Last week I had the pleasure of working with the team at a business in the Wirral.  I had been called in by the director(s) because they realised that their employees were demoralised and demotivated.

The process I went through with them reminded me that actually your people are volunteers at your business and so keeping them motivated is essential.

But why do I say  that they are volunteers?

Employees are of course paid to work for your firm, but think about it , there must be other firms in the area that offer the same products or services that you do. That means then that your people are ‘volunteering’ or choosing to  work for you.

So what can you do to encourage them to keep working for you?

In my experience, from working with other business owners and studying, the first distinction is that you need to lead and not manage. What I mean by lead is that your team should want to work for you. This means that you need to develop a relationship with your people. You need to create a connection on a personal (or emotional level) as well as professionally. I have lots of insights that I could share with you in this area, but for now I will focus on the fundamentals of team building.

Communicate regularly with your team.

This should start with you clearly explaining why you are in business and your business goals. If your people don’t understand what you are trying to achieve then they are not able to work with you on them. You should then meet on a regular basis to discuss progress and plan the next set of actions.

As well as communicating on a business level, make sure that you also talk to your team on a personal level. Similarly encourage them to talk to each other too. Talking about their interests and hobbies begins to build connections and therefore trust. Trust is the foundation on which you can build an effective team.

Reward and recognition.

When business owners consider how to motivate their teams they  often consider rewards first and many make these rewards monetary. But, from my research money is only a short term motivator.  Not only that but many bonus payments are paid monthly and so the danger is that these become expected and so can be de-motivating if for any reason they stop, even for a short time.

I believe that a more powerful motivator is that of recognition.


Well, people will remember for longer the way that you make them feel. Recognition can be something as simple as saying thank you. Or praising someone for a job well done.

So ask yourself…

What are you doing to keep your team engaged and committed to achieving the things that you want them to?

Remember if you want any advice or support about how to work better with your team then contact us as we would love to help.