How to motivate a team

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Having worked in the Recruitment sector for the past 20 years it’s safe to say I have seen it all, including ‘the good the bad and the ugly’.  Like every sector, recruitment comes with its challenges, and as a director of a recruitment business, there are so many things I have to keep my eye on to ensure the company is a success.  I believe one of the main reasons for the continued success of Utility People is that our back-office team are both highly motivated and operate as a well-oiled machine.  Without a happy motivated team how can you run a successful company? So, I thought I’d share a few snippets with you that I have learned over the years.

Offer Development

We have both an energy industry training programme in place as well as a recruiter training programme for all our new recruits.  This includes 1-2-1 training from a specialist Business Recruitment Coach twice per week for the first 8 weeks of employment, and includes workshops and role-plays, which helps prepare for real-life situations.  This keeps everyone motivated and engaged because they are continuously learning. Listen to their needs and deliver.

Mentor continuously

As a leader in a company, time is precious.  It’s so easy to forget about your team because you have so many balls to juggle.  But if you invest the time to mentor your team properly, that investment will repay you ten-fold.  Every day I spend 10 minutes with each member of my team to make sure they are set for the day and know what they are doing.  Sometimes a pep talk or a reminder of their basic training might be needed to really help new members grow in confidence and I know that by supporting them now, this will deliver success to both them as individuals, as well as to the business.

Set clear goals

As a Leader, it’s your job to work with the members of your team not only to set clear goals, but to set achievable goals.  There should be no ambiguity – they need to know what is expected of them, and be able to visualise how they are going to get there.

Be Approachable

Your team need to know that they can come to you with any problem and that you will support them no matter what – no matter how awful a situation they may have gotten themselves into. If you are distant and unapproachable, they might end up taking a decision on their own that could negatively impact the business, and which in turn could demotivate them because they’ve got it wrong.

Be Human

Nothing motivates my team more than hearing a daft story about my weekend or my past exploits in the recruitment industry – of which there are many!  I may be the director but I am human, and if they can relate to me, they will want to work hard for me too; work isn’t all about getting your head down, you have to have some fun along the way!


Last but by no means least is praise. I want my team to work hard and be motivated.  For this they need to know they are doing a good job. Don’t get me wrong – perks like a Friday afternoon off, a free lunch or a pint at the pub go a long way, but nothing beats a personal ‘Thank You’ when someone has done a good job.  It’s so important to not forget the little things, because it’s the little things that matter if you are going to really motivate a team to its full potential.


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