What keeps you going during the hardest days at work? Many business owners are naturally driven and also have a vision of building something important. However, your paid staff have different reasons for turning up and engaging. Understanding what keeps them motivated can help everyone enjoy the satisfaction of being in a high performing team.
Inspire people with a bold vision
You can only inspire your team if they know what’s possible and what you hope you can achieve together. So, make sure you talk to them about how you see the business flourishing, along with everyone in it. Writing down a ‘vision statement’ won’t resonate as much as making it a regular discussion point.
Psychologists have theorised that motivation comes from someone’s quest to satisfy their needs. Maslow famously put these on a hierarchy with basics like shelter at the bottom and self-actualisation at the top. However, when it comes to employee motivation, theories look at how motivation is affected by both positive and negative drivers. That’s worth remembering when it comes to your team. Positive reinforcement is a powerful ally.
Set clear goals
Most people enjoy the satisfaction of achievement, and setting clear goals allows this. To keep people motivated the right amount of challenge is important. That may mean you sit down with individuals and create a personalised plan. When people have a role in creating their goals, it instils a sense of ownership, which is a key part of lasting motivation.
Input into goal setting can go beyond individuals. When you talk about the organisational goals with your team, be sure to listen for their ideas. When people feel unheard or undervalued, their motivation can be quickly undermined.
Get your game on
Many industries are seeing the power of ‘gamifying’ interactions, from parking apps to insurance. It’s psychological theory in action. The power is that people can see their progress and get recognition when they move forward.
There are lots of ways to leverage ‘gamification’ to motivate your team. For example, you may acknowledge someone at a team meeting when they achieve a certain number of sales. Even simply removing an ‘in training’ sign from the checkout of new operators can be a validating experience.
Grow your leadership with a Mentor
A Business Mentor is someone you can talk to about where your efforts should be focused. They can help you prioritise where performance could be lifted and which things you can let go of. Sometimes, just hearing from someone who has experienced and learned through their own trials and errors can bring a wholly fresh approach to your thinking. Rather than trying to solve challenges like team motivation alone, find out about being matched with a Business Mentor ,so you have someone in your corner.
Checklist for motivated teams
- Share your dreams and allow others to understand what excites you about your organisation’s success, growth and future.
- Free people from fear of failure by sharing stories of turnarounds and development without punishing mistakes.
- Encourage professional development with opportunities for staff to grow their skills and explore areas of interest.
- Foster teamwork and trust by ensuring staff are encouraged to collaborate and get to know each other beyond the tasks of their roles.
- Provide a safe work environment that people can enjoy by being conscious of cleanliness, noise, air quality and light.
- Pay people what they’re worth and recognise that this changes with the employment market.
- Avoid meaningless meetings and emails that drain time and energy by cultivating a culture where starting with objectives or an agenda is the norm.
- Make micromanaging a last resort because it takes away people’s sense of empowerment and motivation.
- Allow for flexibility where you can, as people are likely to give more to work when the rest of their life is under control.
- Value happiness and address discontent before it spreads by listening and addressing any persistent gripes where you can.