Keeping a team motivated is essential for not only productivity but a happy working environment. Teams can often slide rapidly in one direction or another – keeping each other’s spirits up and supporting each other, or becoming collectively sluggish and disinterested. An unmotivated team is disastrous for executing day to day tasks, let alone for succeeding with larger goals and aims. Punishing a team for being unmotivated is a dangerous thing and can create attitudes of resentment and obligation – it’s much better to take responsibility and find positive ways to encourage motivation.
- Be part of the team. One of the most motivating things to an employee is seeing their manager or boss hard at work alongside them. Nobody likes to be told to work harder by someone they perceive not to be working very hard themselves. If your team is struggling with something, roll up your sleeves and jump in – this will provide a great deal of encouragement for everyone else to do the same.
- Show everyone the importance of their role. Understanding where each member’s job lies in the big picture of your business is essential to helping them feel important and useful. Take the opportunity to go over what they’re responsible for, what their main tasks are and give them the chance to ask any questions – a lot of sluggishness can come from not clearly understanding what they need to do.
- Establish goals as a team, and reward as a team. With a team, you want to build a co-operative environment, not a competitive one. Reward everyone as a whole – not everyone is loud or extroverted, but everyone does their part to help the team. Individual rewards can make people feel inadequate or looked over. It also encourages the team to help each other complete each task.
- Identify what could be causing a lack of motivation. Sometimes, a particular person, task, deadline or situation can be causing a team to become unmotivated. Talk to them as a group and allow each person opportunity to speak. It may be something you can solve quickly for much better results.
- Provide chances for growth and challenge. Teams can rise to meet challenges when you get them excited about the prospect of learning something new, beating another team or reaching a new target.
Motivating a team is a matter of finding a common goal, and encouraging each member to pursue it as much as possible. Offer rewards and incentives that fit your team members, and most importantly – be an engaged team member yourself.