Today’s businesses are navigating a new frontier with the rise of remote work, inclusion efforts, and managing the aftermath of The Great Resignation. As a result, leaders in organizations of all shapes and sizes are trying to find innovative ways to motivate leaders to tackle the job at hand. A company’s future leaders are earning their place by staying loyal to the organization and performing at a high level. But how can leaders reward excellent performance while also motivating future leaders to keep up the excellent work?

Sure, you can hand out regular bonuses or employee of the month plaques to say “thank you” or “great job,” but your organization needs a sustainable motivation system that goes beyond monetary awards or physical accolades. Training leaders can help by making sure that leaders know how to show employees a clear pathway to success. After all, future leaders want to work for organizations that are invested in their career development and growth, in addition to having an authentic, purposeful company mission and positive work environment.

It’s no secret that leadership isn’t easy, but employers can retain their top performers for years to come with the right motivational tools and tactics, ultimately leading them into management positions themselves.

Here are five ways to motivate future leaders and prepare your organization for the future:

1. Show passion for your organization and its mission.

A brand’s consumers and employees want to support an organization with a mission everyone is excited about. The important thing to remember is that passion trickles from the top down. To inspire future leaders to do their best work for you and your customers or clients, you as a training leader must champion your organization’s mission and purpose, and encourage leaders in other departments to do the same. Employees who are excited about their work go above and beyond their daily tasks to push your company to the next level.

2. Live your organization’s core values.

An organization’s core values are tenets that each employee lives by. Employee performance can be measured by how their work aligns with specific core values that everyone supports. For example, if one of your core values is providing excellent service, then each employee should work by that value. If an employee performs at a lower standard, their performance should be addressed accordingly. Future leaders will evaluate organizational authenticity based on how well employees align with core values, so practicing what you preach is important.

3. Invest in future leaders’ ongoing development.

On top of meeting salary expectations, paid time off and other essential benefits, future leaders are also prioritizing companies that invest in their ongoing development. If your leaders are working full-time and are pursuing educational opportunities to enhance their skills for their respective roles, does your company reimburse them? Tuition reimbursement, continuing education opportunities and sponsored professional association memberships are just a few ways you can inspire future leaders to be their best.

4. Take some time out of the office.


When teams need a change of scenery or need to collaborate before a big project, a fun way to motivate current and future leaders includes hosting a company off-site or retreat. This provides opportunities for your teams to get to know one another outside of the office or beyond the home computer. The time away from the traditional workspace could foster creativity and engage future leaders in new ways.


5. Offer Encouragement and Recognition Frequently. 

The occasional “good job” goes a long way, especially when your leaders and teams have just finished a tough project or met a strict deadline. You can provide positive reinforcement at company all hands meetings with specific call-outs to recognize outstanding work. Also, if your organization generates a weekly or monthly newsletter, you can highlight a leader’s accomplishment in the publication and motivate other employees with their example.


Future leaders need motivation now more than ever before, so it’s important for organizations to brainstorm ways to keep them engaged and excited. The important thing to remember is that motivation stems from more than just money or benefits; it requires authenticity and creativity, which learning leaders can help support through training and development initiatives.

By finding unique ways to show high-performing talent that their work matters and that their development is supported, leaders can shape the next generation of leaders and set their organizations up for lasting success.