How To Keep Your Team Motivated
Motivation is an important part of business, no matter which industry you’re in, and it’s vital that you pay close attention to your team, to their needs and wants, and to their happiness if you want to see them perform well.
The idea that being firm with your team and cracking the whip will improve their performance is, thankfully, long gone – but people are beginning to realise that incentives such as bonus or financial rewards aren’t enough to maintain motivation long-term either. So how can you motivate your team successfully, and how can you maintain that motivation to see lasting change and growth?
Communication and socialisation
Clarity, regular interaction, proper brief, guidelines setting out what you expect from people means that everyone knows where they stand and how to perform. Communication is a two-way street, so you need to pay attention to how your team respond and to what they ask of you in return for their good performance.
This is more important than ever as teams continue to work from home in lockdown; 38% of people worry about how they’re communicating on digital channels – and this digital or virtual communication is likely to remain a huge part of how business is done for years to come, so put some thought into engagement with your team, regular live chats – both formally for meetings and informally just to catch up and chit chat with your colleagues – and give people opportunities to share key information and idle banter. Remote working does see 65% of people missing the social aspect of office-based work, so schedule fun events virtually with your team and give them opportunities to mix and chat.
Happiness and healthy work/life balance
Statistics show that, though the pandemic has caused huge amounts of worry, 56% of employees report increased happiness working from home. Shorter days, thanks to no commuting – not to mention the costs saved there - and more time with loved ones and family have improved people’s wellbeing. Post pandemic, consider a more flexible working model and let people work from home more often, fitting their work around their lives more than before.
Goals, incentives and rewards
It might surprise you to hear that financial reward alone isn’t enough to encourage lasting success in a team; people will flag long before they reach their targets if there’s no active encouragement or praise. Big, ambitious goals are also counter-productive, as they feel so far away and the pressure to achieve them is overwhelming. Instead, interact more with the team – set mini-targets, break goals down into steps and praise, support and reward each little win.
Incentives do work – but only when they’re managed well, change regularly, and are tailored to suit what the whole team will benefit from. Put some thought into novel rewards or celebrations, plan events everyone will enjoy, and work on building a culture with shared values, shared ambitions and goals which improve everyone’s part in the process.
Development and autonomy
No matter what the reward, if someone feels that there’s no scope for growth, development or career progression the chances are they’ll get stale in their job pretty quickly, and see little reason to put much effort in. With the largest proportion of workers now being ‘millennials’ we know that development and autonomy are the biggest incentives; an employer who provides that, and autonomy, trusting your employees to plan their workload and prioritise their tasks without micromanaging, helps them to feel more confident and achieve more.
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