Ten Top Tips: Motivating Your Colleagues

Motivation is the skill of getting great performance from a staff member.

You cannot motivate your colleagues: they need to motivate themselves.

What you create is the climate in which motivation can flourish.


Here are my ten top tips for motivating your colleagues:

1. High Expectations

Expect the most from your colleagues. Your behaviour will reflect your confidence in them. Don’t supervise too closely. Trust them. Delegate responsibility.

2. Show Respect

Treat colleagues like adults; let them make decisions without constant evaluation and criticism and trust them with important information.  Let them make mistakes and learn from these mistakes by finding a solution with your support but by themselves.

3. Feedback

Recognise a job well done. People feel good when hard work is recognised or they are made to feel special.  Give your colleagues regular feedback. Don’t wait until the annual

performance appraisal.

4. Consult

Set goals with, not for, people. Involve them in determining SMART goals.

5. Review

Meet regularly with team members to review:

  • how you are doing as a coach
  • what help they need to do their job better
  • what changes would make their job better or easier
  • what they like best, and least
  • what they do best, and worst
  • what their priorities in the job are

6. Work to People’s Strengths

Identify people’s strengths, e.g. outside of work. Make these skills work for you.

7. Handle Failure Carefully

Don’t allow failure to destroy self-confidence, instead turn it into a learning experience

8. Challenge

Challenge people with tasks and decisions. Allow them the time and space to grow.

9. Communicate your whereabouts

When you are away, inform your colleagues where you are, how you can be reached, and when you will be returning. Pressure to track you down during a crisis is an unnecessary burden.  However, do expect your colleagues to step up to the mark and fulfil your role in your absence and avoid the temptation to constantly check in with them.

10. Play Fair

Never treat people as scapegoats when things go wrong. This will undermine your working relationship.

I’m sure there are plenty of ideas missing from this list.  Please share your ideas for motivating your colleagues by commenting.

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