Powerful ways to motivate your team members

  • You can arrange a fine set of employees; but if they aren’t motivated, all goes in vain.
  • You might be the biggest company in your vertical, but if you’re unable to keep your employees motivated, every other effort will be futile.
  • You might have a clear cut vision of your someday-about-to-be future Fortune 500 Company; but if you’re unable to keep your employees motivated, well, you are going nowhere.

So, what actually is Motivation?

It is the force which makes people act, whether it is something as small as getting oneself a glass of water, or as big as starting one’s own company.

Motivation is a process which sets someone in motion, guides the individual to implement and reach a certain pre-targeted goal.

Everything on one side, and Motivation on the other, and Motivation would win- every single time. Why?

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

Emotional investment here has motivation as one of its basic ingredient.

Knowing what is motivation is one thing, and motivating people another. Here are some ways to keep your team motivated:

  1. Incentivize:

This might be the most effective method to motivate your team members. Now, to incentivize someone, you need to know what could probably be the motivating incentive for that person. 

For Example:

A person in his mid-40s has been working with the company for quite a few years. Now, if the person is asking for a promotion in his/her designation and if the management provides more paid holidays into his annual package, it won’t be a motivational factor for him/her. Simply, because there’s a gap between what the person wants, and what you’re providing.

Some might believe that monetary incentives are the universal incentives to anyone and everyone. But, that doesn’t hold true.

Because if that would’ve been the case-

Why would some get into social work?

Why do some CEOs of Multibillion dollar companies work for almost no salary?

Why are people unable to perform even at industry’s highest paying jobs? 

Money, after a certain limit, becomes just a numeric value.

Some people may not put in 10 hours extra every week, for a thousand dollar raise in salary.

So, how do you incentivize people?

The very fundamental of this lies in knowing people, and what ticks them. What makes them work, & why are they working in the first place.

Once you’ve known the needs, you may use a framework to classify them, known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory for your employees.

According to this theory, the needs are divided into a hierarchical level starting from Physiological Needs (at the bottom most), followed by Social Needs, Safety Needs, Esteem Needs and Self-Actualization (at the top most). Each need will give you a clear vision of how to incentivize.

  • Physiological Needs: Basic needs like Food, Shelter and Clothing.
  • Social Needs: Need to be a part of a social group, need to affiliate.
  • Safety Needs: Job security, security from external threats.
  • Esteem Needs: Needs pertaining to one’s self-respect.
  • Self-Actualization Needs: Knowing one’s true potential and working hard to achieve it.
  1. Set clear Goals:

Successful organizational communication helps to keep employees motivated. Equally, poor communication de-motivate and refrain the employees from putting their best.

You are the one responsible for making your team perform at its best. Hence, you should make your expectations ‘crystal-clear’ to them in prior. 

Let your team know what is expected of them, how a particular task has to be done and the timeframe by which the task should be completed and submitted. This may sound basic, but it transfers your vision of work to your team, which in fact, lets them work in the right manner.

Why is this important?

Try finishing a race without knowing where the finish line is!

Same is the case with the employees. You can’t make people run for nothing.

When it comes to setting a goal, one should look at the fact whether  the employees can achieve it –

Do we’ve enough resources?

Are the employees capable of doing it?

A simple algorithm should be followed starting with the easier task at the beginning. This gives the individuals a level of confidence to build upon before escalating to the higher levels of complexity and difficulty in tasks.

  1. Have a Transparent Feedback System:

Once you’ve communicated your team about the task, you expect them to perform at a certain level.

Here onwards, there’re two possibilities: Either they achieve their goal, or they don’t. And, in both cases, the feedback is very important.

Remember that your feedback to them matters a lot. Sometimes, the result doesn’t matter, but a proper feedback does as it can motivate someone to work harder the next time. 

Your feedback should be concise and honest. They’re the only reason you should have a feedback.

Let your team know, how they performed-

If they achieved the goals, congratulate them.

Tell them where they can improve.

Tell them that you are happy to have them.

If they didn’t, be honest with them & let them know where they are lagging.

Be brutally honest but with a smile!

  1. Create a Collaborative Environment:

A motivated employee can be an asset to the organization. Not because of his/her work, but, he/she can be a yardstick for other employees.

Believe it or not, Motivation is contagious! 

Having a collaborative environment helps your team interact without any hierarchical or personal barriers. This lets the communication be simple, increases team morale, makes everyone feel connected and increases productivity, all in a go!

  1. Empower your team:

Now that you know what you want them to do, let them do it.

The biggest boost to an individual’s motivation and morale is when he/she takes an initiative. 

Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot, fires his employees who come up with new ideas. Followed by that, he makes them Mini-CEOs of their respective ideas and gives their start-up an in-house incubation. 

Let them learn and let them fall as this is the secret to a long & successful haul!