What to Say to Motivate Your Team? 15+ Motivational Messages

Author: Madalina Roman

As a team manager or leader, you’re probably able to sense the ebbs and flows of your team’s mood. Everyone goes through periods of funk and sadness at work.

Someone might be feeling demotivated or going through problems in their personal life that can transpire into everyday work life. What can you do as a team leader? What would you say to motivate your team?

Team motivation is essential to boost morale and to help someone feel proud of their hard work. Employee motivation adds enthusiasm to the everyday routine and directly impacts productivity, as research showed.

Get rid of your intrusive employee time tracker and track time with an employee-friendly time tracking app

Read our blog and learn everything you need about measuring a team’s productivity.

Motivation techniques can be used to achieve specific goals and create a productive and competitive work environment.

Investing in employee motivation not only results in better results for the company but also plays a part in helping people reach their best in terms of skills and personal goals.

Approaching people with the right words and providing a motivational speech can work wonders. Let’s explore what words you should use to motivate your team.

What to say to motivate your team: Motivational messages for employees

Motivation can be found in many different ways, but one of the most powerful ones is the recognition shown by peers and superiors, in a professional environment.

Workplace culture is fast-paced and competitive, playing a significant role in our daily lives. Even if today’s climate is telling us to find the best work-life balance possible, the fact that a successful professional life brings some purpose cannot be dismissed. And because of this, people look for feedback from their superiors.

They need to know they’re following the best development path possible.

The words that a leader conveys to an employee speak volumes about the leader’s own values.

Offer support and show availability

  • “Anything you need, reach me by phone or e-mail”
  • “Feel free to come to my office anytime”
  • “Please don’t hesitate to ask questions regarding our work dynamic.”

Making sure your employees know they can reach you and are 100% at ease helps to develop a sense of belonging.

They’ll feel supported and won’t hesitate to ask for guidance. These sentences break communication barriers that can be fatal right from starting a manager-employee relationship.

They reflect the transparency and trustworthiness of your leadership.

Read also: How to measure team effectiveness

How a consulting firm uses Timeular to avoid employee burnout

“Our team loves using Timeular. It saves us time that we would otherwise waste tracking time in Excel or on paper. Timeular enables us to identify strategies on how to improve going forward.” – Justus Fischer, Founding Partner

Provide and ask for feedback

  • “I’ll look into it and get back to you/I’ll give you an update ASAP.”
  • “We need to debate some points regarding your performance.”
  • “There’s good news, but also bad news.”
  • “This is the area you need to work the most on.”
  • “Here’s how you are reaching your goals in the company.”
  • “Here’s where you’re placed according to the company’s expectations of you.”

Avoid shutting down your employees’ requests. Even if they approach you during an inopportune occasion, phrases of this kind will help you build bridges and establish a rapport with all team members.

Please keep the conversation with your team flowing, research, and ask them what can be done to improve their work conditions.

Professional life can also be impacted by personal issues, which can be unpredictable. But in the end, your employees want to be able to hear the facts from you.

Providing them with feedback is a vital motivational tool and boosts team morale. This communication has to happen in both positive and negative scenarios.

two people talking at work

There always comes a time when you have to deliver unpleasant news, and it’s best to soften the blow by leading with the brighter side of things. Your words should convey that notion.

Don’t fear telling the truth to your employees, including the parts about failures. Keeping them in the loop and turning the conversation on what such an event or situation means to them. 

“Timeular is an essential tool for us at Kiwa”

“Timeular is simple and really easy to use, so the teams took to it very quickly. It makes it really easy for us to see where we can optimize our time and processes.” – Nadiya Eichberg, Head of Battery Testing at Kiwa

Regular constructive feedback helps you set expectations and boosts a sense of belonging for the employee. Instead of motivating by fear of a negative review or destructive criticism, it’s best to go this way.

Asking for employee feedback is also a powerful way to establish a trustworthy relationship and boost your growth as a manager. As employees may be reticent to share feedback openly with their managers, plenty of tools allow employees to share anonymous feedback.

Did you know that feedback is one of the best ways to keep your employees motivated?

a team of four people organizing their workload

Make the employees part of the process

  • “What would you do if you were in my position?”
  • “Can I have your opinion on this issue?”
  • “I’m going to share a document with you. Please review it and give me your opinion.”
  • “I trust your opinion and sense of judgment.”
  • “Can you participate in this meeting? Your input will be valuable.”

Authenticity and humility are also a part of being a leader. Showing your boundaries, difficulties, or vulnerabilities is a great way to establish a rapport, and it helps motivate your employees, showing how they’re a part of the process.

Communicating your feelings and the reasons behind them to your employees is essential, especially in a time of stress. 

Your employee’s inputs and opinions can provide great value and different and interesting points of view.

Showing appreciation for these opinions is a way to motivate your team, and everyone will benefit from this exchange of ideas.

Showing that you trust their abilities to provide meaningful insights strengthens the trust between you and your employees.

Find what are the top causes of stress at the workplace.

a team of 5 people celebrating

Ensure positive reinforcement

  • “You can do it!”
  • “Thank you for your good work.”
  • “Thanks for your role in this project. It was crucial.”
  • “You’ll do a great job!”
  • “We, not I.”

The fact is that imposter syndrome is always there, behind everyone’s ear, ready to attack and hurt people’s motivation. Your employees and colleagues are no exception. You can help fight that and keep their motivation high by showing them with words how valuable their contribution is.

Let them know you want to ensure they have the guidance and resources they need to succeed. The sentences present in this group are inspiring because they speak to a greater sense of belonging.

Being a part of a team of people who complement each other’s weaknesses and strengths is incredibly motivating.

As a leader, you should also be emphatic when thanking your employees’ contributions. Make a point of saying thank you to them.

Recognition and appreciation are potent motivators.

Good leader always thinks of themselves as a member of the team. Inclusive language should be used to create the feeling that everyone is in the same boat, running towards the same goal.

What about motivational quotes: Do they work?

Do you know those cliché sentences that constantly pop up on LinkedIn or Facebook?

You might recognize a few of these:

“Learn as if you will live forever, live like you will die tomorrow.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau.

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder.

“You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.” – Unknown. 

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho.

Do they improve and inspire performance? The answer is no.

The fact is that these clichés sentences will make you feel like you can accomplish something without actually doing anything other than reading a line on social media about it. Without actually doing the work.

Nothing forbids you to feel inspired by these phrases as long as you remember that they’re sentences someone else wrote.

To motivate your team and keep your employees happy, empathy, companionship, and a sense of responsibility work. Being a human leader is essential when you’re leading a team.

Embody these phrases because motivation can be built by creating habits and promoting teamwork.

Motivation is not a one-quote kind of situation, that only keeps you going for a short amount of time.

It’s a temporary fix, a bandaid on a wound that needs sutures. Motivating someone with words is something that needs to be built and maintained.


Teams become more involved in their goals when they are fully aware their ideas and opinions are welcome and, most of all, heard.

We can argue that monetary or physical benefits are great motivators, but words also matter.

An excellent motivator is showing appreciation and not using pre-made, cold, and empty motivational sentences. Mean what you say as a leader.

Your words can have a long-lasting effect that will accompany people throughout their careers and inspire their performances.

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