What practical ways can you motivate your team to feel connected to the business and always give their best?
Here are guidelines guaranteed to achieve results.
1. Pay staff what they’re worth
You know the industry standard in your area and what other companies pay professionals with the qualification, skill set and experience you’ve hired. Make sure what you pay them is consistent with these rates.
According to research, 26% of employees would migrate to a rival company if they’re offered just a 5% increase in earning. Don’t lose your top talents because you’re underpaying them.
2. Provide them with a pleasant place to work
Everyone loves a clean, stimulating and organised workspace. It keeps people in the right state of mind and it shows in the productivity level. Creating and maintaining a pleasant and attractive office shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg if you’re committed to it.
3. Offer staff opportunities to grow professionally
When you help your team members improve their professional skills, they’ll be more valuable to your organisation and to themselves.
Give them necessary professional training, equip them with the latest technologies and industry knowledge, and provide them with opportunities to learn new ideas and advance in their careers.
4. Set clear goals
Staff need to be clear on what is the company’s immediate and long term goals and their own roles in help drive towards the objectives. They need to see the destination and understand the point the organisation is in that journey towards the vision.
A good leader will not only outline clear, specific goals for the business but will also involve his/her team members and align the goals with their professional objectives.
Everyone needs to understand their roles as individuals and as a team, as well as their relative priority, in reaching those goals.
5. Build team unity
According to one HR study, 39% of workers don’t think their ideas are valued. You need to let every member of the team know that their inputs are valued equally and encourage them to share their thoughts on how to improve a work process, product or service.
Make sure not to shush anyone’s suggestion, whether directly or indirectly. Listen, ask questions, and whenever necessary, execute the provided solutions.
6. Focus on the WHY
People tend to respond better when they understand why an instruction is given or a decision is taken. Rather than just inform people about a meeting or request them to do a job and assume they’d figure out why, give them the courtesy of briefly explaining the ‘WHY’ of the communication.
The next time you’re inviting team members to an impromptu meeting, for example, instead of simply telling them about a meeting at XX hours, how about modifying the memo like this:
“Please let’s meet up for a quick Skype group chat by 10 am. We need to finalize on the last bits of the March project and share ideas on improving performance and delivery time with the April project. This will help our company make a bigger impression on prospective clients and win us a greater share of the market.”
People will buy into a communication much more when you take the time to explain the reason behind it.
7. Champion Friendly Competition
Creating competition in a team is not good. But setting up a friendly competition is great. Emphasis: ‘Friendly.’
A small, occasional, friendly competition can lift up spirits and motivate a team – but make sure it never gets out of hand; otherwise, you’ll trigger conflicts, deflate morale and teamwork. The secret is to keep the contest fun and pleasant.
The goal is not to create competition in the team, but to improve individual performance and encourage an attitude of teamwork.
Here are two helpful tips: Reward teams, not individuals. Also, put a system of checks and balance in place.
8. Recognize a job well done
Is a worker motivated when their extra effort is recognized and they’re commended or rewarded? Yes, it does. It really does.
Some companies may not be keen about incorporating these recommendations in their HR policies, but recognizing and rewarding performing team members makes them feel more connected to the organisation.
This is a critical piece of employee engagement and satisfies an employee’s basic need for esteem and being a part of a structure.
9. Don’t pit employees against one another
As articulated earlier, championing a friendly competition can serve as an effective motivator for your team.
However, things may start to head south when the competition loses its ‘friendly’ shade and turns fierce with individuals and groups or units pushing their self interests.
One way of managing that fatal possibility is to celebrate success as a team. Make sure not to focus attention on one or a few star performers. Instead, highlight the support roles others have played to enable those outstanding outputs.
10. Don’t micromanage
Here’s one 100% truth: No one likes to be micromanaged, and workers don’t like managers who try to micromanage them.
When you’ve assigned a task to a team member, except for occasional guides and clarifications, don’t hover over them like a hawk in the sky preparing to swoop on a prey on the ground.
Most workers would rather take on a tough and boring task than sit beside a micromanaging boss.
No one likes someone constantly looking over their shoulder and trying to second-guess their every move. People value freedom. They want to feel in control of their time and energy, so creating a suffocating work process is a quick way to shoot down your team’s motivation.
Also, letting your team members have autonomy with their work tells them you are confident in their ability and trust them to produce great results. This will go a long towards building trust and a connection between a manager and his team. And this is one of the hallmarks of highly engaged organisations.
Set out the objectives and guidelines for your team and trust them to find their way towards achieving the end goals.
11. Skip fruitless meetings
Despite the importance attached to them in most organisations, meetings can be an awful waste of time. On average, companies spend about 10 hours on useless meetings every single week!
But here’s a smarter way: Set an agenda for a meeting beforehand and share it so everyone is aware of the items on the agenda and come well prepared. Also, ensure to invite only people who really need to attend and keep to the stated start and end time.
12. Boost team spirit with matching swag
Do you know why sports teams fascinate us and fans get connected to them? Because they thrill us with their performance and bring glory to the country, region or the club we love.
Very true. But there’s something more you’ve probably glossed over.
Matching uniforms inspire and symbolize a sense of unity, identity and cooperation. And this explains why fans buy the jerseys and mementoes of their favourite clubs or national football teams. It reminds them of a bond and common goal with the players on the field.
Bring this aura into your team to keep them happy, motivated and make them feel a stronger sense of solidarity.
Giving out a matching wearable swag to be worn on specific days or team events will make employees feel and act more like a team.
It will ingrain in them an enhanced desire to “win” at work – just like football team players do on the green pitch. And that’s exactly your goal as a leader and manager.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy on how to keep a work team happy and motivated, using all or some of the suggestions mentioned above will certainly yield some positive results.
Try them with your team. Maybe start with a few, easy-to-use techniques and see how they impact on your organisation.
Kelvin Keshi is the CEO of Media Inspired NG in Nigeria. He is an experienced SEO writer and brand strategist who’s worked on a number of projects for clients in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.