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Top 4 ways that team leaders can motivate and engage employees

From small- and medium-sized family businesses to large corporations, there are more than 4,000 food processing businesses in Ontario, employing more than 120,000 people.
Businesses in the industry should not only aim to hire the best talent but also ensure that their current employees are motivated and engaged. According to Food Processing Skills Canada, 7 in 10 employers face retention challenges (67%), and most describe the problem as persistent and on-going. Team motivation can help increase employee retention and inspire long-term loyalty from employees.
In this article, we share our top tips for employers to keep teams motivated and engaged:

Encouraging employee autonomy

Months into the Covid-19 pandemic, employers started looking for new methods to motivate teams. Increasing employee autonomy is one way to keep employees engaged and motivated. To inspire autonomy, Harvard Business Review recommends encouraging participation, avoiding controlling language and being clear about the “why” behind the task that employees are given.

Creating motivation through a coaching culture

Creating a culture that fosters personal growth will help employers avoid low team productivity and increased turnover rates. The Great Place to Work website suggests developing a training system in which more experienced staff mentor and coach junior team members– helping to create a culture where employees learn and grow together.

Welcoming feedback to encourage engagement

To create a better everyday experience for employees, team leaders should ask for, and welcome feedback. Embracing a feedback-based culture will improve team dynamics and make employees feel heard by management. Claude Werder, Senior Vice President and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group shares that active listening, thanking the employee for their feedback and implementing what has been learned, are important steps to boosting team motivation.

Recognize and reward employees with “thank you”

Simple phrases like “thank you,” “please,” and “you’re doing an excellent job” are powerful tools that keep employees engaged and motivated. Even the most mundane and routine tasks will become more enjoyable when employees hear words of encouragement from their manager or supervisor. Providing employees with positive reinforcement makes them feel valued.


Find more tips on how to motivate your team at The Balance careers.


It is just as important to keep teams motivated and engaged as it is to hire the right people in the first place. By following these simple guidelines, employers in the food and beverage processing sector can reduce employee turnover and inspire long-term loyalty. Employers planning to expand their teams can find trained, reliable candidates by signing up for CareersNOW! For Business.

Get ready for your future in food!

Over the next several months, Food and Beverage Ontario will be providing free career mentorship and virtual career fairs through our partners, FoodGrads and Food Processing Skills Canada. Tell us you’re interested by filling in the form.

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