As it can be hard to motivate yourself, motivating others can be even harder.
How would you inspire people to work together toward a certain goal?
Team Motivation at the workplace is an important task – this task falls on the shoulders of the team leaders.
Many team leaders ask the question – how do I get the most out of this team? Motivating employees to give their best performance starts from the basic methods of team and teamwork performance.
Motivating a Team
Here are some points to work on:
1. Why motivating a team?
Have you ever asked yourself the simplest why questions? For example:
• Why do you focus necessarily on motivation?
• Why do you want to drive team motivation? For what reasons do you want to stimulate motivation in their teamwork?
• Why do they “need” you to get extra motivation? Do they really have to be motivated? Is it necessary?
Don’t skip answering these above questions. It would be wise to redefine and reshape your targets before any activity is launched.
2. Define your team members: know your team – select them
It goes without saying that selecting the right mix of talents, expertise and leaders for the team will ensure that the work they do leads to success.
And the right mix of people for any specific teamwork is the most important part of the process.
Therefore, who are your team members? With whom you are going to battle?
Make note of – the leaders, the talents, the initiators, the hard-workers, the professionals, the creators, the individualists, those who are mature/responsible and those who really need directions to get the job done. Conduct your research and select the right mixture.
These insights of your team members will help you on deciding who needs extra motivation and how to start motivating these team members.
3. What motivates the team members?
Find out what motivates your team members. What brings each and every one of them to the highest level of performance?
Ask them – What do they want to achieve at work? Ask them on a regular basis and once you understand their professional needs and goals you are on the right track to know what can motivate them.
If you understand your employees, they will take more interest in understanding what you want from them.
4. Define the goals and challenges
Set achievable goals with them.
Share your vision with the team members in order to drive initial teamwork motivation:
• What are the team goals & challenges – the short term and long term goals?
• Why these goals and not other goals?
• How do you want to achieve these goals?
Focus on clear, specific, reasonable and achievable goals. Give them reasons for the challenges and while discussing them you might even let them set the goals for themselves.
It is known that a stimulator for motivation is ‘participation’ – they should be part of the decision-making process.
5. How to delegate work – clarify expectations
You, as a team leader, have to delegate tasks to the right person. For instance – if you assign these hard or uninteresting activities to a leader (in nature) in your team, don’t expect for the best. How do you expect him to see thus work leading him to any significant professional growth? In time, he begins to resist the task.
Teamwork motivation starts from little things.
When you turn work over to some of your team members, you still maintain a certain degree of responsibility. Set clear expectations and responsibilities for each one of your team members. If things are not clearly understood, they may unknowingly miss the target, and then fail for not doing what they have never really understood.
6. How to motivate your team with incentives and recognition?
Provide positive feedback for good teamwork.
If you offer no recognition for a job well done by your team members, the likely scenario is that the next time they will not do their jobs as expected. Why? Because if their good performance is not appreciated, they will think; “Why bother? No one appreciates it anyway.”
However, don’t limit yourself to positive feedbacks only. If they fail to achieve something, conduct a lesson learned procedure.
As for incentives, feeling that you belong is an incentive too. Remember that other employees and teams in the company watch your team performance and people would want to learn from/join the success.
You may present a clear result for high level of performance in order to drive team motivation.
Financial reward is not always the best answer for motivating a team. Bonuses are not necessarily motivators as you have to think of the next tasks – they would expect nothing less than these incentives. A simple thank you or a small reward is more than enough.
7. And – Let go
While you as a team leader should clarify expectations, coach and monitor activity, don’t expect the team receiving the assignment to carry it out exactly as you desire. Teamwork motivation cannot be achieved by force. You must let go, allowing them the right to do the job with their own skills and styles. You don’t have to control each and every task they do – they will object. Let them inject their uniqueness and even appreciate their uniqueness. Let them grow in the teamwork and assignments and you may find they do the job even better than you imagined.