Six core principles to motivate your team

The success of any business can almost always be traced back to the motivation and engagement of its employees. Hardworking, happy employees lead to triumph, productivity, profitability and staff retention.

Motivation is the driving factor that leads people to work harder, however it can be as individual as the people who work for you. There is no secret formula, calculation or work sheet to fill in. Basically, you need to find out what drives your employees and then give it to them to enable them to be fulfilled in their job. This can be anything from money, power or environment to belonging, expertise or security.

Here at Cummins Mellor we recognise that everyone has unique qualities and motivators- what enthuses a Recruiter in our Cummins Mellor team, doesn’t always drive a DBS Advisor in our safeguarding team. As an employer, we are passionate about encouraging our employees to grow and become the best they can possibly be, striving to keep them engaged and inspired.

Here are the six core principles we believe are key to the motivation and fulfilment of our team;


  1. Your Working Environment

There is no right or wrong way to create a productive working environment. Every company has a different culture. It is easy to stay motivated when you feel comfortable in the workplace.

How you shape your work environment has a major effect on your team’s mentality. Designing a comfortable office environment is about more than aesthetics; careful attention to design can give a boost to employee happiness. In short, making a comfortable environment takes more than a sturdy desk and comfortable chair – it incorporates quality lighting, good ventilation, soft furnishings, company branding and breakout spaces.

Consider the journey from walking in the door of your business – what does your reception area say about you? Is it inspirational? Consider displaying information about your values, company awards, pictures and having a comfy reception area. Walking in to that every day can really boost your employees as they come in every day.

Breakout spaces are a great way of getting your teams to bond and socialise away from their desks. Having great facilities available to your teams to take time out on breaks or lunch can really help with productivity – allowing them time to relax and engage with their colleagues.

Review the facilities on offer – if you’re not near a local shop consider a tuck box or fruit bowl? If most of your team brings in their own lunches, ensure there is enough crockery/cutlery, more than one microwave, access to toasters and enough kettles to supply the caffeine fix!

I firmly believe that people respond to the environment they’re in – create something special.


  1. Team Social Activities

Where most people try to separate their personal and professional lives, I feel that there is real value in organising social gatherings outside of work.

If you haven’t got one yet – start up a social committee who work together to plan activities across the year for your teams to come together. Anything from payday outings, to company walks, meals out or movie nights; it’s important to create arenas for your teams to come together outside of the 9-5. Don’t get me wrong, there’ll always be those that don’t want to participate, but we’ve found that the vast majority of our teams can’t get enough of this time together.

Remember not to feel that these social events needs to be limited to being outside of office hours – try and make things like charity fancy dress days, bake sales, birthday celebrations or quizzes part of your norm.


  1. Strong Values Culture

The Cummins Mellor team are passionate about what they do, and how they do it! As Apple founder Steve Jobs says:  “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do”.

It’s essential to have strong core values that run through your appointing, performance, recognition and rewards schemes as well as regular employee review. These shouldn’t just be words written on a website in an acronym, they must be something that your employees refer back to as part of their daily job.

It’s important to ensure that every member of the team believes in these values and then aligns their own attitudes and behaviours appropriately. Here at Cummins Mellor, we continuously reinforce our values through the company, recognising our colleagues who “go the extra mile” in demonstrating these values towards each other and in their own daily activities as our ‘Stars of the Month’, Quarter and Year.

People love to know that they’re part of something with meaning, and they love to know when they’re delivering on their commitments so ensure your teams are continually aligned with your message.


  1. Lead by Example

Your managers need to recognise that they set the tone, work ethic and drive the values of the company by their own attitudes and behaviour. By working hard, staying enthusiastic and optimistic, your teams are more likely to do the same; making the entire work atmosphere more positive and motivating.

It’s impossible to expect a member of your team to do something that their seniors are not prepared to do themselves. Ask youself ‘are the expectations we set for our employees comparable to the expectations we set for ourselves?’


  1. Transparency & Clear Communication

People feel empowered when they work in a transparent environment where they’re able speak openly to their managers about the company and their own roles within it. Transparency builds greater trust and respect in each other.

Keeping an “open door policy” makes everyone accessible, giving each employee a voice. Empower your people to believe that their opinions, ideas and observations are valued and ensure that performance, results, good news and bad are all communicated.

Consider how you share this information as a business – it could be a monthly meeting, a newsletter, email circulars. Whichever way you do it – make it visible!


  1. Personal Development

Your teams should feel that their careers are your priority. For a team member to know that their manager is committed to their personal development can be hugely motivational.

Make coaching and mentoring part of the culture of your Company. Ensure that personal development goals are set regularly and that your managers works with your team members to help them achieve these targets. Ensure that training plans are adapted to each individual’s preferred learning style and achievements are recognised and celebrated.

Times are changing, it is our responsibility as managers to ensure every willing employee is given the opportunity to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one. Everyone has the opportunity to progress and be the best they can possibly be, with the full support of the Company.


Amy signature


By actively investing in the wellbeing of every individual, you are investing in your future success. You can’t cut and paste with people, everyone is unique. Encourage laughter, embrace change, promote unity, recognise strengths and respect each other – always.

Aim to give your employees the best reason to come to work every day – not because they have to … but because they want to!