How to keep your staff motivated and hungry

As trade business owners, we would like to believe that paying our tradies a fair and decent hourly rate in itself should be enough motivation for them to come to work each day and put in 200%.

The reality is, however, just earning a decent living isn’t enough anymore to keep your staff motivated and hungry. In 2021 you also need to have a strong incentives program with clear goals for your team to hit to keep their motivation levels up. 

 According to, one of the leading job search platforms; 

“The incentive theory of motivation is a behavioural theory that suggests people are motivated by a drive for incentives and reinforcement. The incentive theory also proposes that people behave in a way they believe will result in a reward.”

If you currently don’t set ANY weekly goals for your team, or share incentives to do a great job, it’s likely that your staff are cruising along and aren’t generating big dollars for your business. So let’s fix that in three easy steps; 

STEP1: Set clear goals 

The five most common elements to track weekly per tradie are: Total number of jobs actioned, total invoiced out,  average dollar sale, upsells and call backs. 

STEP 2: Set clear incentives for each 

One example is, for every upsell, the Tradie receives $10. Over a week, that could quickly rack up a $50 bonus or $100 fortnightly. This is minimal in terms of a business cost for the owner, as the upsell likely turned a much higher profit. 

STEP 3: Rank your tradies

Like a competition ranking, let your staff know who is consistently smashing their goals and who needs to push harder. Most tradies love a punt, and one-upping each other, so this is a great way to get your staff to motivate each other to be “the winner”.

With so many other trade businesses out there, saying the grass is greener on their side….

not only do you need to motivate your tradies but also ensure your retention and workplace happiness rates are sky-high. 

The most effective way to do this is through recognition and training. 

Take the tradie that’s constantly topping your staff leaderboard, and team him up with the tradie who is consistently underperforming. It might be the tradie coming last is greener and just needs to boost his confidence and have some additional one-on-one training sessions. Then, once they start to succeed, share the love and publicly recognise their hard work and congratulate them on their achievements. 


Not all incentives have to be cash; some of the most rewarding motivational tools are free, like job security, title promotions, professional development, and increased responsibilities. 

So, take these three steps and consider how much MORE your tradies could be earning for your business if they had a little fire under them and a push to succeed! 

Scan the QR code below and download our Staff Performance Dashboard; it’s got everything you need to start your incentives and goal-setting program!