Your success as a manager depends on the engagement and motivation of your team, on your relationship with them. Gallup research conclusions found that engaged and motivated employees work faster, reach higher productivity, bring in higher profits, are involved in fewer work accidents, have fewer work absences, and are more loyal. By comparison with disengaged employees, motivated employees:
• Work 59% faster
• Are 17% more productive
• Bring in 21% higher profits
• Have a 10% higher customer satisfaction rating
• Are involved in 70% fewer work accidents
• Have 41% fewer absences
• Prove more loyal
Therefore, no matter the specifics of your work and what your projects involve, if you want to succeed and get good results, you need to find a way to motivate your employees, to engage them and keep them going at least until you turn your plans into reality. How do you do that? Follow the seven steps described in the following lines!
7 Steps to Boost Your Team’s Motivation
1. Set Clear Goals and Evaluation Criteria
If you want your employees to do their job, you first have to make sure they know what their job is. You also need to give them a way to measure their performance and results, to compare themselves with others and figure out where they stand.
For example, in sales, employees who receive proper training and clear objectives do better than employees who only receive basic advice and have no measure of their performance. Just remember to set realistic and gradual goals and targets, taking into account each team member’s capabilities and potential. Otherwise, you risk discouraging them.
2. Reward Performance Fairly and Equally
Just as you tell your team members what to do and how to do it, you need to tell them what they get for doing it. Needless to say, the more attractive the rewards are, the more motivated the employees will be. Besides fat paychecks and performance-related bonuses, employees treasure promotion opportunities, additional insurance, paid vacations, and other perks meant to improve workplace atmosphere and experience.
To ensure the best results and avoid disappointments, do not make promises you cannot keep. Also, do not discriminate between team members. Income and benefits should depend on each member’s performance, workplace history, responsibilities, and skills.
Favoritisms based on relationships with stakeholders, or, worse, gender, political orientation, and other similar traits should never find a place in your team.
3. Give Your Team Purpose and Principles
The research concluded in 2017 by scientists from the University of Sussex found that teams led by people with a clear vision, strong morals, and committed to the company and its stakeholders are happier with their work and reach higher productivity levels.
Therefore, if you want your team members to be happy and productive, you have to help them get to know you and the company, your stakeholders. You need to show them what it is they work for and why they should do it. They need to know the higher goal if you want to be able to count on their help to reach it.
4. Show Confidence in Your Team Members
According to a UTSA study performed in 2016, leaders who show confidence in their team members boost their people’s productivity and creativity. At the opposite end, those who don’t trust their employees and put too much pressure on them only manage to increase stress levels and inhibit productivity and creativity.
Thus, if you want a productive and creative team, you have to trust its members, to confide in their ability to complete the tasks you assigned to them. Instead of checking up on them and looking down on them, show them confidence and respect, and give them a chance to prove their worth.
5. Empower Your Team Members
A study published by Frontiers in Psychology in November 2017 found that employees whose leaders empower them and trust them to make their own decisions and come up with their own solutions are proactive, responsible, and loyal.
Therefore, when things get tough; instead of treating your team members like robots only able to follow commands, give them some freedom to come up with their solutions and implement them. They will be more motivated to work for the desired results, and they’ll eventually take responsibility for their actions and their consequences.
6. Be There When They Need You
Whether your team has to meet a tight deadline or a new challenge has appeared, your team members need to know they can count on you.
They need to know you are available when they need questions or help, they need to know you have their back, and they need to feel you are all in it together.
When your team is successful, you take credit for their achievements. When they screw up, or they have a hard time, it is only natural that you share their misery. It may mean getting your hands dirty, working late, or taking criticism, but it will be worth it, as it will gain you your team’s trust and appreciation.
7. Care for them and Fight for Their Rights
Many times, employees work hard not so much for the salary they receive, the job title they can take pride in, or the side benefits others would envy.
But for the people they admire and respect you’re your team members see that you care about their satisfaction with their workplace conditions and income, they will start caring about your satisfaction with their work.
If you show understanding when they get into trouble and they need to leave work early, and you support them when they have health or personal problems, they will understand when you ask them to work late and complete tasks that exceed their work attributions.
What Does the Employee in You Want?
You may be a team manager today, but you must have been part of a team before reaching this point. You too needed and, hopefully, received motivation. This means you can quickly place yourself in your team members’ shoes. It’s all it takes to get to know them, understand them, and treat them the way they need to be addressed to reach their full potential.
As you will surely realize, they don’t need threats or insults, additional stress, or pressure. They need encouragement, confidence, and incentives. They need you to lead the way, to show them you count on them and they can count on you, to work with them and not give up until you obtain the desired results.
That is what the seven steps described above are all about, so following them should be easy. If you do, your team members will respect you, look up to you, and support you no matter what that involves. They will do so even if you occasionally fail, but they need to see that you try, care, understand, and sympathize.
How do you show your care, confidence, and appreciation to your employees? Have you managed to motivate them by following the steps above? Share your experience in a comment, and feel free to share this post with your friends and team members!
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