Get your team’s motivation back using these effective strategies
The 21st-century business climate has witnessed an increasing need in motivating employees. Too often, recognition and motivation is subordinate to the primacy of goals and target achievement. According to an article in HBR, “Most companies have it all wrong. They don’t have to motivate employees. They have to stop de-motivating them.” Extensive research has revealed powerful links between employee engagement and productivity, which ultimately impacts a business’s bottom line.
So what exactly is Motivation and what do we do to bring it on? “Motivation is getting people cheerfully, willingly & professionally to do the things business requires them to do”
Here are few effective strategies to ensure the same,
This should be the first step. If you are not inspired yourself, then how can you to effectively do the same for others? How well do you know yourself as a Manager? Look at your past experience. Do you ever get disengaged? And what it takes to ignite back your motivation. You will probably find many lessons which can be applied to your own team.
Assign a few minutes of the first day of every week, to one or more team members. Go over their folders before scheduling a chat. Ask questions and take the opportunity to acknowledge their contributions. Chart out a motivation chart for them by asking them what they value the most out and keep that in handy for future reference. Also, make it a habit to walk around and gauge the mood and energy level of your team. Observe their attitude which will often manifest in their behavior. Are they looking eager or are they showing signs of lethargy and apathy? You can also invite them to an informal setting. Be warm and open so that they feel comfortable enough to open up as well. Ask for their input and incorporate the good and feasible ideas so that they know their opinion mattered.
As a Manager are you aware of your employee’s three top skills? You must develop employees talents if you want to keep them engaged.It’s not uncommon for Managers to emphasize on employee weaknesses more than they can capitalize on strengths.”The real opportunity for growth comes in utilizing your strengths,” says Curt Coffman, co-author of First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently’ adding that great managers “catch people doing things right.” Employees should be reviewed once a quarter instead of just annually, and focus should be on their future performance more than their past performance. Ask, ‘How can we position you for success?’” Coffman says. Positive feedback could be the major motivator.The team must perceive the outcome of feedback as constructive and positive so that even negative feedback is taken in well Managers often forget or overlook things that have gone right and somehow always remember things that have gone wrong. If opportunities don’t naturally occur, create them. As Benjamin Franklin rightly said; ‘Write people’s accomplishments in stone and their faults in sand.’
[Related: How to Master the Art of Feedback]
Remember, to be able to motivate people in the first three segments of Maslow’s pyramid, you have to ensure that the bottom segment needs are met & fulfilled first. Herzberg calls these ‘the hygiene factors’ At work, these basic needs comprise of working conditions basic pay and benefits, the corporate culture, status, job security and a reasonably satisfactory personal, social and working life. You can’t use these as motivators because they are prerequisite to motivation. But be warned! If you get them wrong, they will become de-motivators. Get them right and the foundations for motivation are in place.
Do your team members see themselves in the bigger picture and know what is expected of them? Employees want to be part of the bigger goal. For example, when I was working for a pharmaceutical company a few years back, our company’s vision was ‘to be among the top 3 pharmaceutical companies in the country.’ This in itself was a driving force for many of us as we wanted to be associated with this achievement. According to John Ward, president and co-founder of TAParchitecture, ‘there needs to be a purpose greater than themselves that they’re working towards.’
Alex Hiam, the author of “Making Horses Drink’, says, ‘If you recognize and make a bit of a fuss about the good things employees do, then you will find yourself spending a lot less time worrying about the bad things they do. They will do less of the negative, and they will strive to do more of the positive things you are recognizing.’ He encourages the idea of celebrating milestones by throwing parties or ordering food in, especially if accomplishments follow a stressful period. He says it is easy to get caught in the daily grind but one must never forget to refuel the batteries. He also advocates, spotlighting role model performances to encourage the latter to keep working hard while inspiring the rest to follow suit. Easily consumable vouchers can also be introduced as rewards for a project done well. These could range from restaurant to movie or spa vouchers. Another uplifting idea is to ask your team on how you might make their lives at home better. Note down the ideas they come up with and then brainstorm how you might make some these happen. At least once a year, provide an opportunity for families of your employees to visit your workplace.
Millions of people throw their heart and soul into their work every day. All they need is to be valued and cared for. And when that need is fulfilled, it ignites a fire, a passion within, which makes them triumph the most trying and stressful periods at work.As a Manager, it’s your job to keep that fire burning.
Hira Ali is Founder of Advancing Your Potential, www.advancingyourpotential.com, and Revitalize and Rise, www.revitalizeandrise.com. She is a Leadership Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Professional Coach & NLP Practitioner
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on March 12, 2017.