How to Genuinely Recognize and Motivate Your Team

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Recognition is a very important tool to use as a leader when it comes to your team members when it’s done correctly. People can see through phony intentions and dismiss it when it is not genuine. So, how do you genuinely recognize and motivate your team members in a meaningful, non-patronizing way?

These are just a few steps to utilize to avoid patronizing your team members:


1. What would they consider a reward and/or recognition? Do they value cash prizes as opposed to free things? If you give them what they want, they won’t feel like you are patronizing them.

2. Tell them what actions will be rewarded and what they have to do to earn the reward. When your team knows what they have to do, you are indirectly acknowledging their skill level and they know why they are being recognized.

3. Remind them the key to becoming a recipient of any reward or recognition is through training. Nothing is more reassuring to your team members than knowing how to communicate to potential prospects on the phone and what to say. When they accomplish the goals you set for them, they will feel they earned the reward and/or recognition.

Most importantly, make sure it is genuine recognition. It will create a fun team atmosphere and help to build enthusiasm. It makes confronting struggles easier and something they will not be afraid of. Depending on what your team members feel is appropriate, recognition can be as simple as a telephone call, a bouquet of flowers, or a plaque commemorating their achievement. But, it must be something that they value. Coupled with keeping things genuine, recognizing your team members will go a long way in maintaining a stable team as well.


Every business has its ups and downs. It’s the ‘nature of the business’ to experience a slowdown in momentum or attrition. You should have a game plan to help your team members get enthusiastic again. As leaders and role models, your actions motivate your team.

Here are some ways to get your team members motivated again:

1. EXHIBIT ETHICAL BEHAVIOR. If your people don’t trust you, they won’t be motivated and will not perform.

2. BE A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR TEAM. Talk the talk, but also walk the walk. Let your team see you in all your glory, good or bad. We are only human beings and we all make mistakes. As a role model, it is important to let your team know that they can learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. You’ll help them be effective, which will inspire self-motivation.

3. EXPRESS INTEREST IN YOUR TEAM’S SUCCESS. Your front line should be your major focus. Have regular meetings and talk with them about what their short-term and long-term goals are. Make them accountable. Your interest will display to them you care about their success. Make it known that there is no “I” in teamwork and it’s about working together as a team so everyone will be successful.

4. STAY WELL-INFORMED. Stay abreast of what’s going on within the company and share as much information as you can. Make it a priority to let your team members know where and who your information sources are. This will provide a frame of reference for them so they can be a knowledgeable source when building their teams.

If you provide the right training, genuinely recognize and motivate your team, you can create effective leaders and they will be self-motivated. If you try to pump up your team with a lot of ‘rah-rah’ speeches, it may be viewed as disingenuous and most of the time doesn’t work.