Top 5 Ways to Motivate Your Small Team to Do Great Things


Sure, a small team is easier to manage than a bigger one. But it also has its own set of challenges.

When you only have a few employees, your team members often need to wear different hats and work extra hours. It’s also safe to assume that your business is just starting to grow. So, you’re probably working on a budget and can’t afford above-average compensation packages just yet.

Unfortunately, these common challenges can make team members lose their motivation. 

Don’t lose hope, though. Even if you can’t give them a raise yet and you can’t promise that their workload will lighten up soon, there are still easy ways to motivate your small team to keep on achieving great things!



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Set Clear Team and Company Goals and Monitor Them

In any aspect, whether it’s for personal or business, you should set SMART goals: specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. This kind of goals has a better chance of getting achieved. Check out this video to see why: 


Yes, setting goals usually mean more work for everyone. But when you show your team that you’re highly motivated yourself, they’ll also feel the same level of motivation. 

When setting goals, you should be able to show how important each member of the team is. During catch-ups, update them how their hard work has contributed to the goal’s progress, too.



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Encourage Openness and Honesty

When your team believes in your goals, they’d be happy to work hard to help you and the rest of the team achieve them. However, some members of the team may feel timid about expressing their ideas and issues, thinking that everyone else is already too busy to bother.

As the manager, you have the responsibility to make everyone feel at ease. You should lead the way towards openness and honesty. When you’re approachable and unintimidating, your team members will not think twice about expressing themselves. As a result, they won’t hold their ideas and thoughts back. 

And if they can freely talk to you, they’re likely to also feel comfortable talking to other members of the team to seek for help and guidance when needed.



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Let Them Fail

In teams where members are expected and bound to multitask, experiment, and try new things, making mistakes shouldn’t be looked down upon. After all, when one makes mistakes, it means they’re doing something. Don’t hamper your people’s creativity and willingness to perform by making them feel that they can’t make mistakes.

Of course, mistakes can be costly. But if your employees make one just one time, make sure to provide constructive criticisms. Coach them or let them explore further. When they feel like they have your trust and confidence, they will be motivated to get better and better.



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Make Saying “Thank You” a Habit

The simplest yet purest form of showing you appreciate people is to say “thank you” often. Don’t let any effort go unnoticed. When you thank someone, it shows that you acknowledge the hard work and time they spent on something. 

When people feel appreciated, they will be happy to do more and to always give their best.



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Give Incentives They Actually Want

Let’s say you’re just starting out and tight on budget but would really want to give your hard-working staff some incentive—what would you give them? It’s not wise to spend on incentives that your staff will not be able to enjoy or maximize. 

Talk to your staff and ask them what incentive might they like. Be upfront with the budget you can allot, then work from there. Give options, too. Do you think they’d like paid leave credits? Electronic gift cards? Maybe a new headset that they can also use for work?

See, showing appreciation to your small team doesn’t have to be costly and difficult. What other ways of showing you’re grateful for your team can you think of? Let us hear about them in the comments section below!


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