Many professional environments depend heavily on teams of people completing their jobs as effectively as possible. Despite the fact that these employees may be the most qualified for their jobs, their level of motivation will impact the results of their labor. Try implementing these five proven steps to keep your team members motivated.
- Value team members’ voices
Each person in your team will have a unique outlook on how to best perform the task at hand. Do not drown out or ignore these perspectives, as it will lead to feelings of neglect. Employees that buy in to the team mentality have a much better chance of remaining motivated, even if things do not go according to plan.
- Make time for collaboration
Fostering discussions and idea-sharing sessions is key, and these practices must be prioritized by team leaders and/or management. Do not tell team members they must find their own time to collaborate, as they will perceive a lack of commitment on your part, and separate meetings will most likely not happen. Schedule regular, common collaborative time for them, and watch the ideas fly.
- Have reasonable expectations
Crunch-time stress and feelings of being “under the gun” can completely demoralize team members. While your goals and tasks must be clearly defined, they must also be set over a manageable timeline. Do not overlook asking for feedback from team members, as this will have the added benefit of increasing their buy-in.
- Get involved
A fine line exists between “micromanaging” and “leading by example.” Effective team leaders are able to get involved with their teams in an unobtrusive manner, rather than by prying into each and every minor aspect of their task. Team members respect leaders who are able to forge ahead with their team instead of barking orders from the rear of the figurative sled.
- Keep open communication
Team leaders and members both need ongoing feedback about the task at hand. This two-way conversation must be held in a constructive, respectful way. Try to praise some aspect of your team members when you do communicate, but do not be afraid to correct something you see as being substandard. Effective team leaders address issues in a responsible manner, not the team members themselves. Your team members will greatly appreciate you handling any substandard performance, especially that which brings the entire team down.
Teams go through their ups and downs. That is the nature of human interaction. However, in order to push through the downs and maximize the ups, the motivation of your individual team members is paramount. Effective team managers are able to get involved in an inconspicuous manner, listen to their team members through honest communication, and provide sufficient time for collaboration among their team members. By implementing these 5 strategies, you are sure to keep the team both motivated and productive, all good for the bottom line of your business.