Thursday 8th of April 2021

6 Simple steps to keep your staff motivated

  • Do you have a high turnover of staff on your yard or in your equestrian business?

  • Is it costing you valuable time and money?

  • Not sure where you’re going wrong or what to do about it?


If so, read on!

sarah huntleyRecruitment of quality staff is not the only challenge employers are facing in the equestrian industry. Once you have found a great employee, the next challenge is how to keep them motivated and engaged in the workplace. Sarah Huntley, from Equine Elite, has put together 6 inspiring recommendations to ensure a happy team, which will often result in a decreased staff turnover – saving you time, money and energy constantly recruiting and training new employees.


Many of the following recommendations might sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised the number of clients who get in touch with Sarah with staffing problems who neglect to follow them. Implement some of these methods, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving the ‘Holy Grail’ of the workplace – the ability to motivate your employees to move mountains (and be happy in their jobs while they do it!)


  1. Don’t just motivate your staff: inspire them!

As the team leader, all eyes are on you. Your actions and attitude will determine how hard your team will work for you. General apathy and lack of motivation in an employee is a minor problem, when it’s in a team leader, it can be catastrophic. Part of your role as a team leader is to start each day with energy and passion, inspiring your employees to do the same. Remember, attitudes are contagious. Do you have the kind that will inspire your team to start each day excited to face new challenges head on?

  1. Effective and regular communication 

Perhaps the most important part of a good leader’s job is communicating effectively. Training sessions and regular meetings can all be used to maintain effective communication with your employees. Team leaders need to ensure (however busy they feel they are) that they communicate regularly and effectively with all members of their team using a variety of means. Keep your staff up to speed with the day-to-day plans, any changes to the normal routine as well as your long and short team goals. Make your staff feel valued and important by sharing your vision with them.

  1. A team is only as strong as it’s players

Would you prefer a staff of worker bees or a team of self-motivated, goal orientated leaders? When I have run yards in the past, I would always choose the latter. While initially that choice might seem harder to manage – you need to encourage each of your employees to have the opportunity to become self-motivated and use their initiative for them to become effective workers.

Encourage your staff to think for themselves, and provide them with the confidence to do so. When employees come to you with an idea or a solution to a problem – it’s a sign they care. Supporting new ideas and giving the staff member the opportunity to try the idea out (whether it works out in the end or not) is hugely motivating. To employees, it’s empowering and elevates the value of their work.

  1. Create attainable goals

As many of you are professional sportspeople, you know and value the importance of effective goal setting. The same applies to your staff. Make sure goal setting is a joint process and goals set are both challenging and attainable. Set both long and short-term goals for your team and encourage your employees to learn new skills and improve current skills. Having an idea of what lies ahead is the ultimate motivation. Employees who have a clear career path set out for them can work towards set goal, which often will lead to increased commitment to their current employer.

  1. Show your appreciation 

Sometimes, a simple ‘thank you’ can be enough – but sometimes it’s not. Be inventive with your praise – always be thinking about new ways to show your staff you appreciate them. An effective leader needs a range of rewards available. Although easy to implement, often a financial bonus is not the most motivating reward. Highlight achievements or milestones in staff meetings. Words are powerful and praise can make a massive difference to an employee’s sense of self-worth and well-being.


One of the simplest, easiest but commonly neglected elements of people management. Taking some time (even a few minutes) out of each day to listen to your employees will make them happy. Be interested in them – both their life in and out of work. In addition, it will provide you with much-needed and valuable insight on your business from the people who help keep it running.

So there you have it! Six tried and tested methods commonly used to keep your team of staff motivated and engaged. Make your yard or facility such a good place to work; your team won’t ever want to leave!

Want to talk to us further about the topics in this article and how we can help you? Experienced yard manager and HR professional Sarah offers a personal consultancy service to a very limited number of clients – which can help you with the effective running of your yard. Call 07907 794196 or email for more information.

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