Most managers and leaders out there have had a period of dilemma while trying to keep their teams happy and motivated.
If you’re a manager, you’re very likely to have faced the scenario below at some point in your work:
You’ve put together a talented team of professionals, and are just waiting to assign each of them roles that perfectly match their skills sets. You’ve also carefully considered a great attitude, experience and background and a track record of success during the hiring process.
All seems set to get your business on the right trajectory and shoot it up to the next level.
A couple of months later and your new team is buzzing with fresh ideas and energy. It’s working out perfectly just as you’ve envisioned.
But lately… you sense something’s changed.
It appears your team members are just okay going through the motions. Work is now perfunctory; the general attitude is placid; disinterest pervades the air.
They no longer genuinely share your big vision for the business. Most are hitting a plateau with their performance. Hard work and creativity are fast giving way to sloppiness and complacency.
What makes it even more frustrating is that you realise the amazing potentials of your team. You know because you’ve seen each person at their best. At that moment, a cold truth dawns on you: The spark is gone!
But wait a sec… There’s something more… The real problem, if you like. Something that, technically, has to do with you.
And it is that leadership and motivation are fast fading, and that – to be honest – is your fault as the manager.
That’s bad news, yes. It’s frustrating. But there’s also good news: You can fix the problem!
Why does employee engagement matter, anyway?
If most members of your team are no longer passionate about their job, have lost their enthusiasm going to work, and don’t feel connected to their roles any longer, you may be facing an employee engagement gap. And this can be a serious problem.
A disengaged team member can have a significantly negative impact on output, customer service and retention. And the effect can be rippling too.
Team members of a business are its most important asset and resource. The business depends on their skills to function and offer value to the target market. It is why it is important that your team members regularly feel motivated and connected to your business.
A skilled and experienced team will get a lot done and boost your business profile. But add motivation and engagement to the mix and your team can achieve almost anything they set your minds to.
No single individual – no matter how skilled or talented – can know everything or do everything necessary to make a business succeed.
Attributes of a happy and motivated team
Every manager wants to work with a happy and motivated team. But how do you keep your staff motivated? Especially these days when long hours and piles of work to do have become the norm, there are things you can do to ensure you have a happy, motivated and connected team.
First, let’s look at the signs a leader or manager is getting it right with his team.
- A motivated team has a supportive leader
For every happy and motivated team, there’s a supportive leader who inspires and leads the way. On the reverse, an aloof manager or micromanager will not achieve much with his/her staff.
People love and follow leaders who are motivated themselves and are always ready to roll up their sleeves and dig in with the rest of the team whenever necessary. They want to know their manager is someone they can rely on when things get tough.
- A motivated team has an inclusive culture
One key feature of a motivated team is a relaxed and flexible work environment where people are unafraid to make suggestions, ask questions and debate healthily before general decisions are taken.
With the right business culture, communication will be honest and free. Target to build a team where ideas are welcomed, a common vision is shared and respect is mutual.
- A motivated team has opportunities for learning
Employees love it when the company provides them with opportunities to learn and develop. It makes them feel valued, which, in turn, makes them happy, motivated, innovative, creative, and productive.
They are energized when they realise they’re making it professionally and not stagnating. As much as possible, provide platforms and an environment for this.
- A motivated team has up-to-date tools that work well
Poor and outdated tools will get your workers stressed and frustrated, and result in substandard work.
Equip your staff with advanced tools and short courses that help them work efficiently and produce their best results.
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.