How’s your team performing? Are you seeing results? We all know that employee motivation and performance are key factors for success. Leaders, managers, and supervisors understand that positive motivation easily leads to better performance and higher levels of productivity—but they may be relying on the wrong tools to inspire their teams. Performance management is a familiar term in business, but this archaic process of evaluation is impersonal, costly and not motivating at all. So how can you inspire your team? In fact, some of the most motivating rewards take little to no money at all.


Your employees are part of something bigger than their single position, right? Do they know that? Better yet, do they believe it? All employees want to know that what they do is important and through their contributions, the company can succeed. This means your employees need to understand and share in the organization’s vision. Think about what your company’s true purpose is, and how you can share that value with your employees to give them a reason to believe they are each part of that success.


When people know what they’re doing well, they’ll keep doing it—or, even better, do more of it. Providing someone with recognition for their hard work, and positive feedback for their successes goes a long way with boosting morale and empowering your team to take the next step. Each of us have strengths, so it’s important to recognize each employee as individuals, with skills unique to them that make them an asset to the organization.


Showing appreciation for hard work is great, however, that appreciation won’t resonate with your employees if they don’t feel you respect them professionally and personally. It’s important to be mindful that each of your staff members has a life outside of work, and their personal time and activities are valid. Respecting each employee for who they are in addition to how hard they work is an amazing way to inspire them to perform for you and the company.


No one likes a boss who is constantly looking over their shoulder and second-guessing their every move. Micromanaging your employees gives the impression that you don’t trust their work. It’s easy to become discouraged and lose motivation when you don’t feel like you’re doing your job correctly. In team settings, this feeling can spread like wildfire, decreasing morale and creating a toxic culture.


We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. The key is taking these mistakes or employee weaknesses and turn them into valuable coaching lessons. It’s important if you have to point out weaknesses of an employee, you also offer a solution and explanation behind your reasoning. Accountability is important for your team to feel invested in the organization, but only focusing on the missteps can cause you to lose valuable employees because the opportunity to learn wasn’t presented or nurtured.

If your team needs a little inspiration and motivation, these five tips can help lay the groundwork for building successful employees. People are the most important resource of each organization and a people-oriented leadership style is a major key to inspiring performance and commitment from each individual employee.