Recently a lot of articles have been written about the reluctance of many staff to return to the workplace:


This is not another one of them. The focus of this piece is to highlight that this reluctance could lead to a serious drop in staff motivation when people do return to the office. As a leader or manager in a business it’s your responsibility to counteract this.

Motivation is a difficult thing to get right and it’s important to understand two key points:

What motivates you may not motivate others, you must understand your people to get the best out of them.

You cannot motivate your staff, but you can create an environment in which people motivate themselves.

With these points in mind, here are some factors to consider as leader or manager to get the best out of your team:

  • Environment – you have to ensure that your workplace is a comfortable place to be - consider temperature, workspace and staff break areas. If these are not acceptable to your people they will be demotivated before they even get to work
  • Tools – do your team have the right tools, equipment and tech for the job? If not, you will have unhappy staff
  • Recognition – never underestimate the power of “thank you” or “good work” - meaningful praise and recognition are great motivators
  • Job Role – give your staff challenging and stimulating work. If their role is monotonous they will soon become demotivated
  • Achievement – show your people the value and importance of their work in the greater context, if you can see the positive impact of your work you are far more likely to be motivated

One final point to highlight; don’t just give out praise or rewards for the sake of it, as they will lose their impact and become expected. For example, if you are in the habit of bringing cakes into the workplace every Friday as a nice treat for your team, what happens the one Friday you don’t have time to bring them…? Highlight the reasons for any rewards and ensure they do not become part of the day to day.


Written by David James – Management, Leadership & Commercial Skills Trainer


Impellus is a UK-wide provider of management, leadership and core commercial skills training. See our relevant courses:

Management & Leadership Skills

ILM Courses in Leadership & Management

Commercial & Professional Skills Training