Lead and motivate your staff

Lead and motivate staff: five top tips


The business benefits of strong leadership and motivated staff include staff retention, improved productivity and increased profits. Here's what you can do to enhance your leadership skills and motivate your staff to drive your business forward.

1. Recognise the signs of low motivation: Before you can create a motivated workforce, you need to understand why workers may lack motivation in the first place. Some indicators of low motivation could be: high staff turnover; low productivity; a poor workplace atmosphere and employee grievances. These could be caused by: monotonous work; lack of praise; a poor reward structure or little opportunity for advancement. See what motivates employees?

2. Take steps to motivate your workforce: There are a range of ways to motivate people including: providing varied and interesting work; demonstrating you trust staff; good training and development opportunities; proactive and regular communication; creating a good work/life balance; fixed appraisals and feedback; and recognition and reward for performance. You should also have appropriate policies in place, including working time and time off and flexible working. See set up employment policies for your business.

3. Become an effective leader: A good leader offers direction to people, encourages them to share their vision for the business and aims to create conditions to achieve great results. You can show leadership to staff by: involving them in decision-making; encouraging them; recognising and rewarding good performance; helping them to use their own initiative and ensuring good two-way communication. You will need to use different skills at different times and it will depend on your business and your own character. See becoming an effective leader.

4. Ensure senior managers show good leadership: If you have a team of senior managers, it is essential they also help to engage staff. This would be particularly important if your business is in more than one location, you are in more than one type of business/industry or your business has more than one culture eg following a merger. See becoming an effective leader.

5. Continue to develop your leadership skills: You could develop your leadership style by aiming for a recognised standard of competence eg Investors in People: see Investors in People: the Standard for people management. You could also improve your leadership abilities through various mentoring and networking opportunities. See sources of leadership training.