How do you motivate your team?
Team motivation is essential for any business to thrive and prosper. Your people could have all the talent in the world but that means nothing if they don’t have proper motivation. But, how do you motivate your team effectively? How can you instil drive and purpose into them?
The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of motivation is;
“Psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s level of effort and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles.”
With this in mind, let’s find out how to motivate a team with our Top Twenty Tips.
24 tips on team motivation
When thinking about how to motivate your team then you need to consider that, while it’s important, money isn’t always the number one motivational factor for people. They have to feel valued and as though they are working towards something for them to be truly engaged. So, point number one is…
1. Team motivation begins with pay
If you’re wondering how to motivate employees as a leader, your first step should be appropriate pay that reflects their skills and experience.
Nothing tells your employees that you value their contributions more than paying them in line with – or even slightly above – the average wage of your location and industry.
Once you’ve set your employees up with a fair pay, be sure not to forget regular pay reviews as a means of long-term team motivation. This offers a tangible result to their ongoing commitment to work, and further highlights their worth and value to the company.
Today’s employees want to feel like the company that they work for genuinely cares about their well-being. They want to know that they can ask for help and it will be given and they want to feel like you’ll be understanding and compassionate about things like bereavement, sickness, and childcare issues. Crack this and your employee will be incredibly loyal and will happily contribute everything they’ve got and more to your business.
3. Trust your team to do their job and…
Everyone hates micromanagement – it’s annoying and it’s incredibly counterproductive, too. So, if you want to know how to motivate a team to improve performance, take a step back and trust them to do the thing that you employed them to do! Giving people the room to do what they’re good at inspires trust and confidence in your leadership.
4. … create a culture of creative thinking
Encouraging employees to think outside of the box and really push the envelope is not only extremely liberating for them, but it pays dividends for your business, too. Encourage brainstorming sessions, reward innovation and originality and take interim failures on the chin rather than punishing them and watch your team thrive. Need an example? How about that little business called Apple? Think about that the next time you’re struggling with how to motivate a team…
5. Encourage their personal growth
What can you do to motivate a team? Encourage and inspire them. If people feel like there is room to grow and you’ll actively encourage that growth then there’s no stopping them. This is, perhaps, the ultimate motivator – to feel valued and important. By nurturing personal growth you automatically nurture their professional growth, and that can only be a good thing for your company.
6. Champion collaboration
Encouraging personal growth is fantastic, but getting people to work together as a cohesive team is also incredibly motivating. Team outings and good-natured competitions bring out the best in people, and it also inspires them to hold each other accountable and share in the pride that comes from a successful team effort.
7. Be humble enough to ask for help
Nobody knows everything, although, as a business leader, that’s often expected of you! But sometimes, speaking to members of your team for another vantage point is incredibly beneficial. Soundingboard sessions are particularly effective because they get everyone in the room to collaborate. They’ll also feel as though you are approachable and open to ideas, so they’ll trust you more.
It’s impossible to build a rapport if people think of you as being dishonest. Seriously, how do you motivate your team if they don’t trust you? Honesty is, perhaps, the single most precious commodity you can have as a senior leader looking to motivate and inspire your team. When you’re transparent with your team and they respect you, they’ll be far more inclined to do as you ask them to do.
9. Lead by example
This ties into the last tip. You know that old saying, ‘Don’t ask someone to do something that you yourself wouldn’t be comfortable doing?’ – the best leaders embody this quote. If you want hard work, dedication, and loyalty from your colleagues then you have to do it first. Humility is a very motivating trait to show. Admit when you’re wrong, take the repercussions instead of deflecting them onto others, and your team will perform likewise.
The ability to truly listen to someone is a vastly underrated skill. Ask your questions but then listen. If someone knows that their voice is actually being heard then that is a fantastic motivational tool for them and the rest of the workforce to have.
11. Build a rapport with your team
Building a relationship with your team is key to success. The ability to be genuine, open, and authentic with your team inspires them to be fiercely loyal and work hard for you. The deeper this connection is, the more motivated your team will be to fight alongside you through the good times and the bad.
12. Don’t be afraid to switch things up
Boredom. Boredom is the secret ninja assassin of all your team’s motivation. If people feel stuck in a rut and things aren’t likely to change, guess what happens? Your best people leave – it’s that cut and dried. So, how do you motivate and energize your team? By shaking things up every now and then; swap people around on different projects, and getting them to work in different parts of the business or different locations. Stave off boredom at every opportunity!
13. Get comfortable with your leadership style
What sort of a leader do you want to be? Leading by example should be a given, but how can you turn yourself into an effective, motivational leader? Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is a great way to accomplish this – decide what you’re good at and delegate or learn more about the things that you aren’t so good at. Once you’ve established this, you’ll be a more well-rounded leader.
14. Introduce performance reviews…
It’s important to note that you should make it crystal clear that performance reviews are not an indictment of their work, but an opportunity for you to give feedback and for them to address any issues or training needs that they may have. With clear objectives to work towards and the comfort blanket of knowing that these things will be actioned upon, your colleagues will be motivated to complete them.
15. …and create goals for them
The only thing worse than motivational problems is communication problems. If your team don’t know what their goals are then that’s on you to rectify. Once you’ve clearly communicated the business’s goals (and their individual goals, if appropriate) then the path to prosperity for all involved opens up like never before and your team motivation will be stronger than ever.
Everybody likes to be recognised, whether they admit it or not. This can either be done in a very public way (award ceremonies, for example) or privately (a simple one-to-one thank you is incredibly powerful). However you decide to go about it, the important thing is that you recognise it and celebrate it. Nothing is more motivational than an employee who feels like they are valuable to the business.
17. Read the room
Want to know how to motivate your team as a leader? Read the room. People can say so much without ever speaking a word, so learn to read the room. It’s no coincidence that the best leaders are also the best communicators and are masters at things like mirroring behaviour and mimicking pace to influence the desired outcome. Having the flexibility to adapt to situations is the key to keeping team motivation at an all-time high.
18. Get intrinsic and extrinsic
There are two types of motivation that apply to everybody: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the gratification that people get from successfully completing a task, whereas extrinsic motivation relates to more extraneous factors such as pay, promotion prospects and worker benefits. You’ll need to master both if you want to successfully motivate your team.
19. Discover their ‘why’
Taking the intrinsic example, try to discover what rewarding things a person’s job gives them to motivate them to keep coming back to work every single day. Is it that they’re allowed creative freedom? Do they feel like their work will contribute in a healthy way to society? Whatever their reasons, once you’ve learned them you can use that knowledge to strengthen your team.
20. Learn to adapt
Working practices have changed dramatically over the past few years. For example, many workers no longer see remote working as a privilege, but as an industry standard. Learn to be adaptable, be flexible with your workforce and they will give back just as much in return.
21. Share your vision
Last but not least, how do you motivate your team if you yourself are not inspired first? People will smell fake authenticity a mile away, so you need to discover and be confident in your own purpose before sharing it with others. Consider giving a passionately worded and performed team motivation speech or playing a team motivation video – once people can see that you are passionate about a cause, they will soon follow suit.
22. Get to know your employees as individuals
When you’re running a business, it can be easy to lose track of the people that keep the ship afloat. But by doing so, you eventually lose the ability to connect with your team in a more personal way.
It can be difficult for business leaders to make time for seemingly small efforts like this, but if you’re looking into how to motivate employees as a leader, making a concerted effort to make this a priority will pay dividends.
23. Create a pleasant work environment
Whilst homeworking is a major source of satisfaction for workers, sometimes you just have to bring the team together in an office space to get the best work done.
When it comes to the question of how to motivate your team using your office space, you want to ensure that the space you’re inviting your team into is a good place to work.
Professionals will want to come into your office space if it’s comfortable, clean, and provides everything they need to work to the best of their abilities.
This also gives you the opportunity to apply your own personal brand of management to your colleagues in person and reduces bottlenecks in employee feedback.
24. Promote a good work-life balance
If there’s one good thing that came out of the Covid pandemic, it was the work-life revelation that white collar workers around the world experienced after working from home for months at a time.
Regardless of where an individual performs best, even just having the option to work in a more comfortable environment outside of the office was – and continues to be – a major motivation boon for teams everywhere now that the pandemic is largely in the rearview mirror.
From skipping the daily commute to reclaiming pockets of personal time throughout the week, flexible working options can be a priceless tool for team motivation.
Learn how to motivate your employees as a leader
The Speakers’ Gym can teach you how to utilise the above twenty points and more to unify and motivate your team by doing a deep dive into how your team motivation could be improved. Then, not only will we show you how to implement it effectively but we’ll also advise you on how to get everybody else on board with it too. Unlock you and your team’s potential by joining our executive leadership course.
Our change management consultancy works with companies of every size and sector, and people of every level of seniority, and our methods are transferable to all of them. If you have any questions about how we would address the issue of how to motivate your team or company, get in touch and we’d be happy to go through it with you in more detail.
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