How to keep your team motivated
Most organisations perform better when they inhabit happy, motivated and cohesive teams. But what exactly keeps a team of people motivated consistently in order to achieve?
Below are 11 ways to keep your team motivated. These are especially important to keep in mind when busy and stressful times lie ahead as you can proactively prevent burn out, demotivation and unsatisfied workers.
Pay them what they’re worth
This is a straight-forward no-brainer. People don’t always enjoy or feel comfortable discussing their paycheck. However, it is a major motivator for many individuals. When members of your team feel they are not valued appropriately they can become frustrated and may even look for positions elsewhere. Know your teams worth and fight to pay them accordingly.
Make sure they’re aware of opportunities
An important driver for employees is knowing they can move somewhere whether it be upward or sideways from their current role. In addition, people don’t just want promotion opportunities but the ability to develop their skills. Make sure to bring up the conversation with your team about expanding responsibilities and what direction they see themselves taking. This not only generates engagement but also lets them know you are there to support them.
Ensure a pleasant workplace
There are many things that can make up a good workplace. See our blog on work culture here. Some significant factors can be hiring the right people, genuinely caring about employees, and making sure people connect – just to mention a few. On top of this, the workplace should be clean and preferably bright with some natural light.
Bring the team together
It’s important that your team enjoy each other’s company! Make time for team lunches and team building days. But more importantly, take the time to update each other on projects as they go along and organize brainstorms surrounding important developments and events. Make sure all team members feel included.
Keep communication open
Following on from team updates and brainstorms, it is the most important for a team to communicate effectively. Poor communication can hinder the team’s ability to work cohesively and can often cause unnecessary drama. According to Forbes contributor, Dean Brenner, bad communication can lead to a drop in morale, lack of innovation, failure of purpose and lack of focus. It can also cause a lack of faith in the team, especially when certain individuals have been left out or miscommunicated to.
Communication is not just speaking and sharing. A fundamental factor of communication is the ability to listen. And, then after listening, asking the right questions. Hear from your people and do something about what they're trying to tell you. At the very least it is important to acknowledge their feelings and thoughts.
This tip isn’t just applicable to listening to individuals concerns. When working on projects make sure to ask the team what they think – there needs to be a sense of contributing and adding value for employees to remain engaged. It’s not always about doing work. It has to be about more, such as creating ideas and seeking solutions. This is the kind of work that feels significant.
Set clear directives and goals
When it’s time to do the work, it helps for individuals to have a clear direction. It is easier to lose motivation when you don’t know where to start or what you are working towards. This one will come down to open communication and ensuring your team knows you are open to answering questions. It can pay off to implement a ‘there are no stupid questions’ policy so that no one ever feels uncomfortable asking about something they are unsure of.
No one likes to be micromanaged! It is impossible for people to harness their own creativity and workflow when they have someone looking over their shoulder constantly. People need space to excel and to experiment with their ideas and work.
To allow autonomy, you need to trust your team. This means allowing them to work flexibly and/or in ways that work best for them. As a leader, you must understand the work ethic and style of the individuals in your team and ensure you are allowing the proper amount of freedom for them to fulfill that working style. When employees are aware that you trust in their abilities, they will have higher confidence levels and be more eager to produce quality work on time in order to maintain that level of trust.
Reward and acknowledge great team performance
It’s important to acknowledge people’s accomplishments individually… but to maintain great team motivation, it’s important to reward teamwork too. It is incredible how far recognition can go in terms of encouragement and inspiration. This can simply be more attention from you as a leader, it can mean a celebratory lunch or a bigger project that increases the impact they will make on the company. Whatever it is that you choose to do, employees will feel appreciated and recognised and this enables motivation to keep working hard in the future.
Inspire them with meaning
Purpose matters. When you are able to remind your team about the purpose of your company or the project and their role in fulfilling that purpose you will have engaged employees. In an article from thinkPARALLAX the five main benefits of purpose-driven employees come to light. They include:
- Increased productivity
- Improved retention rates
- Enhances recruitment prospects
- Increases employee pride and engagement
- Employees become brand ambassadors