In business, people want to be surrounded by those with good energy and a positive attitude. If you want to make a lasting impact on those around you, you must master the art of motivating your team. Doing so allows you to form strong connections and cultivate your own success by inspiring others.
Not sure how to tap into your inner motivator? To learn more about what approaches work, we asked Young Entrepreneur Council members the following:
Q. What is one particularly effective technique you use to motivate those around you and why does it work so well?
Here are their suggestions for helping you inspire the people around you:
1. Openly Appreciate Employees
Your employees need to know that you’re paying attention to their hard work. By openly and publicly appreciating your employees for doing standout work or even small tasks, you’re showing them you care. This will make people around you more motivated to do their best because they know it’s being noticed. This can make work feel more meaningful and fulfilling as well. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
2. Make People Laugh
Laughing releases endorphins into your bloodstream, which results in feeling positive and happy. If you can make people laugh and improve their mood, odds are they will feel more motivated and receptive to the topic at hand. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
3. Create an Idea-Sharing Space
Your employees will feel more invested in your business when you give them the opportunity to share their ideas. This forms a chance for them to be more creative. They are also able to affect their environment making them feel like their voice matters. This is an effective motivational approach that also does not require resources or too much effort. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
4. Tell a Story
Whenever I’m trying to cheer someone on or get them to believe in some sort of vision, I like to use stories that they can relate to. When someone is about to give up, share a story about a time you persevered and what that got you. It works because people picture it in their heads and can see the actual outcome. – Karl Kangur, Above House
5. Get Outside
When motivation and innovation are lacking, I tell my team members to get outside to get fresh air and move around. I find short, 15-minute breaks outdoors help spark creativity. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
6. Share Good News
In our weekly company meetings, we encourage our team to start by sharing good news, which can be personal, such as something fun they did on the weekend, or a work-related accomplishment. This lets our team start off the week with good news, and it’s a great way to keep them motivated about the week to come as well. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
7. Repeat Positive Mantras
Speaking positivity does so much good for the brain, and we don’t do it enough. Just hearing positive thoughts can be enough to change someone’s perspective and get them out of a funk. Motivation looks different for everyone, but it always includes positivity to be productive and work hard. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
8. Develop a Clear Corporate Mission Based on Social Values
I like to make sure the team is able to see and understand the social value of the work that we are doing. Sometimes, that comes out in company volunteering, and other times it can be donation or the direct social impact of our business. It’s important to promote these values throughout the company so that people understand the good that you are doing in the world. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
9. Offer Higher Salaries
I know, it sounds mad, but salaries really are the greatest motivator. No one would turn up to work without one (except maybe in the charity sector), so the solution to motivation is probably a simple one. If your staff is demotivated or you have heavy turnover, consider whether your salaries are competitive and start considering bonus schemes. The best companies pay well for a reason. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International
10. Assign Projects That Showcase People’s Talents
There’s a term in real estate called “highest and best use” when describing a building. For example, a school doesn’t make for a great apartment complex; it was built to be a school. It’s easy to motivate employees when you give them projects that really showcase their highest and best talents, so they are fully excited and engaged when working. This kind of consideration makes people feel great! – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
11. Set Clear, Attainable Goals
To motivate your team, set clear, attainable goals for them. Being able to accomplish something feels good, and it motivates people to do a better job. But, if the goals are hard to reach, it can actually be discouraging. By setting smaller, more attainable goals, your team can build their confidence little by little and boost their motivation easily. Be sure to celebrate when the goals are met. – David Henzel, LTVPlus
12. Brainstorm With Them
13. Offer Positive and Constructive Critiques
Constructive critiques are part of the development process for anyone, but it always works better when you sprinkle it with some positivity. People emotionally shut down if the feedback is only negative, leading to the mental rejection of your critique. However, sprinkle in a few positive pieces of feedback and it keeps people from responding with a fight-or-flight response to your feedback. – Andy Karuza, FenSens
14. Find What Works for Each Person
The first thing to realize when motivating people is that everybody is different. What works to motivate one person may not work for the next. So, the key to truly motivating someone is finding out what moves them. It’s slightly different for everyone. – Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.