“Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan a takeoff. Don’t just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you’ll love it up here.” -Donald Trump
Compared to the so-called “business tangibles” like amount of sales, investment returns, year-end targets and the like, your team’s drive, motivation, and morale is tougher to measure. It is widely known and accepted that you, as a leader, must be able to tap into your team’s peak performance and consistently harvest that for your business to start achieving its goals.
Management heads todays are becoming aware that unhappy employees tend to be less productive, which is why more and more progressive companies today pour resources into securing competitive and attractive packages for their teams. In turn, they push their personnel to achieve nothing less than 100% of the target, thus commit themselves to building and maintaining high-quality, efficient teams. Giving your team the right motivation can help you get the results you expect. At the same time, your team will enjoy having healthy competition and will foster a happy culture and environment.
How, then, can you push your team to greatness? Here are some ways:
1. Lead by example.
In order to have a productive team, you must be a productive manager. Role-modeling what the employees are expected to do creates great impact not only on the team but on the work environment itself. It will also generate enthusiasm and will inspire everybody to work. Sometimes it’s simply because your employees are looking up to you. Small things like being on time or being energetic may affect your employee most. However, role modeling is sometimes easily overlooked. Be careful with what you do, how you say things, and what you say.
2. Proactively encourage.
Very often, a simple pat on the back can highly reassure your employees especially when it is crunch time. Attending to your employees’ concern proactively will motivate them to do their work effectively since they feel that their emotions are being valued by you as their manager. You may also remind them to take a break, show how their daily tasks impact the organization’s goal, give them immediate feedback, and set expectations. Doing this increases their eagerness to do their job. It is known that 53% of fully engaged employees state that they have learned a lot from their boss.
3. Coach in private, praise in public.
Regular feedback and reinforcement makes employees feel positive. But make sure that you do it in the right place. If you correct an employee in front of everybody, chances are they may feel disheartened and demoralized. It is imperative to coach your employees in private to avoid dejection from their end. Meanwhile, praise them in public to boost their confidence. This also spreads positive energy to the rest of the team, knowing that their good work might be someday praised in public too.
4. Give incentives.
Celebrate success. Giving your employees extra incentive aside from what they are compensated for monthly can be considered as one motivation driver. This type of motivation often applies if the performance of the whole organization is at par with its goals, be it monthly, quarterly, or yearly. However, keep in mind that it is not only monetary incentives that count. You may also include something that does not involve money. For instance, you may give extra leave credit for those who meet your requirements.
5. Take genuine interest in your staff.
This tip is highly debatable in some circles, seeing that most managers prefer to work with their team in the professional sphere only. However, there are some great upshots into being part of your team’s personal affairs. A person’s career growth can only get him/her so far. In the end, they’re still human and as such will always have personal matters to attend to. It will help if you are considerate with these, such as family emergencies, doctor’s appointment and others. Your attitude towards their problems is greatly appreciated by employees. Small gestures like these can make big difference.
This is the simplest tip among the list, yet the hardest to do. With all your worries about your business, its finances and operations, how will you have the time to listen about how Tom forgot his lunch and now has to buy food from the canteen? It’s tough, but do your best to. You might think that your employees’ problems are “insignificant” compared to yours, but you can’t judge what is important to a person and what is not. Listening to your employees’ concerns will be greatly appreciated. They can feel more empowered and happy since they are talking to the right people.
Learning more about them would also help you in knowing how you can motivate them in the future. You can also establish better working relationships with everyone if you hear out their side of the table.
This tip may not apply to everybody. , however delegating tasks to deserving employees will give a positive outlook on what’s going to happen next in their career. I will give them impression that you trust them in some important tasks. The best employees to delegate tasks with are usually the high performers. Low-performers are usually given to high-performers to boost their confidence, whilst Mid-performers are usually the supervisor’s focus.
8. Be specific.
When a team member deserves to be commended, make sure that you give them a specific compliment. While saying “good work!” or “good job” to a team or a team member may sound motivational, it may also be deemed as scripted, especially when these words are being thrown to every one very often. Employees appreciate recognition most when the compliment is specific to their achievement.
Inspiring and motivating the team is one of the most crucial job descriptions for a leader. Lack of motivation to the team often results to decrease productivity. Following these tips may increase your team’s performance and at the same time better your relationship with them.
Teoddy Baldomaro is a business writer for Piton-Global, a call center in the Philippines. They offer lead generation, customer service and technical support. You may follow him via Twitter @teoddybaldomaro.
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