5 Effective Ways to Inspire and Energize Your Team

As the workplace continues to evolve, strong leadership is more important than ever. Gone are the days of commoditized labor. If you expect strong performance (as you should), your employees need to feel seen, heard, and valued.  Here are 5 simple but powerful ways to engage your team so they feel good, work better together, and achieve more.

1. Acknowledge their hard work

Acknowledging your team’s efforts is the gateway to fostering a culture of appreciation and respect. When you tell a team member, “I see how hard you’re working, and I appreciate it,” it’s not just a statement; it’s a powerful message that resonates deeply. Feeling seen is one of our most basic human needs.

It’s not just about the big wins or completed projects, but also about the small steps, the extra hours, and all the effort to overcome challenges. So let them know exactly what you appreciate. “Great job” is very different from “I see you hustling on X project and the effort shows. Great job!”. 

No matter if you share privately or publicly, your words matter. As long as you understand what works best for your team, they will appreciate your effort.

Base tip: we’re big fans of the microbonusing tool

2. Empower with autonomy

Today’s top companies are not built by task takers. They are full of doers and thinkers who are empowered to use their skills for the greater good of their organizations. If your team does not feel trusted to make decisions or run with ideas, you will not see the brilliance that comes from autonomous innovation (though you probably will see lower job satisfaction). 

To be clear, we are not talking about autonomy in a vacuum. Your strong leadership and guidance is a key component. You need to clearly communicate goals and expectations, provide the necessary resources, and be available for advice and feedback. If you’ve built a culture of trust and open communication, instead of one based on fear and retribution, you are inviting your team to take ownership in the organization’s future. This is where the magic happens.

3. Offer and request constructive feedback

Growth is much harder to achieve in the absence of constructive feedback. You can and should discuss areas of improvement but more importantly, your team needs a safe place to help one another grow. If you and your team have the trust to set egos aside, you can be agents of growth and change for one another. Balancing feedback with acknowledgement is key here. It’s equally important to acknowledge what the team member does well while addressing opportunities for change.

Sharing feedback: Focus on the behavior or outcome, not the individual. Instead of saying, “You’re not good at time management,” you could say, “I’ve noticed the last few projects have been submitted right at the deadline. Let’s explore how we can better manage your project timelines.”.

Requesting feedback: Then ask something like, “How can I better help you achieve your goals?”. This shows empathy while empowering the team member to give feedback.

4. Align tasks with skills

No one is ever happy in a role that does not match their skills. Roles change over time, business needs shift, so understanding each team member’s unique abilities will allow you to adapt in real time. If you ask someone with a disdain for operations to plan a detail-heavy team event, no one will be happy.

But when a project aligns with their sweet spot, your chances of success are much higher. You’ll also see higher job satisfaction, sense of ownership, engagement, and oftentimes innovation. When your team has enough trust to run with projects that they feel good about, it’s a strong signal that your team feels seen, heard, and supported.

5. Celebrate milestones

No victory or milestone is too small to celebrate. We all feel good acknowledging a win and it’s universally motivating. 

Celebrating milestones serves as a powerful tool for reinforcing team unity and the value of each member’s contribution. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the journey, acknowledge the challenges overcome, and the collective effort put in. It also sets a great example for the rest of your team to follow suit and celebrate one another’s wins and milestones.

Effectively motivating your team is about much more than just achieving goals; it’s about ensuring every person on your team feels seen, heard, and valued.

As the future of work becomes reality, these strategies become table stakes. The leaders who thoughtfully and intentionally build teams buttressed by trust and empowerment are the ones who will win.

Written by Luis Sousa

Luis collaborates with Base's team, utilizing his skills in digital marketing to support their mission of equipping leaders with exceptional, scalable executive support. Drawing from the largest pool of EA talent in the world and the innovative platform built for EAs, he helps in communicating the company's commitment to matching leaders with strategic, tech-enabled assistants.