Additional Team Building Resources

Why Team Motivation Matters: Benefits to Know & 10 Team Motivation Ideas to Keep Your Team Energized

employee walking across tight rope cartoon

Team motivation is often overlooked in the workplace. When teams aren’t performing as well as they could, we tend to look at other areas for answers. Perhaps it’s the company’s new hot-desking policy that’s creating this lull in work? Maybe it’s people working from home and being distant from each other? Or, perhaps, it’s a simple fact that your team is demotivated and disengaged.

Table Of Contents

What Is Team Motivation?

Why Is Motivation Important To A Team?

How Do You Motivate A Team In The Workplace?

10 Team Motivation Ideas

silhouette of team on top of a mountain

What is Team Motivation?

A motivated team is a team that gives its absolute best effort. It is a team that is characterized by many benefits, such as a high level of commitment, innovation, and energy in the workplace. As a result, it is a team that often works well together and thrives, meets goals, and achieves over the odds.

Sounds good, right? If you’re looking to get the most out of your workplace team, then this article summarizes the 10 best team motivation ideas to keep your team energized, engaged, and successful.

Why is Motivation Important to a Team?

Motivation, although an incredibly powerful tool for any team, doesn’t always get the attention it deserves concerning business success. Often overlooked, a Gallup study found that only a staggering 15% of workers worldwide felt motivated and engaged at work.

tired employees in meeting

The problem with this? Each year in the US, unmotivated and disengaged employees cost companies over $450 billion a year. Unmotivated teams aren’t driven to work toward goals. They don’t go the extra mile and, rightfully so, they don’t see the value in the work they’re doing. As a direct effect, organizational growth and development suffer. 

Workplace teams whose members are motivated and engaged, on the other hand, perform much better. Every team member has a sense of purpose, commitment, and belonging and they are willing to act on those feelings. Engaged teams, in comparison to unmotivated teams, have better client relations, strong performance and higher productivity which, as a result, puts organizations with such teams in the top 21% of profitability.

Team motivation is paramount for the success of any business. You can have the most talented and loyal team members, but if they aren’t motivated your team can never truly thrive. 

employee unmotivated at work cartoon

 Benefits of team motivation

As you now know, team motivation is crucial for the success of your team. To summarize the facts and figures stated above, the top benefits of team motivation are:

• Improved productivity levels

• Higher retention rate

• Lower levels of absenteeism

• Great reputation and therefore stronger recruitment potential

• Fewer company losses

• Increased employee engagement

• More innovation and creativity

• Better team trust and relationships

group of employees smiling at camera

How Do You Motivate a Team in the Workplace?

As previously mentioned, workplace team motivation is not something you can afford to neglect. If you have a demotivated team, you face losing thousands of dollars with staff absences, high employee turnover, and decreased task performance. 

A motivated team will have a positive outlook on life. They are productive, efficient, and excited about what they are doing and, as a result, will make you more money. 

So now you know the why to team motivation, let us look at the how.

Only 12% of workers leave their job because they want more money. Clearly, getting people to stay is not down to simply paying them more. You need to get creative with your incentives and really inspire your employees to want to work within your team.  

To inspire your team you need to take action and be proactive. To begin your journey to complete team motivation, start by being an inspiration to your team. If you’re a team leader, practice what you preach. Be positive and have an upbeat approach! Energize your team and encourage them to have a similar mindset so that you can all work together towards your common goal.

employee climbing steps

Secondly, motivation will come as a byproduct of open and honest communication within a team. Every team member needs to be approachable so that other members feel as though they can speak freely about any workplace issues that arise. In motivated teams, opportunities for team members to communicate ideas and assess company progress are actively created. 

Finally, find ways to boost team morale. Teams need to have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep them feeling and acting motivated. Employee appreciation motivation gifts, weekly praise, achievement noticing sessions, or encouraging additional learning, will all increase team commitment and motivation. 

There’s no need to worry about finding ways to motivate a team. We’ve done all the legwork for you and included them all below. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a team manager or a team member, this is your sign to be proactive and implement the team motivation ideas below and lead your team to success.  

10 Team Motivation Ideas

If you like what you’ve read above and you are wanting to find engaging and fun ways to motivate your workplace team, then look no further.

Below are the top 10 team motivation ideas to energize a team. Whether your team is a big team or a small team, an IT development team or a sales team, motivation is just around the corner!

1.  Monday team motivation

Mondays, the worst day of the week for many. Heading back to work after two days of fun and relaxation can feel like a complete chore and many of us dread it. However, it doesn’t have to be like that! Switch up your team’s perspective and make Mondays the best day of the week. The day that plans are made, goals get set and things get done. Create the vision that Mondays are a fresh start, with lots of things to look forward to in the coming week.

employees standing at fun meeting

To use Mondays as a method to motivate your team, set up a compulsory team meeting every Monday morning. Don’t make this meeting too long, as you don’t want to leave them feeling unmotivated after a lengthy and boring meeting! Instead, allow 30 minutes for a fast-paced and engaging meeting. Encourage your team members to be actively involved, as you share your team’s goals, milestones, and progress. Open the space for your team to get creative, share their vision and be productive.

2.  Team motivation email

Team motivation messages are excellent ways to get your team feeling appreciated, acknowledged, and engaged. As a bonus, sending a motivation email to your team requires little effort and time from you!

Whether your team is working remotely or in the office, emails are highly useful communication tools, so utilize them to your advantage. Set aside time every week to write a motivational email. It should include what you’re trying to achieve as a team and how you want to achieve that. Stay positive in the email and maybe even chuck in a few team motivation quotes, such as “success is best when it’s shared” to really get your team members engaged.

woman looking at laptop

3.  Team motivation gifts

Appreciation gifts are a fantastic way to show that you truly value and care about your team. Anyone, no matter their age or gender, likes to receive a small (or large) gesture of someone’s appreciation. It makes them feel accepted, loved and wanted.  If we feel these things, we are more likely to be committed and dedicated to our workplace teams.

Good team motivation gifts are those that are thoughtful, personable and meaningful. They don’t need to be big gestures that cost you thousands of dollars. Something as simple as a postcard with a meaningful message can make a huge difference in your team’s motivation and engagement. 

boss giving employee gift

If you’re struggling with team motivation and appreciation gift ideas, here are some of the best:

• $10 coffee shop gift card

• Desk plants

• $10 audiobook credit

• A charitable donation in the team’s name

• Food truck visit to the office

• Personalized reusable water bottles

• A letter of recognition

• Home baking kits

• Sending a thank you card

4.  Team motivation activities

One of the best ways in which you can motivate your team is to get them to interact with each other and build meaningful, trusting, and honest connections. 

The best way to do this? Organize for your team to partake in a series of fun online games that can be played from anywhere in the world.

The Escape Game has lots of fun, engaging, and exciting team-building activities that are specifically designed to encourage workplace connections and relationships. They will also enhance motivation, creativity, and engagement within any workplace team. Your team is guaranteed to walk away from these activities with not only some well-deserved rest from work but also feeling like they can trust each other, which increases team motivation as it creates accountability and a sense of responsibility for others.

·  The Escape Game’s virtual escape room is a fully immersive and exciting way to get both remote and in-person teams connecting. Team members must connect, collaborate and use their skills to beat the clock and escape the scenario they have chosen!

virtual escape room for happy hour

·  Your team can use their problem-solving and teamwork skills in a virtual mystery game. Working together, they must sift through surveillance footage, psych reports, and other evidence to figure out who a criminal is.

·  Your team’s motivation can be increased by playing an online game show. Hosted by a team-building expert who knows all about the importance of correctly motivated teams, your team will partake in 5 rounds of fast-paced fun. 

5.  Icebreaker games

Icebreaker games are fantastic team-building activities that are used worldwide to engage teams of any size and make them feel comfortable and established. Fun icebreakers can be used to start conversations, rule out nervousness, resolve any issues or conflicts, and allow your team to walk away in a stronger position than when they walked in.

There are plenty of good games you can play to break the ice. The best icebreakers, however, are the ones that are short, sweet, and suited to the needs of your team.

Traditional icebreaker games are fantastic. Simply go around your team members asking them simple questions such as “what’s your most used emoji?” or “when you die what do you want to be remembered for?”. You can also jazz up traditional icebreaker games by making them a bit more complicated. Scavenger hunts, for example, are great out-of-the-box ways for teams to get moving whilst combining social engagement and competition.

6.  Allow flexibility in the workplace

84% of working parents said in a recent survey that flexibility was the single most important factor in a job, even more so than their salary. The fact of the matter is people hate to feel like they have no control over their working life. Feeling trapped or controlled by an employer is enough to demotivate even the most committed of employees. 

In fact, a recent study found that flexibility in the workplace increases motivation, which as a result leads to heightened motivation and organizational productivity. So, if you want all your employees, not just working parents, to feel determined to work their hardest within their team, try and offer some flexibility in their working schedule.

employee flexibility

‘Flex time’ is a new way of working that many modern businesses are using. Essentially, it gives employees core hours that they must be in the office but apart from that, they can work as and when they please. This gives employees more freedom to enjoy their life outside of work and therefore makes work feel more enjoyable.  

7.  Promote a work-life balance

Burnout is one of the biggest killers of productivity. When people are burnt out, they feel a depletion in energy, increased mental distance from their job, negative feelings towards their job, and reduced professional productivity. As a result, it’s hardly surprising that burnt-out and exhausted teams are demotivated and disengaged.


If you sense that your team member might be feeling a little burnt-out, don’t panic. To prevent burnout and keep your team as motivated as possible, there are hundreds of things you can do. For example:

·  Hire a well-being officer to oversee all wellness and mental health activities in the workplace.

·  As mentioned above, foster a flexible working schedule so that your employees don’t feel trapped.

·  Increase the size of your budget for mental health. You could expand this to allow employees to have access to therapists or subscriptions to mindfulness phone apps.

·  Allow your team members one duvet day a year. This is one day that they can take off, with no questions asked, to look after their mental health.

·  Give employees time to volunteer so that they can help others and feel better about themselves.

·  Organize more social events during or after work! Thursday evening drinks or bowling is a great way to keep the team together, whilst not being at work.

8.  Set goals and work towards them as a team

The Goal Setting Theory of Motivation was introduced by Edwin Locke in the 1960s. The theory argues that setting goals is essential for good task performance. Effectively, this means that giving employees specific goals, accompanied by appropriate feedback, will increase their motivation and therefore their task performance.

employees running towards goal

One fantastic and simple way to set goals is to use SMART goals. Setting goals for your team in this manner provides each member with a sense of direction, focus, and motivation.

·  Specific: goals are well defined, relevant to the team/employee and unambiguous.

·  Measurable: progress towards the goal can be objectively measured.

·  Achievable: goals are attainable and within the team or the employee’s reach.

·  Realistic: goals must be relevant to the team or employee’s work.

·  Timely: the timeline in which the goal needs to be achieved is clearly defined, with a starting date and target date.

One great way to incorporate these SMART goals into the workplace is to include them in your Monday team motivation talks. You can take a bit of time to practice goal setting and review how far the team has come along.

9.  Pay your team what they deserve

With the cost of everything rising, it is tempting to attempt to save some extra cash by not paying your team members the best possible rate. However, the money you save using this strategy is the money you’ll lose by having demotivated employees and a high turnover rate.

boss and employee shaking hands on money

As well as making sure things in the workplace are fair and calm, ensure that you pay your team the most you possibly can. Correctly paid team members will feel more of an incentive to put 110% effort in and go that extra mile.

10. Invest in additional training and learning

If you want the best people at the top of your team, move them up from the bottom. To get them here, allow the time and a budget for your team to partake in some additional training and learning.

diverse employees chatting

Take the time to listen to your team members and find out what they want to learn more about. It might be that they’d like to switch up their skills and try a different role, or they might want to learn a bit more about a specific topic related to their role. Whatever it is, allow your employees to learn new things and have newfound responsibilities.  


These 10 team motivation ideas are designed to get any workplace team, of any level and ability, to interact with each other, build relationships and share the same passion for working towards a common workplace goal. 

In today’s busy work climate, it is so easy to forget that one simple thing can lead to huge success. If you nail your team’s motivation using the 10 ideas mentioned above, you’ll be onto newfound success like never before.