crucial to maximizing your organization’s efficiency.

While making the right hiring decisions will play a part in this, most of the responsibility for this still rests at a managerial level and how you motivate your staff.

Businesses with lower employee engagement scores are linked with lower profitability, as well as higher absenteeism.

If you’re looking at ways to make your company’s output more effective, investing in people is likely to have a positive return.

1. Feedback is Key

Perhaps the first area to evaluate is your company culture. Does it seem like your employees want to be there?

When you walk through the shop floor, does it feel like a team that is working towards a common goal? It’s not the only way to gauge it, but a perceptive leader can usually pick up on this quite quickly.

Encouraging employee engagement through surveys and feedback will also provide you with more tangible insight into the minds of those working for you.

Fostering this and allowing time in the working day for it is an essential way of allowing communication between all levels of the business.

Left ignored, issues can quickly fester into things that demotivate teams. A starting point can be something as simple as employees being allowed to listen to music during the day.

2. Hiring the Right Leaders

Excellent communication is always at the heart of any business with great employee satisfaction, and this is usually something where leaders have to be an example.

Think about any working situation you’ve been involved with where there have been instances of poor performance through the business. At some level, this usually comes down to a lack of communication.

When recruiting for managers and progressing staff into leadership positions, emphasize soft skills as an essential attribute.

Try and introduce business-wide mentorship programs to give staff with ambitions to advance the experience of dealing with people. A poor manager may guide a team towards poor performance, but a bad people person can destroy teams irreparably.

The burden doesn’t just lie with leadership, however. Whenever we survey the tech professionals that we place within the industry, a prime motivator for them moving to new jobs is the lack of training and development available in their current position.

It’s a common theme and perhaps the easiest to prevent.

3. Encourage Development

One thing we frequently find within the tech industry is professionals getting a reputation for moving between employers frequently. This results in them getting a bad name when the truth often lies with the companies they’ve been with.

A common reason for moving on is that the employer in question didn’t have the latest tech available or that their development simply wasn’t supported.

The most ambitious workers aren’t just talented, but they have a constant desire to improve and learn new things as well. Disinterested employees see themselves as little more than another cog in a bigger machine, which is the worst position to be in during any tough period.

Being a vocal advocate of your employees taking extra qualifications, and being flexible enough to give them the chance to do this is one way to show how much value you place on your workforce’s professional development.

4. Better Incentives

The typical discounts at nearby gyms or coffee shops are nice, but several companies offer similar rewards programs and these can be taken for granted.

You could instead consider investing in things that will make your people feel truly valued, as well as improving their mental and physical health.

We provide a number of exercise classes for our staff each week, as well as healthy lunches and well being speakers. These are open to everyone in the company, and we encourage them to get involved and take advantage.

You can’t always offer more money or opportunities to progress, but finding ways to invest in your staff is essential to make them feel valued. Whether that’s financial or time, it’s one of the most essential pieces of spending you can make.


Nowadays, people can see through box-checking exercises, so your attempts to motivate your workforce need to be genuine and consistent.

Regardless of how well you strategize your business and how you hope it will grow and develop, it’s an impossible task without a switched-on workforce to drive that.

How Do Leaders Motivate Their Teams?

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Paden Simmons
Paden Simmons is Senior Vice President at IT staffing firm Nigel Frank International. He has over a decade’s worth of experience in the recruitment industry.