Keeping your team motivated can be hard work. When you’re busy, it can be easy to forget to give your team the little motivational pushes they need.
Here are 5 ways you can factor team motivation into your management processes for maximum productivity...
Demonstrate that you care about employees’ career progression
Of course you want your employees to feel happy and valued at work, but if you really want them to be motivated, you need to give them a reason to be.
Victor Lipman, who spent 24 years in management for a Fortune 500 company and now writes about management for Forbes, believes that taking a genuine interest in your employee’s careers, will motivate them to grow and progress within your company...
“It does wonders for an employee’s attitude to believe that a manager really cares about where his or her career is headed. Mentoring, coaching, suggesting additional training or coursework - all of these can be helpful to employees, and highly valued.”
Try previews as well as reviews
You probably already hold regular employee reviews to help your team stay on track and show them how to progress.
Leadership writer, Chester Elton, suggests holding ‘previews’ over the quiet summer period to motivate employees between reviews...
“Summer is a great time to conduct what we call “previews”—not a formal review but a chance to sit down with your direct reports and evaluate progress toward their goals and, more importantly for them, what their career ambitions are and what you can do to help achieve those goals. These don't need to take place in a formal work environment either. Take them out to lunch or hit a bucket of balls while chatting.”
Personalise rewards so people actually want them
Most companies offer rewards for hard work - bonuses, extra holiday days, pay rises or even just an all expenses meal at the end of a big project - but do you know how this affects motivation on an individual level?
Sean Conrad, Human Capital Strategist and senior product analyst at Halogen Software, believes in offering rewards that hold value for individual employees...
“We all have different needs at different stages of our lives; and we all have different tastes. Have a conversation about what’s important to each of your employees, make notes, then use that information to deliver praise and recognition that hits the mark.”
Your employees want to feel that they’re achieving great things in their work. If your team don’t feel like they’re making progress, they’re likely to become demotivated, disengaged and highly unproductive.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School, believes, as a manager, you need to help your team to understand the meaning of their work...
“Emphasize the positive impact of the work they do. Clarity about how your products or services can improve the world provides guideposts for employees’ priorities and decisions. As part of the daily conversation, mission and purpose can make even mundane tasks a means to a larger end.”
Finally, remember that everyone on your team is different and you need to respect that. Some people will work best under pressure and some will crack. Some will be motivated by money, others by praise. Some work best in a team and some just need to be left alone to get on with it.
Dave Lavinsky, Co-Founder of Growthink, believes understanding your team as individuals is key to their motivation...
“Great leaders let the employees they’re managing dictate the management approaches they use. Some employees may need or desire more handholding and coaching, whereas others will want or require less. It’s important to think about each key employee and determine the best way to lead him or her.”
**How do you motivate your team? **