12 Practical Ways to Motivate Your Staff

12 Practical Ways to Motivate Your Staff

Employees aren’t machines. It would be a great lapse in judgment to expect them to report several hours a day, do routine work, and deal with different kinds of people without eventually getting bored, disinterested, and lost. Demotivated employees affect the company’s performance. And as their boss, it falls on your shoulders to remedy this before it gets out of hand.

Here are 12 practical things you can do to bring back their enthusiasm.

1. Give clear instructions

Instead of asking them to give an excellent performance, which could be vague, ask for something more specific. Tell them the exact results you want, so they won’t feel frustrated if they don’t meet your expectations. Give complete instructions and make sure that you are both on the same page. This way, they will not be in a constant state of worry over whether or not they are doing an acceptable job.


2. Work while they are working

Being a boss does not translate to simply sitting in your office and ordering people around to do things for you. You must set a good example and show employees that just like them, you are working hard. Arrive at the office on time and do not make them do something you aren’t willing to do yourself, such as bringing home some work. If they see that you are doing your job, there is no reason for them to not do the same.

3. Boost their ego the right way

Assign a task to an employee because you are confident that he can do it. People value trust and they will do anything to not break that. Tell him straight that you specifically want him to do the job because you know that he can.

4. Tell them they are good at something

Instead of regularly pointing out the mistakes of an employee (which can slowly damage his self-esteem), why not make it a habit to compliment him once in a while? Let him know that he is good at something and that you acknowledge and appreciate that. Tell him straight, for instance, that you are thankful the company has a good marketer or a good decision-maker like him.


5. Reward them with little gifts

Gifts shouldn’t be as grand as a gift cheque or a brand new laptop. Little tokens of appreciation such as a heartfelt, handwritten note to a new employee who did a great job today goes a long way. Well-deserved special treatments, such as extending his vacation leave for two days if he aces the client presentation, can also motivate them more.

6. Provide constant reminders

Remind your staff that each one of them is as important as the others. His presence is needed and that every little thing he does, whether good or bad, will affect the company and its people. Sometimes, it only takes a small reminder for an employee to see that he is already falling short of what he is expected to do. Provide feedback for his performance, both positive and negative, so he will see the things he is still capable of the doing and the things that he should improve upon.

7. Host team-building activities

Conduct team building activities that will bind members of the company who work closely together. These activities are not only fun but serve as an escape from the monotony of work. Whether done outside of town or within the confines of the office, team building activities strengthen the bond between workmates. When they are enjoying each other’s company, they are more likely to enjoy work.


8. A clean work environment

A cluttered workplace not only looks unprofessional but can make employees feel bored and wish they were someplace else. Make the office conducive for working so that your staff is energized to continue what they are supposed to do. Workstations tailor-fit for the kind of work your team does, ergonomic and organized furniture, as well as complete office appliances and supplies should be prioritized.

9. A relaxed dress code

You have to consider that there are employees who are uncomfortable wearing corporate attire and would rather skip a day of work than repeat an outfit. If your company has a strict dress code, you can designate a wash day when they can trade formal office clothes for a more casual look.

10. Bring food for everyone

Food not only feeds the stomach but also the mind. You can occasionally bring food for everyone at the office as a sort of token for working hard the whole day. They are probably too tired or too busy to get something to eat, so treating them dinner or snacks can lighten up their load.


11. Talk to them

Your staff may be keeping hard feelings that hinder them from performing well at work, and the only way for you to find that out is by talking to them. Have a one-on-one meeting with an employee in an informal setting, so he will not feel intimidated. Find out what it is that’s contributing to his declining performance. You can even ask him to share selected personal tidbits about himself so you can both figure out how to deal with it. This will make him feel that you care about him and that you are willing to extend your help.

12. Set a goal

Setting a goal gives direction to the things you are currently doing. If employees are doing their tasks just for the sake of finishing it as part of their job description, then they are just mere robots. Set a goal like “Be the best in the restaurant business in this city” and make sure your employees know your vision for the company. Doing so will make them see a bigger purpose for their daily tasks, and would motivate them more to do their part to achieve this.

How do demotivated employees affect your company? Use these tips to motivate your staff and help them be the best in what they do. Don’t forget to pass this on!

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.


This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.


Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.


Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.


Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via

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