Encouraging a team is very challenging. You have a variety of team members with multiple different skill-sets, talents and focuses. Each team member needs to be encouraged to see greater success, and, as a leader, it’s part of the protocol to get them excited about their role. It doesn’t matter if the team member is is seasoned of if they are a newbie, they all need to be directed and helped to see the best success, based on their ability.
Some pointers to keep your team motivated…
1. Encourage individually. Since each one is different, you must take them aside and help them one-on-one. They need you to have some times where all you do is build them up individually – nothing negative at all. Since each one is different, you have to be careful that you’re not discouraging in what you do to motivate them. One team member needed to have a time to just share, so I tried to let them. One person just needed to hear that they were making right decisions, so I told them so.
2. Encourage as a group. Careful here. Most teams don’t want to hear about the top performer all the time, and the top performer doesn’t like it either. The team needs to have a target that impacts them all, so they will rally together. Continually building one person up, in a group can really defeat the others on the team. The team needs to hear good from the top, so filter out as much negative as you can and listen to their concerns.
3. Learn your team. Don’t put them all in the same category. Understand their likes and dislikes, and use those to help motivate them forward. Know a bit about their family, their hobbies, their church, etc. That helps you motivate them better. If you know them individually, then you can encourage them individually.
4. Focus on their weaknesses. Don’t be critical, or unkind, but help them to see how their weaknesses are impacting their role. This must be done and can be painful, but if it is ignored, then they can’t grow, and neither can your organization. Take the weakness and teach them how to turn that into a positive, or at least grow from it.
5. Focus on their Strengths. Make this the start and the end of the conversation, and make sure you help them see successes that their strengths have given them.
6. Use a 2-1-2 plan. 2 Positives – 1 thing to work on (negative) – 2 more positives. You can use your own idea on this, but through many years of experience, the team member will still focus on the negative, but if you just bombard with negatives, it will never motivate to better performance. It’s so important to help keep the positives high, because we humans focus so easily on the negative.
7. Team meetings are not number meetings. In sales, numbers are important to a manager, but the team cares more about their individual goal than the manager’s goal. It’s a harsh truth, but real. Have conversations with your team, not just quick lists. Sometimes you need to just talk with your team. You’ll be surprised how much better you can interact with them long term
8. Set a team goal. Not just numbers. Use productivity stats, or some other category that would keep the team motivated, and have some sort of simple reward. Team rewards cause the group to focus on their individual performance, and the company goals.
9. Reward often. This might need to be number one. This doesn’t have to be in a compensation plan. It can be a candy bar, a cup of coffee, a note, an email, a “You’re #1” mug, or any other kind of simple thing, but do it regularly. Your team will be motivated, and you’ll impact the culture. Do you want your team excited to come to work with you? By giving little motivations along the way, you will create a team that wants to work for and with you.
10. Share your real feelings. A lot of leaders feel like they can’t be open or share themselves with their team. They look at it as weakness, but it’s not. It’s a time to remind your people that you are a human, just like them. Share some personal stories, some business failures, some life changing moments, and even some challenges in your role. They will connect with those things and open up to you. I’ve done this many times, and it creates relationships, not failures.
Keep your team a team, by taking time to impact them. use these ideas, and add to them.
What are some ways you motivate?