4 ways to motivate your employees

« I knew this was what I wanted to do when I started to wake up in the morning with the motivation and energy to start work! »

Have you ever felt like this or said this to someone?
If you have, it means you must have tried a motivation method at least once in your life.

Motivation remains one of the greatest enigmas of human behaviour.

In a nutshell, it is the energy that drives us to unreservedly, naturally and voluntarily engage in an act and it stimulates us when we are confronted with obstacles, challenges or boredom.

Motivation is characterised by several factors which are an integral part of our four employee motivation methods:

It is fed by needs (physiological, safety, belonging, self-esteem, fulfilment) and by the way we respond

It varies in time (strong motivation at first low motivation towards the end)

It can be intrinsic (within us) or extrinsic (external)

It is driven by our level of energy and its renewal.

Indeed, if you are a team or project manager, you may certainly come to ask yourself the question:

Ok, but what practical tools can I use as a manager to motivate my employees?

Be an example!

This is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate your integrity. Your employees will appreciate that you embody the values and rules that you advocate. You will seem more credible and in line with “I do what I say” and “I say what I do”.

Always start by asking yourself the question:

What kind of manager would I like to be?


How would I feel if I was that kind of manager?

Continue this type of questioning with your employees:

What do you expect of a manager?


How would others react if you became an example?

And if the others did the same?

These questions will bring humility into your management approach and enable you to identify your needs, the management needs of your employees and to define the discrepancy between the two.

You have now laid the groundwork for employee motivation and engagement!

Give meaning to your role

it’s time to affirm your leadership!

Have you ever found yourself wondering why you are doing something?

How did it make you feel?

What did you say to yourself?

Maybe you aspired to know the purpose of your actions, an anchor to support you? Your employees are undoubtedly looking for the same and need an additional managerial angle to motivate them.

Define it together!

Work with them to clearly define the ultimate goal for your department (a phrase or an image) and build intermediary goals and indicators for success.

Don’t forget that there will be obstacles on the way, and you may deviate from your route, but with this is mind, you can adapt and recalculate your path. You can change and vary your intermediary goals and indicators as you go along, but your ultimate goal remains unchanged.

Give your employees autonomy

How would you define their role? And how would your employees define it?

We don’t all see our role in the same way and we don’t all desire the same level of autonomy. First, question your managerial approach and how you would characterise it.

Too lenient, delegate too much, too… Be careful!

Remain proactive and open to your employees’ desire for autonomy. Ask them about it. Learn how to take a step back and take a new, objective look at their aspirations compared to their level of maturity.

Should I delegate certain tasks to an employee who has just taken up a new position?

What warning signs should I be looking for?

How would the person concerned react?

How can I help him develop autonomy over time?

Once you have thought long and hard about these questions, ask the opinion of the employees concerned. Your questions may be a valuable source of reflection for them. You are showing that their needs are important to you and that your response is founded and supported, illustrating the need for meaning and exemplarity mentioned above.

Send positive messages

Give off positive signs of recognition!

Start with yourself: set aside three minutes every day to sit down and note three good things or actions that you did that day.

How does that make you feel?

Do you notice any positive changes to the way to approach your role and management in general?

Repeat the exercise with your employees: if you appreciate an action, gesture, word, tell them or let them know in writing.

However, take the context (public or private) and the time factor into account and decide the appropriate method and moment. A positive message sent out of context or too late will have little impact. At best, it will be seen as clumsy, at worst it may be interpreted as ironic.

Positive messages are signs that our knowledge and savoir-être are recognised. They send positive energy and boost the motivation of your employees.

In conclusion, your ability to question yourself and others and to communicate are essential in implementing these four methods to motivate your employees. Use these skills and keep in mind that it’s a question of trial and error, so persist each day!
Get motivating and managing!