Home » Founders & Managers » How to keep your team motivated and productive

How to keep your team motivated and productive

It’s no secret that a motivated and productive team is key to the success of any business. But keeping your team on track can be a daunting task. Here are eight simple tips to help you get started.

1. Establish goals for your team

Setting goals for your team is a great way to motivate them and help them stay focused. When establishing goals, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  1. The goals should be achievable and realistic
  2. The goals should be relevant to the team’s mission or purpose
  3. The goals should be time-bound, so they can be tracked and measured
  4. The goals should be challenging yet achievable
  5. The goals should be specific rather than vague
  6. The goals should be shared with the team so they are aware of what is expected of them
  7. The goals should be updated regularly to reflect changes in the team or the business

2. Provide recognition and encouragement

One of the best ways to keep your team motivated is to provide recognition and encouragement. When team members feel appreciated for their efforts, they are more likely to put forth their best effort. Some tips for providing recognition and encouragement include:

  1. Thank team members for their contributions
  2. Acknowledge good work in a public setting
  3. Provide positive feedback
  4. Give rewards or incentives for a job well done
  5. Show appreciation in words and deeds
  6. Make it a point to know what each team member is working on
  7. Celebrate successes as a team

3. Foster a positive work environment

A positive work environment is key to keeping your team motivated and productive. When team members feel like they  are part of a positive and supportive culture, they are more likely to do their best work. Some tips for creating a positive work environment include:

  1. Adopt company values and let team members know what those values are
  2. Ensure open and candid two-way communication with all the teams in your organization
  3. Create opportunities where team members can learn and grow as individuals
  4. Promote diversity and inclusion by hiring people who represent the population you serve
  5. Be transparent about the business model, the vision, and decisions being made
  6. Make efforts to be environmentally conscious  (e.g., encouraging carpooling or biking to work)

4. Set deadlines and expectations

When deadlines and expectations are clearly defined, it helps team members stay focused on their work. Some tips for setting reasonable deadlines and expectations include:

  1. Establish a timeline to accomplish tasks or achieve goals with your team
  2. Clearly communicate the required timelines and any related parameters  (e.g., earlier is better, later is acceptable)
  3. Ensure that schedules are up-to-date and reflect changes in priorities
  4. Encourage teamwork by working together with your team members to set up realistic deadlines
  5. Avoid giving conflicting instructions by clarifying who owns which tasks  and when they will be done as well as what each person’s role is within the project

5. Communicate effectively with your team


When team members cannot communicate effectively, they have a hard time getting their jobs done. What’s more, problems can arise when there is disconnect between what is communicated and what is understood . In order to stay on top of this issue as well as prevent misunderstandings from happening in the first place, try some tips for communicating better with your team:

  1. Keep channels open so that people have multiple ways to connect
  2. Ensure that messages are clear and authentic  (e.g., use concrete examples rather than abstract generalizations)
  3. Make it a point to be sensitive to different communication styles  (e.g., listening versus speaking)
  4. Be concise and avoid using too many words

6. Offer training and development opportunities


When people feel like they are growing and learning, they are motivated to stay with the team. By creating training opportunities for your team members, you can motivate them to put in their best efforts. Some tips for providing rewarding training and development opportunities include:

  1. Provide regular training so that everyone has the information they need
  2. Offer customers or clients an opportunity to give feedback  (e.g., suggestion box)
  3. Create educational materials (e.g., templates, manuals) so that team members can access them online when needed
  4. Encourage participation in professional associations  such as industry trade associations or non-profit organizations
  5. Foster collaboration by working together towards a common goal

7. Reward hard work and dedication


When people feel like their efforts are recognized and appreciated, they are more likely to continue hard work. Some tips for rewarding team members include:

  1. Give sincere praise  (e.g., be specific about what makes it meaningful to you) 2. Spend time socializing with your teammates (e.g., build camaraderie) 3. Recognize milestones or provide other types of recognition as appropriate 4. Celebrate successes as a group 5. Offer bonuses or incentives if appropriate

Being able to roll with the punches is essential because things will happen that can change priorities and direction.

8. Celebrate successes together

When team members are able to celebrate their successes together, it fosters a positive work environment. Some tips for celebrating with your team include: 1. Be transparent about the reason behind the celebration  (e.g., recognize that certain milestones have been achieved) 2. Allow everyone who contributed to give input when determining how to celebrate 3. Take pictures of the celebrations 4. Consider writing an article sharing what was learned or created 5. Look towards future success by looking at next steps and setting new goals When people feel like they are making progress, they are more motivated than when they do not see any change in their situation.