If you’ve been on any team for more than a few hours, you know that there is an ebb and flow to motivation. There are a slew of reasons why your team could be lacking motivation, but how you handle the situation and inspire your team is what really matters.
We’ve got a few tips and tricks that will increase morale and bring a fresh wave of motivation to your team…even if they don’t need it!
1. Determine the source of the problem.
While it’s easy to write off a lack of motivation as laziness or boredom, it’s likely a larger problem than you initially thought.
A dip in motivation could be due to a team member’s loss of purpose, drive, or direction, or perhaps they are dealing with personal issues which can weigh heavily on our ability to perform in the workplace, whether we admit it or not.
Consider if you’ve just changed company policy, vision, or mission, it may be affecting how your team interacts with and produces their work. Another thing to think about is how you’ve been communicating your mission and vision statements. It’s easy to forget your purpose in the day-to-day grind. Most team members need a good pep talk to remind them why their work is important and valuable and how it makes a difference
2. Talk about it.
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to let things sit instead of bringing them up in conversation. Being open and communicative with your team is crucial, not only to your team’s success, but to each individual employee’s success. After all, a team is only as strong as it’s weakest member. Let your team know that you appreciate them and are willing to listen to whatever issues they may have. Don’t know where to start? Think of how you can casually bring it up in conversation first to see if it’s even something the team member wants to talk about. If this doesn’t work then try these other helpful ways to communicate with your team
3. Set attainable goals.
Baby steps. Larger goals are great to have, but make sure you are set smaller goals along the way. It’s easy for a team to get discouraged when all they have is one huge goal that they feel they will never meet.
Be specific in your goal-setting. Vague goals with obscure deadlines aren’t helpful, but firm deadlines foster a sense of urgency and importance and promote accountability among members of your team.
If it helps, get creative with ways to show progress. Create a virtual visual or mark progress on whiteboard in a common area. Visuals allow team members to see how far they’ve come, foster a feeling of accomplishment, and ultimately improves the quality of work as team members become more confident in what they have already achieved.
4. Give feedback and encouragement.
You’d be surprised how far a little praise can go. Now we’re not saying to give false or forced praise, but when your team or a team member has accomplished a goal, no matter how small, let them know how much you appreciate all of the hard work they put in. It makes all the difference.
5. Give them the resources they need…and deserve.
It’s one thing to keep your team motivated with a positive attitude and incentives, but why not provide them with the resources to keep them there? Project management tools like Asana or TeamWork allow you to comment, “like”, and encourage your team to keep up the good work. These online resources also help you and your team keep an eye on progress.
6. Let them do their job.
People usually don’t like a constant micromanager and chances are, your team doesn’t either. This is not to say that you can’t set up clear expectations and goals, but since you likely have talented, experienced members on your team, you should let them do what they do best. Try not to be overbearing. The fastest way to squash creativity and productivity is by managing every last detail of your team’s day.
Each team member brings a unique skill to the table, so let them use it! Communication is key, but don’t spend hours upon hours talking about what needs to get done. Just let them get it done.