In a world filled with entrepreneurs and motivational speakers, why is it still important to motivate your team? Why is it not enough, to just expect your employees to get on with the job at hand and do the work they are paid to do? We all have skills and practices that we are good at in our jobs, it’s one of the reasons we got the job in the first place, but the reality is simple… Value. Without showing your team that they are bringing value to the job and encouraging them, you run the risk of breading a culture of discontent and poor attitudes. This is why we should really get to know our teams and find out how they work best, in their environment, and how we show them they are adding that value.
One of the most common reasons for discontent, unmotivated staff is the ‘why should I do that?’ thought, employees often don’t understand why they are being told to do something, they can become resentful to their managers because they don’t see the reason why they’re being asked to do something.
Often people in leadership or management positions don’t understand their employees, how they work, what makes them tick or what motivates them. Over the years there has become an environment created where reward & recognition, motivation, incentivization of employees has become forgotten about or become the accepted norm. What needs to be realized is that every person is different, we all work differently and what makes us tick is always different to the next person.
Being a staff member in a leadership or management position who has a team below them, we need to learn how each member of our team tick but also how your team tick as a group of individuals.
Let’s look at three ways we as employers can motivate our teams.
- Reward & Recognition – this doesn’t always mean buying a bottle of wine or bringing in cupcakes on a Friday to say thank you, if this is done on a continual basis it can become the norm and seen as just what happens opposed to taking the time out of your day to recognise your team. This can be a simple ‘Thank you for your hard work’ comment to a member of staff.
- Mentoring – Often when we mention mentoring we mean taking someone under your wing who may be struggling or someone who is primed to be moved up the ladder within an organisation. This can also be working with team members who maybe aren’t in those buckets, taking time out of your day to talk to the team member who you know you can rely on and does a great job every day. Taking the time to find out if there is anything they need, working with them on a problem area they may be trying to improve on or simply being a sounding board to listen to their ideas and help them put those ideas into practice.
- Encouraging self-motivation – one of the most common expressions heard in the workplace is ‘why should I do that when such and such does less and gets paid the same as me’. This can be one of the hardest ideologies to break, to move away from comparisons to individual drive and determination. As a team leader or member of management encouraging self-motivation can have the best results. The idea of using a PDP (personal development plan) that each member of staff has, and contributes towards, can help self-motivate staff because they members are the ones determining their own goals and targets, whilst pushing and challenging themselves to reach these goals and continue to drive progress themselves.
The biggest challenge employers now have is the eclectic mix of people and personalities they have employed, understanding that every team and every member of staff is different and not just using one form of motivation technique is required to engage with each team member is extremely important.
Why not free up some time and introduce the 1-to-1 approach with your team? This can really dive into understanding their needs and not only do you figure out how to motivate them and manage them better, but your staff feel valued and important. They are given a greater purpose, and with that purpose, the question changes from “Why should I do that?” to “What more can I do?”