10 Amazing Ways to Motivate Your Team

10 Amazing Ways to Motivate Your Team

May 14, 2022

Keeping staff engaged and motivated can seem like an endless task. Just when you think you have your team on track, something always goes off the rails. The best way to support long-term motivation is to ensure that engagement principles are cultivated and embedded in the service’s policies and practices.

It is critical that leaders create environments that are motivating, inspiring, and challenging for Educators. If Educators become disengaged through poor management, you run the risk of losing your best staff.

Great services provide Educators with a sense of purpose, an opportunity to learn and grow, the resources to collaborate and the encouragement to celebrate strengths.

Here are 10 experiences to build capabilities and keep your staff engaged.

Backyard Blitz

Skills: Sustanability, Creativity, Learning Environments, Team Work.

Backyard blitz

Break your staff up into teams. Each team gets a $50 budget to spend at Bunnings. The weeklong challenge …to create the best indoor learning environment based on sustainability! The winning team gets to choose a visit from either a juice truck, ice cream truck or coffee cart to the centre. Everyone shares in the prize.

Check Your Skills Week

Skills: First Aid, Emergency Response, Team Work.
Idea 1. Wrap a pen in a piece of paper with ‘syringe’ written on it. Leave it in the outdoor area and see how well your educators do their backyard checks!
Idea 2. Create a fake emergency and see how your team reacts.
Idea 3. Test first aid skills by writing symptoms on a doll and placing it in the babies’ room.
Idea 4. Throw a plastic snake in the backyard. See if your Educators know what to do!
The week is about celebrating success; prizes, vouchers and rewards, all add to the fun.

Eye Spy Quality Interactions

Skills: Supervision, Learning Expereinces, Interaction, Intentional Teaching.

Eye Spy Quality Interactions

Grab a Go-Pro or digital camera and set it to take images of the outdoor area every 30 seconds. Print the images or bring them up on a screen and get educators to review the images and discuss where they see quality interactions or missed opportunities. Create an amazing discussion about how you can create quality interactions in the outdoor area.

Nappy Changing Olympics

Skills: Nappy Changing, Procedures, Policies.

Nappy Changing Olympics

Need to review your nappy changing procedure? Create nappy changing ‘events’ with dolls and challenge each educator to enter. Ideas include the one-handed nappy change, the time trialnappy change, most interactive nappy change or blind-folded nappy change. What alternatives can you think of? Use the experience to discuss and review the nappy changing procedure.

Gratitude Week

Skills: Appreciative Feedback, Relationship Building, Gratitude, Team Work.

Gratitude Week

At the beginning of the week, everyone is allocated a member of staff. Each staff member is tasked with doing something nice for that person during the week whilst remaining anonymous. Flowers, hugs, thank-you notes, the possibilities are endless! Devious types might want to throw in red herrings by doing something overtly nice to someone who isn’t their chosen beneficiary.

Family Matters

Skills: Parents Names, Relationships, Belonging, Team Work.
Ask Educators to remember the names and interests of the families. Now it’s time to hold your quiz night. Split the service into room groups. Randomly select a child’s name from each room. If the Educator can identify parent one’s name, they receive a prize from prize level one. If they can name both parents, they receive a prize from level two. If they can correctly identify both parents and the interest listed they receive a prize from level three. There will be laughing, joking, cheating and usually, throwing of food.

House Swap

Skills: Appreciative Feedback, Strength Spotting, Empathy.

House Swap

This is a great experience for cross skilling educators and celebrating strengths. In this experience, you allocate an educator to another room. They spend the day in that room and their only task is to list 10 amazing things they’ve observed during the day. They present the list to the room Educators at the conclusion of the day. PS. This is a great way of building inter-room relationships.

Mystery box

Skills: Learning Expereinces, Sustainability, Team Work, Age Appropriate Activities.

Sustainability Mystery box

Everyone loves a competition! Deliver the same sustainable resources to each room. They have 2 weeks to build the most interactive, age appropriate, learning experience with the children, using exclusively, the resources provided. The competition can be judged by your sustainability committee and the winning team can win a voucher for their room.

Allergy Celebrity Head

Skills: Allergies, Medical Response, Relationships.

Allergy Celebrity Head

Allergies can be serious, but the learning process doesn’t have to be. In this experience, an educator has a child’s name tacked above their head. Asking only allergy related questions to the team, the educator has to guess which child they have been assigned.


Skills: Children Relationships, Belonging, Family Connections.


Take your documentation to the next level. Film an interaction between a group of children. Place your Educators in inter-room teams, email the recording to each group. Have each team discuss, investigate and document the learning that has taken place in the video. In a staff meeting, you might like to have each team present their findings.

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You’ll learn:

  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Delegation
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  • And Resolving conflict

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  1. Kim
    May 16, 2022

    I love these ideas!! Some really great ideas to challenge and motivate our staff. Thank you.

    Reply Reply
  2. Kathryn
    May 18, 2022

    Some really great ideas but I wasn't able to read all - some didn't fit into the box and for some reason I could not scroll

    Reply Reply
  3. Natasha Noronha
    December 12, 2022

    I love these ideas and will use them to build competency and advocate towards building a stronger sense of belonging within my team.

    Reply Reply

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