Motivating Your Team – Essentials

When the going is tough, or as we come out of recession and you need to be in a strong position, you need your team to be performing at it’s peak. This article, following on from “How to motivate your Team Part 1”, continues with 5 more steps which you can take to motivate them, and achieve excellent results.

1. Make sure each individual knows the part they play

You’ve set goals for the team, and each team member, (Tip 3), so set time aside to review how they’re doing, and spend time with each individual. When you’ve arranged a time with them, stick to it! There’s nothing quite so demoralising as having your manager cancel an appointment they’ve made with you to discuss how you’re doing.

At the very least, you ought to review performance on a formal basis every 6 months, and informally every 6 weeks or so.  Get the facts about 

2. Seek feedback from them

Feedback needs to be two-way, both from you to them, and, as importantly from them to you! There are a number of ways you can do this:

•With the individual during their review on how they think they’re doing, and how you’re doing.
•With the whole team through regular team meetings, or on an ad hoc basis when working on a new project, or things are about to change.

Again, this will help create that atmosphere of trust.

3. Concentrate on strengths

We all do better when we’re doing things we’re good at! You’ll get a better performance from a round pin in a round hole, rather than complaining that the square pin doesn’t fit!

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t stretch your team, or give them the opportunity to develop new skills. But make sure their key tasks play to their strengths.

And when giving feedback, it’s right to talk about what could be improved, but that needs to be balanced with what they’ve done well.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Keep your team informed! Again there are a number of ways you can do this:

•Institute a 5 minute daily briefing, during the day, that everybody can access
•Create a notice board to get key messages across – and keep it up to date!
•Use a message book

The best communication is always two-way! So, make sure there’s opportunity for the team to contribute, e.g. to the briefing – what they’re working on that day, what their priorities are.

5. Make time to have fun!!

A happy team is a motivated team! “Fun” means different things to different people.

It could be about competition in meeting targets, or it might be simply taking time out to have a chat about non-work stuff, or a quick drink after work. But…. remember that different people have different commitments, and this may lead to some individuals feeling excluded. So…how about an extended lunch-break when everybody can get together.