Summary: Learning how to motivate your team isn’t always easy, but these methods will give you several different ways of inspiring your employees to do more.
Getting your team motivated to achieve better results isn’t always easy. However, since your employees are your biggest resource, it’s important to know how to encourage and inspire them to go beyond what they’re doing. Fortunately, motivating your employees is actually easier than you may think, and it often costs you nothing. In fact, some of the ways to motivate your team will also improve other parts of your business. Here are some of these motivational methods.
Have Clear Goals
It’s hard to motivate anyone if it’s not clear what they’re supposed to be motivated to do. By setting clear goals and having a vision of where your business is going, it’s much easier for employees to see what they’re working towards. If your goals are also measurable, they will be able to see what progress they’re making, which can serve as a way of motivation, too. Rather than saying you want to bring in more clients this year, state that you’d like to grow your customer base by 20 percent. When you hit that number, your team can celebrate a job well done. They may even be motivated to blow past that goal, too.
Recognize Your Employees
When someone goes above and beyond, make sure they’re recognized in some way. This doesn’t always mean a company-wide awards ceremony, but you should certainly think about doing that once or twice a year. Sometimes, simply telling someone they’ve done a great job is all it takes. Recognition does more than just motivate people—it helps create a bond between you and your team. It also makes your employees feel more appreciated and accepted at work. People have a basic need to be recognized and appreciated, and it’s important that you fulfill that need.
Share the “Why” of it
Taking a few extra minutes to explain why something is important makes your employees feel like you’re treating them fairly and giving them more ownership of a project than simply telling them to go do certain tasks. They see why what they’re doing is important, even if it’s a menial task or a very meticulous one that they don’t enjoy doing. It gives your employees a big-picture perspective, and that can actually help motivate them to accomplish low-level tasks that no one really wants to do. However, since they will see how that onerous task fits into the project and understand the reasoning behind why it must be done, they will be more willing to take it on.
Give Your Team Autonomy
No one wants to be micromanaged or have to fill out multiple forms just to get one small thing approved. The more autonomy you can give your team, the more likely they’re going to feel motivated to take ownership of the project and get it done quickly. Of course, there are some people who do need more supervision than others, but once someone proves themselves, step back and let them handle things on their own. Trust them to get the job done. Rather than micromanaging, spend that time gathering information and resources your team needs to get things done.
Be Your Team’s Biggest Cheerleader
You always want your team to feel as if you’re their biggest cheerleader. You always want to back them up and be there for them when things get tough. Part of this is giving them the recognition they deserve, but there’s more to it than that. You also need to show that you’re willing to help them grow and become more than what they are.
One way of doing this is to bring in motivational speakers. These speakers can help motivate your team in a number of different ways. Some may help them discover skills they never knew they had. Others might help them learn how to be more effective communicators, a skill they can use in all parts of their life. Bringing in speakers to help your employees grow as people, not just as workers, is a great way of showing them that you see them as more than just a person doing a job.
Don’t Focus on the Negative
When providing feedback, your first instinct may be to focus on the areas where an employee needs improvement. However, this can often come across as a negative conversation. Your employee may feel as if you’re coming down very hard on them, and that can sap their motivation. Instead of providing nothing but negative criticism, be sure you always take time to discuss a person’s strengths and their triumphs. Let them know what they’ve done that’s amazing. Point out their positives and talk about what they bring to the team. Constructive criticism is important and it does help your employees see what they need to work on, but never provide nothing by negative feedback.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
One way to motivate and excite your employees is to change things up a little bit. Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean it can’t be done differently. Giving your employees projects that are different from what they normally work on can excite them. It can also help them learn new skills and how to use resources in a different way. Sometimes even changing up the décor in the conference room or taking your team out to lunch just because you feel like it can feel like a major change and spark creativity and motivation.
Communicate with Your Team
Communication is a key element of just about everything we do in life. Do you know how each employee feels? Are they happy with their job? Do they have any issues with coworkers or their supervisors? Do they actually enjoy working at your company? If not, what can you do to change that? Don’t simply let an employee suffer. Maybe they should move to a different position or department. Maybe you need to provide them with new challenges or with training courses to help them develop new skills. Be willing to step up and help each employee find their happiness.
These are just a few ways you can motivate your employees and improve their work efforts. Not every method is going to work for every employee, though, which is why you must discover what motivates your team and what doesn’t. It’s a bit of trial and error, but in the end, you’ll find that a motivated team is worth the effort.