Motivating Managers

Improving Morale and Engagement

Motivating Managers

Find out how to "motivate upwards."

© iStockphoto/parasoley

You're probably familiar and comfortable with the idea of motivating people in your team. But have you ever considered that your own boss may need some motivation to help you and your team to reach your objectives?

The experience of working for an unmotivated manager is probably unfamiliar to many professionals, but it's not that uncommon. For example, your manager may need motivation to complete undesirable tasks that you need her to do so that you can function effectively in your role.

Or your boss might focus on his favorite projects, while not providing you with the support and inspiration that you need to make your own projects a success. Perhaps you even have a manager who's become "comfortable" in her role, and isn't driving you and her team forward as she used to when she started out in the organization.

Keeping managers motivated is extremely important to the health and spirit of an entire organization, and managers who aren't motivated – or who are "burned out" from too much stress – can have low productivity. This clearly then has a knock-on effect on overall team productivity and morale. Unmotivated managers may even hold back the careers of those who work under them, including you!

If your manager needs to be motivated, can you always rely on their own managers to motivate them? Or are there ways that you can you get your manager to re-engage? This article looks at strategies that you can use to motivate and energize your manager, without overstepping your bounds or causing offense.


Before you look at strategies for motivating your boss, make sure that he or she is aware of your concerns and any issues that you have. Sometimes, the problem could be a lack of knowledge about the issues, rather than a lack of motivation or interest.

Connecting With Unmotivated Managers

To motivate your boss, you need to know...

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