How to Motivate a Diverse Team

Individuals in today’s workforce come from different backgrounds, different places, and speak different languages. They also have different personalities, characteristics, behaviors, and cultures. With so many differences in the workplace, managers need to utilize a variety of different methods to keep employees engaged and motivated, because what works for one, may not work for all. Finding ways to motivate employees will lead to higher output and greater job satisfaction. Therefore, you must take age, personality, race, gender, and cultural background into consideration when seeking ways to motivate. So, how can managers engage their diverse work teams so that everyone benefits? Here are a few tips for doing just that. 

Understand Your Team

Motivating a diverse workforce starts with getting to know your employees and what matters to them. Managers need to take the time to get to know each individual on their team and what motivates them.Then, they can create an environment that stimulates, rewards, and encourages all team members in ways that are most meaningful to them. 

Create Rewards

Creating a recognition system is a great way to engage and inspire employees. It could be small things like causal days or gift cards, or bigger things like bonus and additional paid time off. Even little things like providing snacks or lunch throughout the week can help motivate employees and remind them that you appreciate them. However, tailoring the rewards to meet the unique needs of your employees is an important part of the process. You want to choose rewards that are meaningful and resonate with your employees. For example, if you have mothers of young children on your team, they may appreciate having extra flex time in the mornings. For employees who might be saving for a vacation, monetary rewards might be more beneficial. The main goal is to look for rewards that create the most value for each individual employee. 

Have Some Fun

Having fun at work has always been a great motivator. Consider the demographics of your employees and look for fun activities that they would enjoy. Perhaps you could install a ping-pong table for a younger demographic, engage in a fantasy football league for your sports enthused employees, or attend a live theater performance for those who enjoy the arts. All of these activities are great ways to get employees interacting with one another and building camaraderie. 

Ask for Their Opinion

If you want to know more about what will motivate your employees, ask them! Not only will this give you valuable insight into what matters most to them, but it also shows that you care and value their opinion. Opening up the floor to discussion and simply asking employees for their input allows them to contribute and feel like a vital part of the team.


If you are interested in learning more, contact us today at 1-800-501-1245 to request information about training courses from the Management Training Institute as well as other corporate training programs offered through our parent company Bold New Directions.