How to Motivate Others

What is Motivating Others?

Motivating others is the ability to show enthusiasm and provide encouragement, recognition, constructive criticism, and coaching to direct reports.

The Importance of Motivating Others

Did you know? Studies have consistently shown that intrinsic motivation leads to increased persistence, greater psychological well-being, and enhanced performance.1

Six Ways to Become Better at Motivating Others

Would you like to improve your motivational skills? Below are six on-the-job activities you can use to help you get started. We strongly recommend that you do not try all of these at once; start by picking one activity and pace yourself from there. Depending on your schedule it might only be feasible to do one activity per week.

  1. Practice providing recognition. Every day, give one colleague a specific compliment or note of appreciation for their work or presence at the office.
  2. Connect work to a larger purpose. Help team members understand the broader impact of their work and how it contributes to the organization’s mission and goals.
  3. Ask your direct reports questions. If you are a leader, meet with each of your direct reports and ask what motivates them. Use questions like, “What do you enjoy most about your role?”, “What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?”, “Why did you initially choose this line of work?” Incorporate what you hear into delegation, recognition, and rewards.
  4. Ask your co-workers questions. If you are not a leader, you can still ask your co-workers these questions over lunch or ‘around the water cooler.’ Then, look for ways to give motivation-specific encouragement, even if you are unable to provide tangible rewards.
  5. Get to know your team members outside of work. Go out for lunch or dinner with your team and get to know each other’s goals, aspirations, and future plans.
  6. Develop positive relationships. Camaraderie between co-workers can be an incredible motivator and help teams work together more efficiently and effectively.

Note that some of these activities will also need to be repeated in order to become a more consistent and naturally motivating leader.

Download the Motivating Others Competency Guide

These tips are a part of SIGMA’s Motivating Others Competency Development Guide. Download the free PDF below for a complete list of tips and tricks for building the skills to motivate others.

SIGMA Can Help

Since 1967, SIGMA consultants have helped thousands of organizations across North America develop their motivational skills, people potential and increase organizational effectiveness. Explore our assessments, coaching, and consulting services below, and contact us if you would like to speak about creating a custom plan for your organization. Develop your motivational skills as a leader with SIGMA today.

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Leadership Skills Profile –
Revised™ (LSP-R)

Take our flagship leadership assessment and see how you score on motivating others as a leadership competency.

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Talent Development

Use SIGMA’s scientifically validated, industry-tested tools to give your talent development a strong start.

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Coaching with a
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Participate in one-on-one coaching with SIGMA’s expert consultants to become better at motivating others..

Looking for More?

If you would like to speak with a consultant about how to build motivational skills at your organization, contact us below. The team at SIGMA would be happy to share what we’ve learned from client experience and talk about the specific needs of your team.

Glen Harrison is an organizational transformation consultant and succession planning expert. Over the course of his career, Glen has worked with one-third of the Fortune 500 list and with every level of government in Canada and the United States. Having worked with numerous clients to build robust succession plans from the ground up, Glen has extensive experience in the application of SIGMA’s products and services to help organizations realize their people potential.

  1. Souders, B. (November 5, 2019). The Vital Importance and Benefits of Motivation. Positive Psychology. Retrieved from ↩︎

About the Author

Helen Schroeder

Marketing Coordinator

Helen completed a dual degree with Ivey Business School’s HBA program and Western University’s Honours Specialization in Psychology. As a Marketing Coordinator and Consultant she creates and manages content for SIGMA’s webpages, blogs, and coaching resources. Helen also assists in new product development, go-to-market strategy, and client consultation.