Old School Motivation Strategies To Rekindle This Year

Old school motivation strategies can and do work when it comes to motivating a team; even in our cynical world.

Who hasn’t felt ‘motivated’ and ‘on top of the world’ and consequently experienced that burst of energy which has enabled you to do more?

I know I have, and more than once.

I thought it was appropriate to write this post as we enter another year where a motivated workforce might be the missing link to taking your team to the next level.


Getting Clear On Motivation



Let’s get clear on motivation and what we are referring to when we use this phrase.

Motivation often comes after the fact, in other words, post an achievement, as Weight Watchers or Slimming World members experience on a weekly basis!

The reward of knowing you have lost a few pounds certainly helps in motivating your actions and resolve the following week.

However, though not always the easiest of tasks, creating a ‘motivational’ atmosphere within your team can and does lead to improved results.

Consequently, it’s critical as a leader to ensure your teams are both motivated and inspired.

Let’s explore a bit of theory first before we share some practical suggestions.


Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

Fundamentally there are two types of motivation which are often associated with our internal and external drivers.

Extrinsic: Refers to external drivers. For examples, a few hours off for a birthday, salary increments, or in some cases less than positive events like a lack of production numbers could result in team numbers being reduced etc. Not exactly the most positive way to motivate in my map of the world, though you get the picture.

Intrinsic: This is more about internal focus. This is often associated with individuals loving what they do and having pride in their work. These people would be motivated by an opportunity to work on a new project even though it might mean longer hours.


Motivation Strategies: Personal Versus What Leaders Can Do

I know many people reading this post might be of the opinion that you can’t directly control a person’s interest in his or her job.

Logically we all have a level of responsibility for motivating ourselves. However, you can encourage that process by creating an environment that helps members of your team to become more intrinsically motivated, then everyone across your organisation benefits.

So, how about these easy win motivation strategies.


Treat People As Individuals



This is the easiest place to start any motivation practice. We are all different, and this also includes how we are motivated.

Logically then it’s critical to find out what is important to people so ask the question first.

Our motivation comes from our deeper values, and good listening skills will enable you to identify clues in everyday conversation.

Alternatively ask this simple question, ‘What is important to you?’ and you will be surprised what you learn about team members even those you think you know incredibly well.


Compensation Must Be Fair

You will have an extremely difficult time motivating employees who feel they are not being paid fairly for their efforts. Find out industry salary benchmarks and establish whether the slump in motivation is driven by the overall compensation package you are offering?

Possible other incentives could be flexible arrangements like working from home, family-friendly hours, or extra annual leave.

This can be financial bonuses, or competitions for dinners, sporting events, weekends away, or even leaving the office early on a Friday. Just make sure the prize is worth winning – and that everyone has a chance to win it. Don’t make it always about the highest performance, because your lower performers won’t be motivated by it as they know they’ll never win. You’re looking to motivate everyone, so be creative.


Incentive Schemes

Yes, rewards of all descriptions still work. As human beings, we all have a driver around success. Rewarding a job well done over and above what was expected is always appreciated with a kick up in motivation.


Autonomy Is Critical

Daniel Pink the bestselling motivational author reveals that one of the three drivers of motivation at work is autonomy: feeling that you have some control. To fulfil this desire for autonomy, allocate projects to team members to run themselves, and resist micromanaging – while providing them with all the support they need to succeed.


Help Them Excel In Their Career



In our Millennial dominated workforce development is key and at some level expected.

Even if it means losing them from your team in the long-term, find out what they want to do in the future and work with them to create a development plan that will provide the training and skills they’ll need.

You will have a motivated and grateful employee in the short term – you could even agree to provide the training in return for a fixed term contract after which they can leave to use their new skills.


Develop Your Understanding Of People

Great managers and leaders understand their team and what is important to them. In his book Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek illustrates the point that it is critical for leaders to constantly develop their skills first so that they then support their team to grow too.

Until next time,


Can We Help?  

Zestfor specialises in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, IT, and Life Sciences.

Our blend of in-classroom, online, and virtual live-stream delivery methods will engage and assure even the most introverted team members from the first meeting – whether face-to-face or virtually. To have a brief chat call us on 0845 548 0833. Alternatively, email our team here.