As a leader, you have several responsibilities, but none as important as motivating your staff. With inspiration comes happy, productive, and efficient team players who are working toward a unified goal: your company’s success.

So, the most important part of leadership training and improving leadership skills is understanding motivation techniques that can motivate your employees.

Now, especially with millennials in the workplace, it is important to inspire, rather than control, your staff.

Try these 5 no-fail motivation techniques, and train yourself as a leader to inspire and encourage your team:

1. Out-of-the-box rewards:

Monetary compensation has been around for a long time, and no one is arguing its benefits. But if you can’t afford extra bonuses, try offering other rewards.

  • Flextime:

The ability to choose a work schedule is a favorite among any generation of workers. When hours in a workday are flexible, the parent can see their children off on the bus before heading to work, or people can hit the gym before a busy time at 5:30 pm. Or go above and beyond by allowing employees to work extra hours during the week so they can leave early on Friday afternoons.

  • Telecommuting:

If your company has the tools and ability to do so, reward employees with the option to telecommute once a week or every other Friday. Given the chance to work in their PJs for a day will entice most to work extra hard every other day.

* A recent management training calgary survey found these to be the top two out-of-the-box rewards that employees desired.

2. Positive recognition:

Don’t make your employees wonder if they are doing a good job. Make their accomplishments and strengths clear, while also taking the time to talk about improving their weaknesses.

  • Performance reviews:

At least once a year, schedule a formal review for your employees. Take the chance to express your positive feedback noting specific examples of their work. The employee will appreciate hearing what you have to say and also understand what you look for in a good employee.

  • Public acknowledgment:

Take time to celebrate your employees. Cater a gala lunch one day or throw a pizza party on a Friday afternoon. During the festivities, take time to talk about each employee’s accomplishments. Hearing their name and triumphs announced will encourage them to pursue star performances in the future.

3. Clear paths of growth:

Employees of all ages want to know what they are working toward. Make sure your company has specific career paths and leadership roles team members can work up to.

  • Promotions:

If you promote from within (a great practice), make sure your employees know the route for getting to the top. Growth is important in the workforce, so giving your team something to work toward helps them stay focused.

  • Small leadership roles:

While a colleague may not be ready to be promoted to manager, let them take on a portion of responsibility as soon as they are ready. Have someone who is constantly coming up with new ideas for the blog?

Let them start running the monthly editorial meeting. Got one who is great with new employees? Ask them to develop a training course for all new team members. Just don’t forget to mention these accomplishments during their next review.

4. Comfortable work environments:

Don’t be fooled, an inviting atmosphere is important to nearly every employee. An unappealing environment can really affect employees’ productivity and desire.

  • Cosmetic features:

Make sure your office looks and feels good to be in for eight hours a day. Do you provide comfortable, ergonomic chairs? Are the colors on the wall happy or drab? Try adding a few potted plants and a fresh coat of paint to breathe some new life into your office.

  • Social aspects:

No, not every day can be a party, and employees know that. But every now and then schedule an offsite team event or holiday picnic. When your team has a good time together it builds a positive work environment.

5. Challenge and change:

Many people, especially millennials, enjoy being challenged. They hate being bored, so offer opportunities for learning new skills or advancing their portfolio.

  • Professional development:

Set aside some budget for professional development seminars or classes. If you don’t have the cash to invest in your people, encourage employees to find free classes and webinars that they can attend to learn new skills.

  • Pro-bono opportunities:

During slow times, allow your employees to take on projects for causes they care about. is a great site that helps a wide array of workers find projects that will help others in need.

Not only do your employees will feel good about their work, but their portfolios expand and they may learn a new skill that can benefit your company, too.

I hope this free Leadership Training about how to implement these 5 “Real World” Motivation Techniques will help you to Motivate your Employees. Let us know what motivates your employees by leaving a comment below.