How to Reward the Stars on Your Team and Motivate the Laggards

How to Reward the Stars on Your Team and Motivate the Laggards

motivate your team

Workplace motivation is a challenging subject to address because of its variance. Different people are motivated in different ways; some crave financial gain, while others enjoy the thrill of victory, and still others may just want some recognition. If you are looking to reward the stars on your team, it is equally important that you motivate those who are not performing at that same a high level. The secret to successfully doing both of these is to understand the motivations behind each of your team members and to find out how to tap into those motivations.

Find Out What Motivates Your Team

Before you can start to reward the stars on your team and inspire the ones who aren’t performing as well as they could be, you need to spend some time thinking about what specifically will motivate them. This will depend on what kind of field you are in. For example, sales contests have traditionally given away a vacation to the person who sells the most. On the other hand, some of your older team members in other departments may value some extra vacation time. The type of rewards that will motivate your team will also depend on how old they are. For example,according to Business Insider, workers from generation Y value recognition and flexibility in the workplace. Think carefully about what would appeal the most to the individual personalities that make up your team.

Create Fair, Varied Contests

One of the biggest challenges of workplace contests is that they can often be very one-sided. In continuing with the example of a sales team, if a sales manager decides to run a contest based on total sales brought in, it is obvious that the newer team members who do not yet have an established base of accounts will be at a disadvantage. Their numbers will not be anywhere close to those of senior salespeople who have been at the company for years.

On the other hand, if that sales manager decides to run a contest based on which salespeople make the most customer contacts or give the most presentations, the contest becomes much more competitive. Making your contests winnable by more team members will help ramp up motivation. Just knowing that they have a legitimate chance to win a contest will help many people increase their productivity to give themselves a chance at victory.

team motivation and recognition

Provide Recognition Across Departments

To build a more unified organisation, when you reward the stars on your team, make sure that everyone at the company is aware of it, not just those in their department. Being recognised by the entire organisation will provide extra reward for your team members who win their contests. Tying contests together across different departments will also help build rapport in the company at large, which will help the organisation function as a whole.

Change Things Up For Motivation

Are there employees at your organisation who seem to be very capable but are not performing up to standards? You may need to give them some variety in their work so that they can find their motivation. Consider having a meeting with these types of employees and talking to them about their performance and then suggesting a new or different workplace function. It could be that they have not been challenged by their work in quite some time and are looking for new things to excite them. You may not need to move them into an entirely new department; adding one or two new tasks in exchange for some of the employees’ existing tasks may be sufficient to ignite their spark.

employee recognition

Help Employees Get To Know Each Other

Colleagues have a huge impact on a person’s level of job satisfaction. In a study conducted by Ranstad US, an American staffing company, 67% of respondents said that having friends at work makes their working environment more enjoyable. One of the best ways to motivate the laggards and reward the stars on your team is to provide them with the chance to get to know one another. Bonding with team members is enough to make many people inspired to perform better, and building relationships amongst employees also helps your team feel more connected to their work.


With these steps, you will be well on your way to getting maximum performance out of everyone on your team. Be sure to keep these motivational tactics in place all year so that everyone is continuously inspired to maintain great performance or strive to improve performance that could be better.

Last Updated on September 30, 2019 by StudioHawk