One of the secrets behind successful modern management is knowing how to motivate your team. This becomes even more significant during times of change or when there has been a disruption in the workplace. Being a manager isn’t about knowing the ins and outs of every role in your department.
It’s about creating an atmosphere where your team, and consequently your business, can thrive. Of course, managing different personalities with different expectations is easier said than done and each worker will react differently to every approach.
1. Create a warm, professional environment
Who wouldn’t want to walk into an office every day that made them feel welcomed and comfortable? So how do you motivate your team through your working environment? Start with the basics: a nice temperature, comfortable chairs, and small amenities like tea and coffee are a great start that won’t break the bank.
Then you can look at the interpersonal space. Don’t smother your teams with superfluous rules and regulations and be consistent with the rules you do need as unfair treatment can have a drastic effect on motivation. When you find toxic behavior in the office, be sure to deal with it quickly but fairly; leaving it to fester can quickly see your office morale take a nosedive.
2. Pay your staff what they deserve
When budgeting for an entire business, it’s easy to feel like you need to tighten the purse strings on your payroll. However, this can lead to demotivation which in turn will cause a high turnover. Sure, you probably can’t offer everyone in your company a six-figure salary, so how do you motivate your team through their wages?
As well as outlining a career path, it’s a smart idea to make it clear that the more your staff give to the company, the more they’ll get back. Having pay brackets for seniority or time in the company can help staff see a future with you, and bonuses or commission translate into a goal to attain.
3. Offer a clear path for professional growth
Nobody wants to be stuck in a groundhog day-style job doing the same tasks day in, day out with no vision of their next steps. By creating a company structure that encourages workers to follow an internal pathway, your team will know that if they put in the work, they can be rewarded.
Define what constitutes high performance periodically, perhaps with quarterly appraisals, but be sure not to promise career advances you can’t deliver on!
4. Set clear, realistic targets
When we talk about targets here, we don’t mean “promotion”. Targets refer to tangible goals you can set to visualize your team’s performance. As a manager, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of setting goals you would ideally like to see; unrealistic targets are extremely demotivating for anybody who needs to reach them.
Similarly, you shouldn’t set the same targets for your entire team. A new recruit in your sales team can’t be expected to hit the same numbers as a colleague who has been in the game far longer. The best CRMs allow you to set individual targets for each agent to avoid this eventuality so everybody can get their own intrinsic feeling of satisfaction.
5. Make personalized work plans for each team member
Feeling lost is a motivation killer in the office, and your employees may feel they can’t go to you for guidance. Nip this problem in the bud by setting up clear workflows for each of your team members. Not only will they feel like a valued member of the team, they will also be able to visualize what their next task is and what overall goal they are working towards.
With all of your team members working relatively autonomously, you can focus your free time on improving your team in different ways.
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6. Provide personal development options
Similar to the previous tip on professional growth, personal development is a great option to anyone wondering “how do you motivate your team?”. Rather than simply offering career progression throughout your company to keep your team enthused, try helping to foster new skills in your employees that could take your business in a totally new direction.
Personal development can come through recognized professional courses, workshops, or conferences, and show an employee that the company is willing to invest in them as an individual. You can then discuss offering more responsibility and adapting their role to accommodate their new skills.
7. Motivate teams to collaborate
We’re social beings and collaborating with others toward a shared goal sparks a deep-rooted evolutionary reward in our brains. We may not be hunting animals and foraging for roots and berries these days, but working together gives us the same intrinsic motivation that it always has done.
Remote teams get a disproportionate benefit from teamwork as it reduces the isolation that staff may feel. Using collaborative tools to facilitate the process, remote workers can really feel a part of the team even if they’re not in the office. At the same time, with video calls every now and then, they can get to know their colleagues on a more personal level.
8. Offer praise in public…
Praise is often thought of as the best way to motivate a team, especially if it is in front of other people. Make sure to highlight good work or innovative ideas in a meeting with others involved to get your employees’ dopamine going.
If your team is remote, or you just want to spread the word to the entire company, post your congratulations on an internal company social media. By rewarding good behavior, you motivate the individual to continue their good work while at the same time encouraging others to perform at a similar level.
9. …and constructive criticism in private
On the flipside, it is much better to keep any negative feedback to a private setting. This way, you avoid humiliating your staff, which isn’t just detrimental to their motivation, but to their entire psychological well-being. It is crucial to be constructive in your criticism.
Rather than simply pointing out where someone made mistakes and telling them to improve, be gentle in your approach, looking for the underlying reasons. Perhaps your employee is unsure of their role, or they may have a bad relationship with a certain colleague. By pinpointing a reason behind poor performance, you can work together to find a solution without affecting motivation.
10. Cut back on micromanagement
As a manager, it can be hard to take a more hands-off approach when you are ultimately responsible for your team’s results. However, micromanaging can cause people to become stressed, avoidant, and ultimately demotivated. How do you motivate your team without causing your staff undue stress through micromanagement? Micromanagement is often a symptom of poor instruction.
Without a clear pathway for your team to follow, bosses feel the need to oversee every little step to stay in control which is catastrophic for morale. If you feel you fall into this category of managers, make an effort to plan tasks well then take a step back. The trust you give your staff can pay dividends in the future through increased motivation and confidence.
11. Avoid unnecessary meetings
Meetings are generally where decisions are made. Perhaps top brass will be involved and there can be a sense of importance around each one. So how do you motivate your team by avoiding unnecessary meetings? The honest truth is that most meetings are a waste of time and can frustrate your team.
However, with well-thought-out work plans, reducing meetings should come as a natural extension. Fewer meetings mean your staff will spend less time in limbo, going from one to another while their list of tasks stays still. When you do need a meeting, only invite those who need to be there and share an agenda before you begin.
12. Be smart about your communication
We know an overload of meetings is rarely something to aspire to, so how do you motivate your team through communication? One of the best ways to get your message across is through a project management tool. When you are clear and consistent with how you assign your tasks, your team can get straight to work without having to sift through emails or take notes from a meeting. You can assign tasks with full details and subtasks, and observe the progress without falling into patterns of micromanagement.
Any updates should be posted within the project management software, which will automatically send a notification to everybody involved. Seamless, standardized communication is a motivation dream for all kinds of teams.
13. Set time for one-to-ones
Yes, most people would consider that a one-to-one is a meeting. However, there’s a big difference between a rambling conversation among the entire company and a focused one-to-one. These get-togethers can be quarterly, monthly, and ad-hoc, and are used to offer appraisals, address any issues from either side, and to look to the future. Clearing the air in this way helps to make them feel valued while assessing their next goals is a great motivator.
Recurring one-to-ones are also the kind of thing you can automate so everybody is aware of their schedule way in advance. Set up recurring events on your calendar and each team member will receive the same event for their meeting.
14. Organize team building events
When faced with eye rolling whenever your team hears the words “team building”, how do you motivate your team with events? If you use your imagination and choose something everyone can get along with, these events can be a huge motivator. The whole idea behind team building is to create connections between your team that you wouldn’t ordinarily get in an office environment.
But this doesn’t mean your events have to be contrived construction metaphors. Rather than focusing on sport and competition that might not be for everybody, team building events can be as simple as a barbecue which can double as a reward for hard work and a chance to make new friends.
15. Moving from motivation to inspirational leadership
Now you’ve got a range of answers to the question “how do you motivate your team?”, it’s time to move on to the next step. To turn your motivational skills into long-lasting, sustainable leadership, you need to have a clear vision for the future and motivate your team to follow you on the journey.
You can use all of the previously mentioned motivational techniques to drive towards your goals, balancing both extrinsic and intrinsic factors as best you can. Be sure to analyze your own performance on a regular basis, and gauge the opinions of others through anonymous forms.
Become a master motivator in your business right now
Spreading motivation throughout your workforce is a sure-fire way to move your company forward. It increases performance, reduces turnover, and makes coming to work a pleasure rather than a drag.
Implementing all the different types of motivation from our 15 points is no easy task. However, with a wide-reaching yet easy-to-use business tool, you can free up a lot of time to concentrate on managing your team. Register your free Bitrix24 account today and lead your team in the right direction.
How can teams increase employee motivation?
Isolated workers tend to be demotivated workers, so building a strong team can play a major role in each individual employee's motivation.
Your efforts to create a positive feeling will be replicated by your team and positivity is contagious, especially when it comes from a manager from the first day of onboarding. Similarly, cultures where support and praise comes from team members as well as the manager can boost an employee’s motivation and help them improve their all-round performance.
How can you improve your motivation skills?
A huge part of a manager's role is to identify what makes their employees tick. Every worker is different; some might thrive when given more responsibilities, while others may simply need their own space and clear instructions.
As a manager, you should take the time to work out who responds well to what and how to leverage your tactics to benefit your staff and your company. There is a vast and growing amount of literature on leadership techniques that cover motivation, so consider making reading part of your weekly routine.