Top 10 Ways to Motivate a Team
Where would we be without your team? Leadership is a journey and while we are very passionate about our ambitions, we could charge ahead and race to the finish alone, however victory is very shallow if all team members left you on the way. Sticking together as a team is knowing what each team members needs and wants are, where you are all heading and motivation! Do you know when your team members are highly energised, or feeling flat and if so, why? It’s even more difficult to gauge in a remote team! Effective team leadership is knowing more about “what is the glue that binds the team together is.” Here’s your opportunity to alter the path with your team and achieve success!
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
Times are Tough, Toughen up your Team!
A recent article by Gina Gardiner in Business Know How, highlighted “10 Ways to Motivate Your Team during a Recession.” Inthe midst of layoffs, pay cuts, and tight budgets, your team’s morale and loyalty is stretched to its limits, while traditional incentives like bonuses and salary increases are unavailable.Businesses worldwide are facing probably the most challenging time in years. In times of boom it feels easier to motivate and enthuse people because there is always the promise of a bonus or of promotion. The picture becomes very different if cash flow is short and there is constant threat of having to reduce the workforce. When the decision makers are feeling under threat and constantly face the stress that the responsibility for their own livelihood, and that of all those who work for them, it is very easy to make decisions which might seem right in the short term but can have far reaching negative effects on themselves and their workforce. Here are my top ten principles for ensuring that you develop enthusiasm and commitment within your workforce, they work just as well at departmental level as they do within a large organization:
- It is important that staff believe in what the organization stands for
- Have Integrity
- Be Consistent
- Value Each Individual And The Contribution They Make
- Give Staff A Voice Which Is Heard
- Create Explicit Realistic Expectations
- Give staff A Sense of Certainty
- Involve Staff In Finding A Solution
- To Motivate Your Staff You Need To Know What Motivates Them
- Don’t Under Estimate The Power Of A Thank You
The cost of ignoring these principles will be a dissatisfied, anxious, stressed workforce who are likely to work harder in the short term because they fear for their jobs. In the medium to long term it will be the healthy, happy, well-motivated and enthusiastic teams of staff who will create ongoing success in the market. The reputation your organization creates now, in how they deal with staff, will live on long after the market recovers. Attracting the right sort of staff when there is a shortage of highly skilled and experienced staff will be so much easier for the firms who are known to care and develop their people in hard times. The choice is yours!
Australian Leaders, Management and Teams
The SAL Report “Do Australian Leaders Have what it takes” shows that Australian organisations should be concerned about the state of leadership and management capability. Effective leadership requires the mastery of management fundamentals, including performance monitoring, target setting, team management and use of incentives. As defined in Chapter 2.2, “Leadership at the workplace level relies on interpersonal capabilities to establish coherent goals and coordinate activities across different units and teams.”
Remote Teams Motivated?
A HBR article by Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi, outlined “How to Keep Your Team Motivated, Remotely.” When researchers measured the total motivation of employees, they saw that those forced to work from home were the least motivated. But there is an effective way managers can increase their team’s productivity and performance, even under the circumstances of this crisis. The researchers found that experimentation results in a 45-point increase in employee motivation. The key is for leaders to make sure their weekly routines are not focused only on the tactical work. Half of their weeks should also be focused on adaptive performance, where there is no plan to follow, but instead, an emphasis on experimentation and problem solving
Many leaders have crossed the first hurdles of moving their teams remote: ensuring colleagues have set up their tech tools, defined their processes, and permanently logged into their video conference accounts. But this is just the first step towards creating an effective work environment for remote employees. The next critical question we must ask is: How do you motivate people who work from home? First, it’s important to note that right now, working from home is likely to reduce motivation. If business leaders don’t move to change this, shifts in people’s motivation will ultimately lead to a decline in adaptability, quality, and creativity just at the time when the post-coronavirus recovery will require productivity growth.
If you want your teams to be engaged in their work, you have to make their work engaging. The most powerful way to do this is to give people the opportunity to experiment and solve problems that really matter. These problems won’t be the same for every team or organization. They may not even be easy to identify at first. Your employees will need your help to do this. Ask them: Where can we deliver amazing service to our customers? What’s broken that our team can fix? What will drive growth even in a time of fear? Why are these problems critical, valuable, and interesting? Generally, we recommend a simple rhythm for remote teams:
Monday: Hold a performance cycle meeting for the team that covers the following.
What impact did we have last week and what did we learn?
What commitments do we have this week? Who is on point for each?
How can we help each other with this week’s commitments?
What are the areas where we should experiment to improve performance this week?
What experiments will we run, and who is on point for each?
Tuesday-Thursday: Have at least one individual meeting with each of your team members. To help motivate your employees, focus on helping them tackle challenges that are a slight stretch. You can also coordinate small group meetings in which employees can collaborate on the week’s experiments and tackle problems together.
Friday: Focus on reflection. Showcase and gather input on the experiments of the week. This might include presentations from project groups during which team members share metrics and insights. It’s also important to check in on each other’s motivation and progress. As the leader, set the example by asking people how they are feeling: Where did they struggle with their motivation, and where did they thrive?
We know that this approach works because we used it during the financial crisis. Make it your mission to achieve greater levels of growth and productivity as a remote team than as an in-person team. This is a challenge that can keep you energized and experimenting long after this crisis is behind us.
Appreciating People in Teams
In my blog, “Great Bosses Appreciate Others,” I emphasised that“People don’t leave bad jobs. They leave bad bosses.” More often than not, it’s not because they are underpaid, rather it’s because they feel undervalued and unappreciated. All great, kind and courageous leaders and bosses know that employees need to feel appreciated. Nothing works better than appreciation and positive feedback. In turn, we are social beings and we need social connection to survive. I think the number one thing we all need at work is APPRECIATION. We need to feel valued and cared about at work. Imagine being part of a business, team and organisation who truly cares about you and appreciates you. Imagine. Here are some great ways to show appreciation:
- Say thank you
- Acknowledge their great work
- Ask about what they are passionate about outside of work
- Thank people in other teams
- Encourage everyone to show appreciation
- Show acts of service
- Buy them a coffee
- Send them a thank you card
- Send them a lovely email or call them
- Send their boss an appreciation email
- Make sure they have a voice in meetings and thank them for contributing
Leadership is about action and actions speak louder than words. Be a leader who genuinely cares about employees. Other great phrases that go hand in hand with “Thank You” are:
- Great job.
- Well done.
- I’m sorry.
- How can I help you?
- What are your thoughts?
Two of the most basic human desires are validation and appreciation. Choose to see the best in others. Choose to see what makes them amazing. Let them know the amazing things you see. Play to your team’s strengths and everyone wins.
Opportunities for Change for YOU!
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Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.