Do you want to know how to motivate your team?
The success of any business depends on people, and the effectiveness of the people depends on their managers. Managers don’t just manage and control all the work that has to be done, but they also motivate the staff to get the best out of them.
Motivated employees will be more effective at their jobs and will “go the extra mile” for your company. Motivated employees will also be good team players and good teamwork is essential for any successful business.
It is never enough to have good business processes and procedures in place. For a chance of building a successful business, employees need to be well-motivated and work well together.
But just what are the best ways of encouraging and motivating people? There has been plenty of debate over the years and traditionally a carrot-and-stick approach would have been used. More recently though, it has been recognised that if you want people to be innovative and creative then the fear of “punishment” just won’t get the best out of people.
There’s a great book by Daniel Pink called “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” which suggests that the best way to motivate people is to enable then to develop to their full potential.
Here are some tips on how to motivate your team:
If, as a manager, you can identify your people’s individual strengths, then you are well on your way to motivating them. Give your employees tasks they are good at so they can enjoy their work and will have a better chance at succeeding.
Don’t shy away from highlighting weaknesses in individuals or in the team as a whole because acknowledging these weaknesses is the first step to rectifying them. Just make sure your methods are motivational.
For instance, someone has a lack of knowledge and experience in a particular area but a good training course can easily put this right at minimal cost and leave you with a much more motivated and enthusiastic team member.
Always have honest and open discussions with everyone. Some conversations may, obviously, not be appropriate for a large group so it will be necessary to talk to individuals alone.
Don’t just do this once or twice a year at appraisal time. Find time in your schedule to talk more often to the whole group and to each individual. After all, their motivation and effectiveness at their job will reflect on you.
Support and Encourage
Develop a fully motivated team by supporting and encouraging, praising when a job is done well, and offering constructive criticism (and training if necessary) when work does not meet the required standards. Promote open discussions about how working practices could be improved, encourage a flow of ideas about how to tackle problems and make full use of opportunities that arise.
Set Clear Expectations
It is critical that your team members understand what is expected of them. Otherwise, they cannot deliver what is required, no matter how capable they are.
So when assigning tasks, be absolutely clear about timelines and the quality of work that is expected. People are not mind-readers so you must be explicit in your instructions. And when people know what is expected, they can deliver and that in turn motivates them to continue to do a good job.
There are a few major organisations that allow their employees a high level of freedom in what they work on, where and when – believing they will be motivated to succeed doing something they enjoy. And it works for some types of creative roles but isn’t suitable for every business.
Many businesses need structure because they have regular deadlines to meet for their day-to-day activities. In such businesses, a lack of structure could simply lead to chaos so be absolutely clear when setting expectations.
That doesn’t mean some people can’t occasionally work from home or start and finish early to avoid a tiresome commute. Just make sure it doesn’t cause resentment in other team members because clearly resentment is not conducive to a motivated team.
In a nutshell, motivation is all about helping people develop professionally so they can achieve their full potential in a working environment that has clear expectations.
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Author: Michelle Symonds
Digital Marketing Consultant helping small businesses attract and engage more customers and grow their online reputation through content creation and social media.