Of all the resources business owner has to learn to control, their staff is probably the most complex. Keeping your people motivated, enthused and focused on the finish line is critical to the success of your business, but how do you do that exactly? Here are 12 things you need to start doing if you want to have motivated employees:

  1. Start with you: Staff will not be motivated without a motivated manager at the helm, so whatever sort of a day you’ve had, pull it together and be a role model of positive energy whenever you’re in sight.


  1. Share information: Keeping everything as open as possible will lend a sense of ownership to the business. Staff will feel a part of the process, and will often provide excellent suggestions for improvement.


  1. Discuss problems: Take your problems to them and let them help you talk it out and brainstorm solutions.



  1. Set milestones, and let them know when they get there: Milestone setting is a critical part of establishing a successful business. However, many forget to feedback on where they are, and to congratulate when milestones are achieved.


  1. Give positive feedback more often than negative: Try to give at least one positive with every negative when it comes to feedback time. Remember to praise up achievements as often as possible.


  1. Listen: Listen to their gripes, their worries and their ideas. Never assume that because someone worries often that they worry about nothing; often employees at the coal face will spot disasters long before they happen.


  1. Give them ownership: Let employees have responsibility and a degree of autonomy for their own part of the business. Allowing them to take control will give them ownership and a sense of personal responsibility.


  1. Take their feedback: As well as feeding back to them, allow them space to feed back to you. This can be on your own skills, or anything else to do with the business – be prepared for constructive criticism, but it should never get personal.


  1. Reward high achievers: Team members who consistently reach their goals should be rewarded appropriately. Whether that’s a fiscal reward, shopping vouchers or a bottle of wine is up to you.


  1. Eat together: Humans bond over food. Fact. So plan a team lunch where someone gives a work related presentation, killing two birds with one stone and building bridges with your staff.


  1. Plan a treat: Remember how hard it is to work in a small start-up business, and plan a treat when you reach a significant milestone. This could be a lunch out, a half day or a party, whatever you feel is appropriate. By giving them something to look forward to you are confirming how important and how valued your employees are.


  1. Create a happy work environment: People enjoy work when they are given freedom and trusted to get on with things. Believe in your team, and trust that they will appreciate you taking a step back.