As professionals, it’s extremely easy for us to get stuck in routines and become predictable. For many of us, productivity at work is directly tied to how motivated we are, how much we enjoy our positions, our work culture, and the teams that we work with. We must prioritize our motivation and continue to stay grounded in our "why". Why do you get up every day and do what you do? Why does what you do matter?
If you are responsible for managing a team (or someone that’s being managed) feel free to share this with your leaders. Below you will find tips on how to motivate your team to show up every day and put their best foot forward and to reach their goals.
Flip the Switch
Some people struggle with change, but there are many others that like when things are not so predictable. Tips:
· Allow different team members to lead, present, or contribute to staff meetings.
· Let people host a training for other staff on a topic that interests them
· Add different décor or organization to the office.
· Implement random team appreciation lunches.
· Implement casual Fridays.
Switching up office routines will give your team things to look forward to.
Showing appreciation is an easy way to motivate staff. Tips:
· Create recognition criteria and implement a staff member of the month.
· Set up a board by each team member's desk where people can use sticky notes to leave shoutouts and words of appreciation.
· In your weekly staff updates or newsletter to stakeholders, highlight the accomplishments and efforts of your team.
· Use your social media accounts to shoutout staff accomplishments and achievements.
All these efforts are low-cost or free. Please note that publicly acknowledging team members will give you the greatest return!
Some people are extrinsically motivated—their behavior is motivated by good deeds and rewards. Friendly office competitions can motivate by giving staff something aside from work to think about while having fun. Balance is important and we all need to shift our focus sometimes. Do some office trivia or a character dress-up day with small gift cards or a "wear jeans pass" as a prize. Rewards should not be the default for motivating staff, but they are a great tool to have in your toolkit.
Have Meaningful Goals
Purposeful goals will really motivate your team. If their daily work feels pointless, it's hard to motivate them to show up every day and work towards them. It's even better when the staff feel involved in goal setting. It creates a sense of pride and ownership of their goals.
The most important thing you can do to motivate your team is to talk to them. Seek to understand their individual needs and ask how they’re feeling about their position/role on your team. Allow them to voice their opinions and listen. Be solution-oriented when there are areas for growth is a great way to motivate people and make them feel included and valued. Remember, it’s never too late to motivate!
During this pandemic, there are still ways to motivate your team. Consider these tips below:
· Communicate with your team and stay connected regarding both personal and professional matters (People need to know you care about their performance AND their well-being)
· Provide staff with individual support and resources when needed
· Prioritize safety
· Be flexible to staff needs and considerate of their various levels of comfort with technology if working from home
· Try and remain calm, but be transparent about the realities of your organization and your needs as a leader or a team member