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 October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?


Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.


4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?


Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via


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