Whatever style of leadership you use, it is your team that will get the work done. And no matter how well we set inspiring goals, or how well we coach and guide, we also have to motivate our teams; to reconfirm the connection between who they are and the organisation they work for. In essence, they need some personal attention.
Here are some proven ways of building team motivation into your leadership style.
Give Each Member Some Individual Time
As a leader, you may underestimate the value you bring when you give an employee one-on-one time. In this context, it is powerfully motivating for an employee to have a relaxed conversation with you, without dwelling on urgent operational and operational problems. A stress-free conversation will bring out different facets of your team members, and it will build a strong relationship to draw upon when times are difficult or extra effort is required.
Share Your Vision
Of course, you do all the leadership things like set the strategy, break it up into actionable components, and guide and direct their achievement. But there is also the need to create a space to talk about the higher vision, the ultimate purpose of the organisation, and the section where you work. This is not about targets and goals and meeting deadlines. These conversations are about the value you and your team bring. Think of it as setting up a lighthouse for your team. In spite of all the stormy water and high winds, the lighthouse will stand out above the confusion to guide their actions. It confirms why each of you are there and what you are ultimately working towards. In this way, you can help employees to feel valued and motivated.
Our human work environment has a significant impact on our productivity, contentment, and creativity. This applies also in this time of Covid, when employees are largely working from home, and coming to the office for a day or two each week. A space that is enjoyable to work in, is a space where your team wants to spend their time. Consider privacy, noise, air quality, natural light, areas to relax, and the overall ambience of your work areas. Encourage healthy eating and exercise, whether this is in the form of a gym membership or participating in team exercise classes. When your team sees that you take an interest in these matters they will feel appreciated and it will encourage them to do their best work.
Remote employees need just as much attention and support from your side to create a healthy work environment for them, too – even if their office is at home. Keep in mind that employees that work from home a few days per week or regularly will have different challenges than the employees you see daily at the office.
Encourage Their External Goals
Your team members are multi-sided individuals. They have fascinating hobbies, they may volunteer for charitable organisations in their spare time. They may be high achievers in a particular sport. They do these things because it gives deeper meaning and direction to their lives. If you take the time to find out about their outside interests, not only do you get a better understanding of who they are, but you are paying them a powerful complement, you acknowledge their unique interests and achievements. By recognising that your team has goals in life outside of your office building, you can build a stronger relationship and more respect as a leader. And they will show up for you.
Consider The Life Cycles Of Your Employees
As a leader, you are familiar with the business or product lifecycle. Think about your team members in the same way. Some will have families and responsibilities, some will be approaching retirement, and some might be carefree singles out to get the most from life.
Understanding where your team members are in their lifecycles will help you provide appropriate motivation. An impressive job title and the opportunity for travel may be extremely motivating for early career team members. On the other hand, a predictable job and a stable work environment may be sought after by those with family responsibilities. By understanding their lifestyles you will be able to accurately match motivation to the individual.
Communicate With Your Staff
Communication, communication, communication! Communication is the lifeblood of an organisation.
Communication is a two-way street and you should make sure that there is a constant flow of communication between you and your team. This will keep them up-to-date with what needs to be done. In addition, you should also listen to their ideas, opinions, and feedback. Give your team the opportunity to come and talk to you. Make sure you are available and approachable in your attitude to communication. This will make your staff feel involved in the business and its operations which will further motivate them to achieve better results.
Encouraging and promoting teamwork boosts productivity because it makes employees feel less isolated and helps them to feel more engaged with their tasks. You can do this by regularly holding team-building exercises and opportunities for your team members to bond and get to know one another.
Think about this when hiring new staff by considering how they will fit into the team and the workplace culture. Even if someone is experienced in a role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will work well with the rest of your employees.
Give Positive Feedback and Reward Your Team
Positive praise is immensely powerful. Recognising and applauding achievement inspires team members when they get this sort of recognition. It has an extra effect when you explain what it is that they did and how it added value to the organisation.
Provide Opportunities For Development
Team members feel valued when they have the opportunity to learn new things. This can be via formal courses or by workplace exposure. You can motivate and inspire your team to achieve great results when you provide your employees with opportunities for growth and development. These opportunities should be tailored specifically to suit the individual employee, remember the career lifecycles we spoke about above. These opportunities can be in the form of further training, setting challenging targets, inviting an employee to shadow you, or spending your own time teaching and mentoring somebody.
Motivation is an essential part of any workplace. You will become a better leader by constantly striving to make your employees feel motivated and inspired. If you do this, you’re sure to achieve the results that you need.