Ask any entrepreneur: what is your most important asset? Employees would be the correct answer. A talented and motivated team is a profound resource to maximize revenue and increase productivity.

If you are a budding entrepreneur, it is natural that you have a burning drive to work hard and give more than 100% to your business. Do your employees feel the same way? Probably not. There are many factors behind why this is not so. They are not motivated enough, perhaps there is not much sense of belonging, or maybe you are frankly not trying hard enough.

However, one fact is very clear: your company should have a motivating environment where your staff can utilize their maximum potential. So, the following tips will be highly helpful for you to motivate your employees:

#1. Lead by Example

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” —John Maxwell

Being a business owner, there are tons of responsibilities on your shoulders. This is why your employees will look at you to set an example for the rest of them. An able leader sets a tone and a value system for his/her employees. When you stand by your principles, show true character and boldly face challenges, it will leave a profound and lasting impact on your employees. If, for instance, you promote a culture of positive thinking or, for that matter, respect for others, your employees will follow and the entire work culture will become more motivated.

#2 Communicate Better

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something” – Plato

Communication is the key to your workplace productivity because proper and meaningful communication with your employees will make them informed, empowered, confident and hence, motivated. So without effective communication, how would you have them meet your goals? You need to meet with them frequently and speak with them face to face. When you establish a better communication strategy, you avoid misunderstanding between your employees. Effective communication also steers your team in the right direction. When it is clear to them as to where they need to go and actually which steps need to be taken, half the battle is won.

#3 Offer Opportunities by Empowering Them

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions” – Benjamin Franklin

You should create opportunities for your employees so that they can harness their potential to the fullest by asking certain things from them. This may mean implementing their expert advice on certain processes. When your employees believe that there is an opportunity for advancement while working for something substantial, they will definitely be primed to perform better. When they make their own decisions, they will also make themselves ready for responsibility and accountability. This is what will motivate them to do their best. You can also motivate them by offering training and further skill development.

#4 Recognize Their Efforts

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ― Voltaire

Incentives and awards are among the most potent factors that skyrocket your employees’ motivation levels. When your boss recognizes your work and appreciates you, you naturally feel better. Similarly, when you incentivize the good performance of your staff, they will be primed to perform even better. There are many things you can do to increase their morale. For example, throwing office parties where you can have a toast with them. Or, you can give them gifts that contain motivational favor labels. This would be a fun way to celebrate your achievements.

#5 Set Realistic Targets

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

There is no point in setting targets that are not quite achievable. In fact, it could make things worse, and this can prove a great drain on energy. On the other hand, if they are going after tasks that seem attainable, they would go after them with more gusto, and a sense of accomplishment.

If you have gathered a strong team of dedicated individuals, you need them to stick around. Therefore, you need to motivate and encourage them. So, perfect your motivating strategy with the above tips. They will always work.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development, I have assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. I’m a thinker, communicator, marketer, competitor, people person, and all-around busy bee. I’m a relentless networker with several years of real-world experience and two college degrees under my belt. He is also a contributor on Esprittoday.