The biggest challenges that many leaders have is that they think what motivates them is what motivates others.

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who helps people shift from languishing to flourishing. In this video, I want to talk to you about how to motivate your team.

It’s a standard question. How do I motivate my team regardless of if they are at the office or in the hybrid workplace? So, when I was in the corporate environment, I always received a lot of accolades through certificates and money. So, I won’t deny it, the money side was nice, but it did wear off at some stage. But the accolades, the certificates, was not my language.

It was not how I was motivated at all. If I go and look at my cupboard now, there are lots of those certificates and accolades collecting dust in my cupboard. They are not hanging on my wall. So, it’s looking at what are the motivation languages of your employees.

Gary Chapman and Paul White wrote a popular book called the Five Love Languages. Or the five languages in the workplace. And these are very, very standard basic, but very good ways of understanding what motivates your team.

The biggest challenges that many leaders have is that they think what motivates them is what motivates others. But that’s not the case. Each employee is motivated differently, and you need to understand their language because once you understand their motivation language, then it is a lot easier to motivate them.

So, let’s look at the five motivation languages:

Acts of Service

The first one is acts of service. So, doing something for the employee, making them a cup of coffee, bringing them a sarmie or lunch, or helping them out when you can see that they are really bogged down with work.


The second one is accolades and certificates and rewards, acknowledging them publicly in front of others.

Quality Time

The third one is quality of time. Quality of time with you, the leader, where they want to sit with you perhaps for half an hour or an hour and have a cup of coffee and just really share with you what’s happening for the and with them.


The fourth one is touch, and I know that it’s difficult in the workplace and we have to be very careful. But you know, you can sometimes just put your hand on somebody’s shoulder, squeeze it a bit, and acknowledge a job well done, or give them praise. You don’t have to give them a hug or in any way step into any dangerous space.

Words of Affirmation

And the fifth one is words of affirmation. Positive words of encouragement, acknowledgement, and recognition.

Most employees will most probably have a combination of those five, but it’s really understanding which of those motivation strategies work for them and then apply them.

As I say, each employee will be different. So, you have to really standardise and customise it. Can you imagine what it means or feels like to perhaps receive a little chocolate with a handwritten note from your leader? Wow. That would motivate me, but it might not motivate somebody else.

So, you really need to understand it because if you send them something like I received – certificates – it actually creates the opposite, a demotivation.

Thank you for watching and I look forward to connecting with you in the next video.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

What is your preferred motivation style of the five mentioned?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment