Everyone gets demotivated from time to time - it happens to the best of us, no matter how sunny or positive our usual outlook. After all, we're only human. It's all well and good being able to handle your own "blips", but what if you're a manager of a team suffering from the same lack of morale or motivation?

Both negativity and positivity are contagious, they can spread through a team like wildfire. Ever noticed that if one person starts complaining and being "down" all the time, one or more of the team will follow? The same goes for the person who can walk into a room, fire a team up and have them raring to go - so here are some ways in which you can make that person you.

1. Break difficult tasks into small chunks

Despite being often told to think of the bigger picture during a project, it can also cause a lack of confidence or make an employee feel daunted if they consider a mammoth task they have in front of them.

Let's say that you had to save a hundred thousand pounds a year on costs - the first thought is that it's impossible, too difficult, and will cause other areas of the business to suffer. This would undoubtedly cause demotivation - thinking a task is arduous, difficult or impossible is apt to make anyone feel sour about the job in hand.

However, put a different spin on it and break the task into smaller ones, and it may become more manageable. For example, you could analyse how much recycling the office did, how much was spent on unnecessary things such as luxury plants for the foyer, having people travel standard class instead of first, and so on. By breaking things down - in this case into environmental and travel concerns, it makes it much easier to swallow, and to achieve.

2. Motivate with rewards that don't hurt the business

When people think of a "reward" for their work, they may think bonuses or pay rises. Sometimes - and especially in a difficult economic climate - most businesses just can't afford these kinds of rewards for their staff. The key is to change them rather than take them away from your team. If someone's been working particularly hard, give them a longer lunch break, or have cakes brought in from the local bakery for the team to share. This may seem a small gesture but it can mean so much more to people (not least because of the fact they are getting recognition in front of others) instead of a few extra numbers in the bank account. This in turn motivates the team as they want to be the one to receive such special, personal treatment.

3. The best rewards can be business related

Similar to the last point, if you really want to reward an outstanding employee - and motivate their colleagues - the best rewards are such things as promotions, more responsibility or an extra role. Many people feel fine about their pay packet whilst feeling less good about their job satisfaction. To move on in one's career can sometimes be a deciding factor in how happy and motivated they are. For example, many of us have heard of people taking a step back to a more junior role so they can advance in a different path that is more pleasurable to them, and they take the smaller salary that comes with it.

4. Avoid trying to motivate by using negativity

This is a classic mistake, possibly a hangover from our school days. Making examples of people in order to motivate (read: scare!) your employees hardly ever works and will eventually cause them to harbour resentment or leave. Being scathing to someone about doing a task wrong will not motivate them to do it right. It may scare or intimidate them into putting the hours in, which on the face of it, may look like a result for you - but motivation has to come from the individual and their feelings towards the task, not from you taking their choice away from them.

These are just some of the ways you can motivate a team - in a nutshell, remember the small details and the bigger ones will very often take care of themselves with a motivated team and leader at the helm.